By Saniya Mediratta, President of the ICSM Surgical Society
It seems strange to me, that when women have shattered the proverbial glass ceiling in innumerable fields, the statistics of women in surgery are still so low. At an astonishing 11.1%, the only heartening news is that it was once as low as 3% in 1991.
Why isn’t the field of surgery evolving with the current shift in workplace demographics? Why aren’t women choosing to pursue the seemingly impossible journey that is surgical training?
Why are so few of us women, studying medicine, not drawn to a career that inspires such awe, pride and prestige in the single word, “surgeon?” Is it because of distorted perceptions that see this plum role more suited to agentic males that are perceived to be assertive, able, task-orientated and competitive, as opposed to women that are often thought of as only nurturing, sensitive and communal?
By Dr Jon Krell, Principal Investigator within the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre (OCARC), a collaborative, multi-disciplinary team of clinicians and scientists, focused on translational research to improve outcomes for women with ovarian cancer.
March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and an opportunity to highlight a key part of our Centre’s research programme aimed at improving early diagnosis and identifying risk factors.
By Stephanie Menikou, PhD student, Faculty of Medicine
Kawasaki disease (KD) was first identified in 1967 by the Japanese paediatrician Tomisaku Kawasaki. He saw his first case in 1960 and over a period of six years he identified 50 cases of this distinct unusual illness.1 50 years later, we still don’t know its cause, or whether it is caused by an infectious organism, a toxin, a chemical substance or something else. Kawasaki disease has emerged as the most common cause of childhood heart disease in many developed countries.2 Over 60 countries around the globe have reported cases and currently in many countries it’s on the rise.
By Professor Thomas Williams, Chair in Haemoglobinopathy Research, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medicine
Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is the commonest serious genetic condition of humans. The disease is caused by an inherited defect in haemoglobin, the red pigment within red cells that is important for the carriage of oxygen in the blood, and results in a life-long illness characterised by recurrent pain, ill health and chronic anaemia.
By Gianpaolo Fusari and Madeleine Maxwell at the Helix Centre for Design in Healthcare, a multi-disciplinary team of designers, technologists, researchers and clinicians based at St. Mary’s Hospital, using human-centred design methods to tackle problems in healthcare.
Over 41,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK, and at 16,000 deaths per year, it is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK behind lung cancer.
By Dr Santosh Rath, Visiting Professor, Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London
The past three decades have witnessed impressive results in leprosy control through global effort. Early detection of disease through door-to-door survey and treatment by multi-drug therapy (MDT) in domiciliary setting ensured high rates of cure (WHO). The focus was to identify and manage high-risk patients prone to complication likes reactions and peripheral nerve function impairment (NFI).
By Dr Angela Bailey, Consultant HIV/GU medicine, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
The Jefferiss Wing at St Mary’s hospital is one of the biggest sexual health clinics in the UK. As well as providing services for testing (walk in and bookable online), we have an active Clinical Trials Centre and many of our clinicians are involved in sexual health research which gives our patients a chance to participate in studies and access to the latest developments in STI care. Some key areas, which have been in the news over the last year, are discussed here.
By Professor Gary Frost, Chair in Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London
The two states of malnutrition (under and over nutrition) account for a large percentage of non-communicable diseases worldwide. 65% of the world’s population live in countries where being overweight and obesity kills more people than those who are underweight. Obesity, the result of over nutrition, is no longer the preserve of high income countries with the prevalence of obesity now rising in low and middle income countries.
By Nicholas Penney, Clinical Research Fellow, Osama Moussa, Clinical Research and Surgical Fellow and Sanjay Purkayastha, Clinical Senior Lecturer in Bariatric Surgery at the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery & Cancer, Imperial College London
Obesity is a worldwide epidemic and leading preventable cause of death, with increasing rates in both adults and children. Between 1980 and 2008, global obesity prevalence doubled from 4.8% to 9.8% in men and from 7.9% to 13.8% in women1. In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight, of which over 600 million were obese2.
By Michael J. Taylor, Honorary Research Associate, Division of Surgery, Imperial College London
Weight management camps can provide an effective way for obese children to lose weight. Although many attendees successfully maintain their new healthier weight after leaving the camp, there are also some who regain the weight they lost after they go back home. Imperial College London, in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University and Qatar University, have been carrying out a project investigating how weekly educational after-school clubs can be used to encourage children to continue to work towards reaching and maintaining a healthy weight after they have attended a weight management camp.