The meaning of the symbols of physio, medical, movement seen in a dream.

Medical Audit

A detailed review and evaluation of selected clinical records by qualified professional personnel for the purpose of evaluating the quality of medical care.... medical audit

Medical Negligence

Under the strict legal de?nition, negligence must involve proving a clearly established duty of care which has been breached in a way that has resulted in injury or harm to the recipient of care. There does not need to be any malicious intention. Whether or not a particular injury can be attributed to medical negligence, or must simply be accepted as a reasonable risk of the particular treatment, depends upon an assessment of whether the doctor has fallen below the standard expected of practitioners in the particular specialty. A defence to such a claim is that a respected body of practitioners would have acted in the same way (even though the majority might not) and in doing so would have acted logically.... medical negligence

Medical Record

A file kept for each patient, maintained by the hospital (medical practitioners also maintain medical records in their own practices), which documents the patient’s problems, diagnostic procedures, treatment and outcome. Related documents, such as written consent for surgery and other procedures, are also included in the record. In addition to facts about a patient’s illness, medical records nearly always contain other information such as clinical, demographic, sociocultural, sociological, economic, administrative and behavioural data. The record may be on paper or computerized.... medical record

Medical Research Council

A statutory body in the United Kingdom that promotes the balanced development of medical and related biological research and aims to advance knowledge that will lead to improved health care. It employs its own research sta? in more than 40 research establishments. These include the National Institute for Medical Research, the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, and the Clinical Sciences Centre. Grants are provided so that individual scientists can do research which complements the research activities of hospitals and universities. There are several medical charities and foundations – for example, the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, the British Heart Foundation, the Nu?eld Laboratories and the Wellcome Trust which fund and foster medical research.... medical research council

Passive Movement

A movement induced by someone other than the patient. Physiotherapists (see PHYSIOTHERAPY) manipulate joints by passive movement in order to retain and encourage function of a nerve or muscle that is not working normally because of injury or disease.... passive movement

Advance Statements About Medical Treatment

See LIVING WILL.... advance statements about medical treatment

Alternative Medical System

A complete system of theory and practices that has evolved independently of, and often prior to, the conventional biological approach. Many are traditional systems of medicine that are practised by individual cultures throughout the world. Traditional Oriental medicine and Ayurveda, India’s traditional system of medicine, are two examples.... alternative medical system

British Medical Association (bma)


British National Formulary (BNF)

A pocket-book for those concerned with the prescribing, dispensing and administration of medicines in Britain. It is produced jointly by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the British Medical Association, is revised twice yearly and is distributed to NHS doctors by the Health Departments. The BNF is also available in electronic form.... british medical association (bma)

Futile Medical Treatment

Treatment that is usually considered unable to produce the desired benefit either because it cannot achieve its physiological aim or because the burdens of the treatment are considered to outweigh the benefits for the particular individual. There are necessary value judgements involved in coming to an assessment of futility. These judgements must consider the individual’s, or proxy’s, assessment of worthwhile outcome. They should also take into account the medical practitioner or other provider’s perception of intent in treatment. They may also take into account community and institutional standards, which in turn may have used physiological or functional outcome measures.... futile medical treatment

General Medical Council (gmc)

A statutory body of elected and appointed medical practitioners and appointed lay members with the responsibility of protecting patients and guiding doctors in their professional practice. Set up by parliament in 1858 – at the request of the medical profession, which was concerned by the large numbers of untrained people practising as doctors – the GMC is responsible for setting educational and professional standards; maintaining a register of quali?ed practitioners; and disciplining doctors who fail to maintain appropriate professional standards, cautioning them or temporarily or permanently removing them from the Medical Register if they are judged un?t to practise.

