Whilst this is true for a patient who has actually had a heart attack or a stroke, the results from this trial have shown that a patient in good health would have no benefit, and would in fact have an increased risk of potentially dangerous bleeding.
What can we learn from this?
Aspirin can be purchased over the counter, so ultimately, it is the patient’s decision whether they take it or not. However, it is important for doctors to educate patients on these risks so patients can make informed decisions. Health education is a large part of a doctor’s job, and doing this effectively requires patience and communication skills.
You may encounter Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) stations where you have to give instructions to someone to complete a particular task, and you may wonder what the relevance of this is. However, you need to use this station to show the interviewers that you do have the patience, empathy, calmness and ability to convey instructions effectively.
The Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) is a new test to be rolled out across the UK next month, where it will be used by the NHS to test for genetic conditions such as Down’s syndrome. Although the test can also be used to reveal the baby’s gender, the NHS will not be disclosing this information.
It is important to be aware of cultural differences which may have an impact on your practice as a doctor. Whilst stereotyping is clearly unjustified and inappropriate, having an awareness and sensitivity towards potential issues will actually make you a better doctor than if you ignored the differences completely.
This is all part of your “holistic” consideration of a patient – social aspects can often play a big role in a patient’s decisions, and being aware of them will help you to tailor your advice. In your personal statement and interview, try to show that you are a considerate person and that you are open to hearing and understanding views different to your own.
Apple has announced two new healthcare features on its Apple Watch. In a few months, the Watch will have the ability to detect a fall and call emergency services if you are no longer moving. Whilst this is not a completely novel idea, the scale in which Apple Watches are sold and worn may mean a significant new strain on healthcare services, in what has been described as “technology-driven hypochondria”.
The second feature on the Watch will be electrocardiogram (ECG) tracing will be supposedly give patients information on heart problems such as heart attacks. As yet, this technology has been cleared only by the US health regulation authorities. However, if it becomes available in the UK, it may have a big effect on an already struggling NHS, with patients seeking much earlier and potentially unnecessary interventions.
What can we learn from this?
There is a big drive in healthcare to empower patients and give them as much autonomy over their health as possible. However, such advances in technology can also have unintended consequences which may adversely affect the healthcare system in the UK.
If technology is really advancing in this direction, then healthcare systems may need to adapt in order to be able to cope with this new workload. You can mention this in an interview if discussing advances in technology and their effect on the NHS – this will make you look like a strategic and long-term thinker!
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