Intended for healthcare professionals

Editor's Choice

The BMJ’s Christmas gogglebox

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 18 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6838
  1. Alison Tonks, associate editor1,
  2. Navjoyt Ladher, clinical editor1
  1. 1The BMJ

Tune in to Channel BMJ this Christmas and throw away your remote control—we’ve got a strong line-up of festive programming for you.

We start with the cover of our print issue, packed with medical superheroes and supervillains. Casting the cover photo from GP John Burscough’s cabinet of over 300 toys, models, and action figures of doctors was tricky thanks to overwhelming choice (doi:10.1136/bmj.h6890). Viewers of The X-Files, Star Trek, and The Octonauts should spot some familiar faces. Fans of The Doctor will be disappointed—he’s better known for his work as a time lord than a clinician, so we left all the Doctor Who action figures on the shelf.

Our festive Top of the Pops is a Bob Dylan special. Dylan continues to shape the scientific landscape with unforgettable titles such as “Like a rolling histone” and “Dietary nitrate—a slow train coming” (doi:10.1136/bmj.h6505). Carl Gornitzki and colleagues even name and shame The BMJ, after a rare lapse of good taste in 1975 led to “Blowing in the wind,” the title of an editorial on hang gliding.

There’s an entertaining selection of Christmas films this year, starting with From Russia With Love (doi:10.1136/bmj.h6141), Austin Powers (doi:10.1136/bmj.h6543), the bloodcurdling Insidious (doi:10.1136/bmj.h6367), and a montage of zombie movies (doi:10.1136/bmj.h6423). Choose a feelgood Christmas movie to light up your brain in all the right places. Anders Hougaard and colleagues find evidence of the Christmas spirit in functional MRI scans, but perhaps more importantly introduce us all to the twin concepts of “blobology” and “neuro-bollocks” (doi:10.1136/bmj.h6266).

Whatever you’re watching, entertain the kids with a game of spot the moustache using our panel of facial hairstyles from Mackenzie Wehner and colleagues’ study of gender inequality at the top of US academic institutions (doi:10.1136/bmj.h6311). We might have guessed that moustaches would be more numerous than women among academic leaders, but who knew we would be outgunned by such a wide variety of options including The Zappa, Super Mario, and the Chin Curtain?

Fans of game shows will enjoy our quiz pages, where a game of conflict of interest bingo (doi:10.1136/bmj.h6577) and a test of your pharmiscuity (doi:10.1136/bmj.h6353) should help fill those quiet moments stirring the gravy. If you prefer the Great British Bake Off, try making this gorgeous pink creation, designed by Lucinda Whitton—it’s shaped like a vital body part (doi:10.1136/bmj.h6310). Full instructions provided, with pictures.

For a different kind of food for thought, read about the complex healthcare needs of refugees (doi:10.1136/bmj.h6731), Richard Lehman’s take on The Laws of Medicine by Siddhartha Mukherjee (doi:10.1136/bmj.h6708), and the ethical challenges that arise from allowing relatives to veto organ harvesting from registered donors (doi:10.1136/bmj.h6783).

Finally, do spare a moment of reflection for this year’s charity, Doctors of the World, and support them with your usual generosity (doi:10.1136/bmj.h6841).


Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6838


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