The Council is funded by doctors’ annual fees and is responsible to the Privy Council. Substantial reforms of the GMC’s structure and functions have been and are still being undertaken to ensure that it operates e?ectively in today’s rapidly evolving medical and social environment. In particular, the Council has strengthened its supervisory and disciplinary functions, and among many changes has proposed the regular revalidation of doctors’ professional abilities on a periodic basis. The Medical Register, maintained by the GMC, is intended to enable the public to identify whom it is safe to approach to obtain medical services. Entry on the Register shows that the doctor holds a recognised primary medical quali?cation and is committed to upholding the profession’s values. Under revalidation requirements being ?nalised, in addition to holding an initial quali?cation, doctors wishing to stay on the Register will have to show their continuing ?tness to practise according to the professional attributes laid down by the GMC.

Once revalidation is fully established, there will be four categories of doctor:

Those on the Register who successfully show their ?tness to practise on a regular basis.

Those whose registration is limited, suspended or removed as a result of the Council’s disciplinary procedures.

Those who do not wish to stay on the Register or retain any links with the GMC.

Those, placed on a supplementary list, who do not wish to stay on the main Register but who want to retain a formal link with the medical profession through the Council. Such doctors will not be able to practise or prescribe.... general medical council (gmc)

Good Medical Practice

Guidelines for doctors on the provision of good medical care laid down by the GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL (GMC).... good medical practice

Herbal Medical

Herbal Medical

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... herbal medical

Home Medical Equipment

Equipment, such as hospital beds, wheelchairs and prosthetics, provided by an agency and used at home.... home medical equipment

Medical Devices Agency

An executive agency of the Department of Health in the UK. Set up in 1994, it is responsible for regulating and advising on the sale or use of any product, other than a medicine, used in the health-care environment for the diagnosis, prevention, monitoring or treatment of illness or disease. Equipment ranges from pacemakers (see CARDIAC PACEMAKER) to prostheses (see PROSTHESIS), and from syringes to magnetic resonance imaging (see (MRI).... medical devices agency

Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

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... medical dictionary

Medical Error

An error or omission in the medical care provided to an individual. Medical errors can occur in diagnosis, treatment, preventive monitoring or in the failure of a piece of medical equipment or another component of the medical system. Often, but not always, medical errors result in adverse events such as injury or death. See also “malpractice”; and “incidence monitoring and reporting”.... medical error

Medical Informatics


Medical Oncology

See ONCOLOGY.... medical oncology

Medical Defence Organisations

These are UK bodies that provide doctors with advice and, where appropriate, ?nancial support in defending claims for medical negligence in their clinical practice. They also advise doctors on all legal aspects of their work, including patients’ complaints, and provide representation for members called to account by the GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL (GMC) or other regulatory body. The sharp rise in claims for medical negligence in the NHS in the 1980s persuaded the UK Health Departments to introduce a risk-pooling system called the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts, and the defence societies liaise with this scheme when advising their doctor members on responding to claims of negligence (see MEDICAL LITIGATION; MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE).... medical defence organisations

Medical Litigation

Legal action taken by an individual or group of individuals, usually patients, against hospitals, health-service providers or health professionals in respect of alleged inadequacies in the provision of health care.

In the hospital service, claims for clinical negligence have risen enormously since the 1970s. In 1975 the NHS spent about £1m a year on legal claims; by 2004 the NHS faced over £2 billion in outstanding claims. In 1995 a risk-pooling Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST) was set up in England, and is administered by the NHS Litigation Authority. NHS trusts are expected to follow a set of risk-management standards, the ?rst being that each trust should have a written risk-management strategy with an explicit commitment to managing clinical risk (see RISK MANAGEMENT).... medical litigation

Rapid-eye-movement (rem) Sleep

This is characterised by the presence of rapid eye movements and a reduction in muscle tone. Cerebral cortical activity is prominent and its blood ?ow increased. This activity is, however, di?erent from wakefulness and may cause irregular movements of the body as well as of the eyes. Most dreams occur in REM sleep: these may represent a process of reorganising mental associations after the period of wakefulness. The analysis of the content of dreams has been subject to a variety of interpretations, but no consensus view has evolved.

