'Medical takeover' by women, CJD study sparks 1990s revival and yet another 'cure' for Alzheimer's
A round-up of the health news headlines on Wednesday 16 October.
We start today with the Daily Mail indignantly coughing and spluttering its way onto your computer screens with the shocking news that the majority of new doctors are… women!
Its angle on the GMC’s State of Medical Education and Practice report is that the medical workforce is becoming more female, with the fairer sex making up 61% of all doctors under the age of 30, and 46% of those aged 30 to 50 years. As the Mail puts it: ‘The new figures are likely to fuel fears about the impact of increasing numbers of female doctors on struggling hospital wards.’ But even worse – 46% of all GPs are women!
But don’t fear, misogynist fans – the ‘medical takeover by women’ (yes, they really use that phrase) looks set to be slowing, with the percentage of female medical students dropping to 55% in 2012, from a high of 61% in 2003.
Elsewhere, fans of the 1990s will be pleased to hear that ‘mad cow’ disease is back in the news. The BBC reports that twice as many Brits as previously thought could be carrying CJD. A study in the BMJ found that one in 2,000 people in the UK is a carrier of the disease, which was linked to eating contaminated beef.
However, despite 177 deaths overall from the disease, there has only been one in the past two years. John Selwyn Gummer’s children can breathe a sigh of relief.
And finally, fans of the Daily Express bingo are in for a busy morning. Alongside front page stories on Madeleine McCann, the lead health story is yet another breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer’s.
It says a Canadian study in the Journal of Neuroscience has identified a new protein, and how it fights a ‘virulent reaction that harms brain cells’. It is hoped this will lead to new drugs that replicate the process.
Dr Simon Ridley, of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: ‘This study has highlighted a potential new avenue for investigation but it is vital we step up research’ – if only to please the Express’s health editor, we can presume.