Physiological changes, such as a fall in temperature and blood pressure, take place just before sleep and continue during the early stages of NREM sleep. There is an intrinsic rhythm of sleep which in most subjects has a periodicity of around 25 hours. This can be modi?ed by external factors to bring it into line with the 24-hour day. Two peaks of a tendency to sleep have been identi?ed, and these usually occur between around 14.00–18.00 hours, and 02.00–06.00 hours. There are, however, di?erences according to age, in that, for instance, infants sleep for most of the 24 hours; during adolescence there is also an increase in the duration of sleep. Sleep requirements fall later in life, but there are wide genetic di?erences in the amount of sleep that people require and also the time at which they fall asleep most readily.

The internal clock can be disturbed by a variety of external factors which include irregular sleeping habits due, for instance, to shift work or jet lag. Sleep is also more likely to occur after physical exertion, reading and social activity. The duration and intensity of exposure to light can also modify sleep profoundly. Light promotes wakefulness and is the main factor that adjusts the 25-hour internal rhythm to the 24hour daily cycle. Neural connections from the retina of the EYE act on an area in the brain called the supra-chiasmatic nucleus which stimulates the pineal gland which produces MELATONIN. This is thought to trigger the range of neurological and metabolic processes that characterise sleep.... rapid-eye-movement (rem) sleep

Withholding / Withdrawing Medical Treatment

See “futile medical treatment”; “advanced directive”.... withholding / withdrawing medical treatment

World Medical Association

See ETHICS.... world medical association

Australian Journal Of Medical Herbalism

Quarterly publication of the National Herbalists Association of Australia. Australian medicinal plants, Government reports, case studies, books, plant abstracts. For subscription details and complimentary copy of the Journal contact: NHAA, PO Box 65, Kingsgrove NSW 2208, Australia. Tel: +61(02) 502 2938. Annual subscription (Aus) $40 (overseas applicants include $15 for air mail, otherwise sent by sea mail). ... australian journal of medical herbalism

Medical Education

This term is used to de?ne the process of learning and knowledge-acquisition in the study of medicine. It also encompasses the expertise required to develop education and training for students and learners in all aspects of medical health care. Studies for undergraduate students, postgraduate students and individual health-care practitioners, from the initial stages to the ongoing development of a career in medicine or associated health ?elds, are also included in medical education. The word ‘pedagogy’ is sometimes applied to this process.

A range of research investigations has developed within medical education. These apply to course monitoring, audit, development and validation, assessment methodologies and the application of educationally appropriate principles at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Research is undertaken by medical educationalists whose backgrounds include teaching, social sciences and medicine and related health-care specialties, and who will hold a medical or general educational diploma, degree or other appropriate postgraduate quali?cation.

Development and validation for all courses are an important part of continuing accreditation processes. The relatively conservative courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including diplomas and postgraduate quali?cations awarded by the specialist medical royal colleges (responsible for standards of specialist education) and universities, have undergone a range of reassessment and rede?nition driven by the changing needs of the individual practitioner in the last decade. The stimuli to change aspects of medical training have come from the government through the former Chief Medical O?cer, Sir Kenneth Calman, and the introduction of new approaches to specialist training (the Calman programme), from the GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL (GMC) and its document Tomorrow’s Doctors, as well as from the profession itself through the activities of the British Medical Association and the medical royal colleges. The evolving expectations of the public in their perception of the requirements of a doctor, and changes in education of other groups of health professionals, have also led to pressures for changes.

Consequently, many new departments and units devoted to medical education within university medical schools, royal colleges and elsewhere within higher education have been established. These developments have built upon practice developed elsewhere in the world, particularly in North America, Australia and some European countries. Undergraduate education has seen application of new educational methods, including Problem-Based Learning (PBL) in Liverpool, Glasgow and Manchester; clinical and communications skills teaching; early patient contact; and the extensive adoption of Internet (World Wide Web) support and Computer-Aided Learning (CAL). In postgraduate education – driven by European directives and practices, changes in specialist training and the needs of community medicine – new courses have developed around the membership and fellowship examinations for the royal colleges. Examples of these changes driven by medical education expertise include the STEP course for the Royal College of Surgeons of England, and distance-learning courses for diplomas in primary care and rheumatology, as well as examples of good practice as adopted by the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Continuing Medical Education (CME) are also important aspects of medical education now being developed in the United Kingdom, and are evolving to meet the needs of individuals at all stages of their careers.

Bodies closely involved in medical educational developments and their review include the General Medical Council, SCOPME (the Standing Committee on Postgraduate Medical Education), all the medical royal colleges and medical schools, and the British Medical Association through its Board of Medical Education. The National Health Service (NHS) is also involved in education and is a key to facilitation of CPD/CME as the major employer of doctors within the United Kingdom.

Several learned societies embrace medical education at all levels. These include ASME (the Association for the Study of Medical Education), MADEN (the Medical and Dental Education Network) and AMEE (the Association for Medical Education in Europe). Specialist journals are devoted to research reports relating to medical educational developments

(e.g. Academic Medicine, Health Care Education, Medical Education). The more general medical journals (e.g. British Medical Journal, New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons) also carry articles on educational matters. Finally, the World Wide Web (WWW) is a valuable source of information relating to courses and course development and other aspects of modern medical education.

The UK government, which controls the number of students entering medical training, has recently increased the quota to take account of increasing demands for trained sta? from the NHS. More than 5,700 students – 3,300 women and 2,400 men – are now entering UK medical schools annually with nearly 28,600 at medical school in any one year, and an attrition rate of about 8–10 per cent. This loss may in part be due to the changes in university-funding arrangements. Students now pay all or part of their tuition fees, and this can result in medical graduates owing several thousand pounds when they qualify at the end of their ?ve-year basic quali?cation course. Doctors wishing to specialise need to do up to ?ve years (sometimes more) of salaried ‘hands-on’ training in house or registrar (intern) posts.

Though it may be a commonly held belief that most students enter medicine for humanitarian reasons rather than for the ?nancial rewards of a successful medical career, in developed nations the prospect of status and rewards is probably one incentive. However, the cost to students of medical education along with the widespread publicity in Britain about an under-resourced, seriously overstretched health service, with sta? working long hours and dealing with a rising number of disgruntled patients, may be affecting recruitment, since the number of applicants for medical school has dropped in the past year or so. Although there is still competition for places, planners need to bear this falling trend in mind.

Another factor to be considered for the future is the nature of the medical curriculum. In Britain and western Europe, the age structure of a probably declining population will become top-heavy with senior citizens. In the ?nancial interests of the countries affected, and in the personal interests of an ageing population, it would seem sensible to raise the pro?le of preventive medicine – traditionally rather a Cinderella subject – in medical education, thus enabling people to live healthier as well as longer lives. While learning about treatments is essential, the increasing specialisation and subspecialisation of medicine in order to provide expensive, high-technology care to a population, many of whom are suffering from preventable illnesses originating in part from self-indulgent lifestyles, seems insupportable economically, unsatisfactory for patients awaiting treatment, and not necessarily professionally ful?lling for health-care sta?. To change the mix of medical education would be a di?cult long-term task but should be worthwhile for providers and recipients of medical care.... medical education

Medical Accidents

Legal guidance sought by the sufferer when making claims against a doctor or health authority is available from: Action for Victims of Medical Accidents (AVMA), Bank Chambers, 1 London Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 3TP. ... medical accidents

National Institute Of Medical Herbalists

Est. 1864. The oldest and only body of professional medical herbalists, now known as phytotherapists, in Europe. Membership by examination after completion of course of training. A stipulated period of clinical practice must be completed before the final examination is taken.

Members are directly involved with patient-care, carrying full responsibility for their recommendations, prescribing medication suitable to the individual biological requirements of each patient. Their role includes patient-counselling, health education and research.

Official recognition of the Institute, indicating its growing importance in the field of medicine came with the historic Grant of Arms by Her Majesty’s College of Heralds. Members regard this as evidence that the Royal Charter of King Henry VIII still stands and that there is no monopoly in healing the sick. See: HENRY VIII, HERBALISTS’ CHARTER.

The Institute played a major role in winning vital concessions for the survival of the herbalist in the passage through Parliament of the Medicine’s Bill. See: MEDICINE’S ACT, 1968.

In connection with the NIMH degree courses in herbal medicine are available at a London University, and Exeter University.

The Institute provides professional indemnity cover for its members, and is engaged in a series of clinical trials to evaluate traditional remedies.

All members are required to adhere to a strict professional Code of Ethics and are entitled to carry after their names the letters of qualification: MNIMH or FNIMH.

Members have a key role in preventative medicine and health promotion in their contribution to improvement of the nation’s health.

Address: 56 Longbrook Street, Exeter EX4 6AH, from which a list of members is obtainable. ... national institute of medical herbalists

Bowel Movements, Abnormal

See faeces, abnormal.... bowel movements, abnormal

Involuntary Movements

Uncontrolled movements of the body. These movements occur spontaneously and may be slow and writhing (see athetosis); rapid, jerky, and random (see chorea); or predictable, stereotyped, and affecting 1 part of the body, usually the face (see tic). They may be a feature of a disease (for example, Huntington’s disease) or a side effect of certain drugs used to treat psychiatric conditions.... involuntary movements


Bodily movements include skeletal movements and movements of soft tissues and body organs. All movement is brought about by the actions of muscles and may be voluntary, involuntary, or a reflex action.

All voluntary skeletal movements are initiated in the part of the cerebrum (main mass of the brain) called the motor cortex. Signals are sent down the spinal cord along nerve fibres, and from there along separate nerve fibres to the appropriate muscles. Control relies on information supplied by sensory nerve receptors, in the muscles and elsewhere, that record the position of the different parts of the body and the amount of contraction in each muscle. This information is integrated in specific regions of the brain (including the cerebellum and basal ganglia) that control the coordination, initiation, and cessation of movement.

Skeletal movements can also occur as simple reflexes in response to certain sensory warning signals; the movement is automatic and less controlled, involving far fewer nerve connections.

Some body movements do not involve the skeleton. For example, eye and tongue movements are brought about by contractions of muscles that are attached to soft tissues. These movements may be voluntary or reflex.

Movements of the internal organs are involuntary; they include the heartbeat and peristalsis.... movement

Statistics, Medical

The collection and analysis of numerical data relating to medicine.

Information on the incidence and prevalence of various conditions is an important aspect of medical statistics.... statistics, medical

American Medical Association

(AMA) a professional organization for US physicians. Its purposes include dissemination of scientific information through journals, a weekly newspaper, and a website; representation of the profession to Congress and state legislatures; keeping members informed of pending health and medical legislation; evaluating prescription and non-prescription drugs; and cooperating with other organizations in setting standards for hospitals and medical schools. The AMA maintains a comprehensive directory of licensed physicians in the US.... american medical association

British Medical Association

(BMA) a professional body for doctors and also an independent trade union dedicated to protecting individual members and the collective interests of doctors. It has a complex structure that allows representation both by geographical area of work and through various committees, including the General Practice Committee (GPC), Central Consultants and Specialists Committee, Junior Doctors Committee, and the Medical Students Committee.... british medical association

Chief Medical Officer

(CMO) the most senior medical adviser to the UK government, who is responsible for providing expert advice on health issues (including health-related emergencies). The CMO is responsible to the Secretary of State for Health and acts as leader of profession for Directors of Public Health. There are separate CMOs appointed to advise the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.... chief medical officer

Clinical Medical Officer

see community health.... clinical medical officer

Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing Therapy

(EMDR) a type of psychotherapy used for the treatment of significant anxiety or distress caused by traumatic events or in the context of *post-traumatic stress disorder. The aim is to separate the emotional from the actual memory of the event in order to reduce the anxiety related to the memory.... eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy

Tests, Medical

Tests may be performed to investigate the cause of symptoms and establish a diagnosis, to monitor the course of a disease, or to assess response to treatment. A medical testing programme carried out on apparently healthy people to find disease at an early stage is known as screening.

The accuracy of a test is based on its sensitivity (ability to correctly identify diseased subjects), specificity (ability to correctly identify healthy subjects), and predictive value.

The predictive value is determined by a mathematical formula that involves the number of accurate test results and the total number of tests performed.

The best tests have both high specificity and high sensitivity, and therefore high predictive value.... tests, medical

General Medical Council

(GMC) the regulatory body of the medical profession in the UK, which was established in 1858 by the Medical Act and has statutory powers. It licenses doctors to practise medicine and has the power to revoke licences or place restrictions on practice. The governing body of the GMC, its Council, comprises 12 members, 6 of which are medically qualified and 6 of which are not. Its purpose is to protect, promote, and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine and medical education and training. Following various high-profile cases involving malpractice, there has been a shift in the role of the GMC from one of simple registration to that of *revalidation of doctors.

GMC website: includes the Council’s guide to Good Medical Practice... general medical council

Helicopter-based Emergency Medical Services

see HEMS.... helicopter-based emergency medical services

Local Medical Committee

(LMC) a group of representatives of the general practitioners working in a defined geographical area. There are separate LMCs for each area, and the members speak on behalf of the local practitioners by whom they are elected. Similar arrangements and responsibilities apply for dentists, pharmacists, and optometrists practising in the NHS outside hospitals.... local medical committee


adj. 1. of or relating to medicine, the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. 2. of or relating to conditions that require the attention of a physician rather than a surgeon. For example, a medical ward of a hospital accommodates patients with such conditions.... medical

Medical Assistant

1. a health service worker who is not a registered medical practitioner (often in the armed forces) working in association with a doctor to undertake minor treatments and preliminary assessments. In poorer countries, particularly in rural areas where qualified resources are short (e.g. China), agricultural workers receive limited training in health care and continue in a dual role as barefoot doctors; elsewhere, limited training concentrates more on environmental issues: the workers so trained are known as sanitarians. 2. in the USA, a person – licensed or unlicensed, certified or uncertified – who provides administrative and/or clinical assistance in a physician’s office or other health-care facility. Administrative duties typically include filling out insurance forms, billing, and bookkeeping, while clinical duties may include taking medical histories, preparing patients to be examined, and preparing blood and urine specimens.... medical assistant

Medical Certificate

a certificate stating a doctor’s diagnosis of a patient’s medical condition, disability, or fitness to work (see statement of fitness for work). It is known informally as a ‘fit note’ (formerly a ‘sick note’). See Appendix 8.... medical certificate

Medical Committee

see local medical committee.... medical committee

Medical Emergency Team

(MET) a team, usually consisting of a group of physicians, anaesthetists, and senior nurses, that can be summoned urgently to attend to patients with deteriorating medical conditions. The aim is to prevent further deterioration and to decide if enhanced levels of care are appropriate (e.g. on the high-dependency or intensive care units). The team will also assume the role of the *cardiac-arrest team.... medical emergency team

Medical Jurisprudence

the study or practice of the legal aspects of medicine. See forensic medicine.... medical jurisprudence

Medical Tourism

travelling internationally to undergo surgery or otherwise be treated for an illness or condition. This may be done to save money, to avoid having to wait for treatment, or to receive a treatment not available in the home country.... medical tourism

Medical Ethics

the standards of conduct required of medical professionals and also the academic study of ethical issues arising from the practice of medicine. From the *Hippocratic oath onwards, standards are designed to reassure that professionals subscribing to them will act in the *best interests of, and will avoid harming, their patients. Today they lay greater emphasis on patient *autonomy, while the contemporary study of medical ethics is concerned with a great variety of complex societal and social issues related to medical practice and research. Medical ethics is now taught in all medical schools in the UK as an essential part of a professional training, and the wider field of *bioethics is becoming a recognized academic specialty. See also clinical ethics; feminist ethics; public health ethics; publication ethics; virtue ethics.

Guidance on good medical practice from the website of the General Medical Council... medical ethics

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