RACGP election hots up

The upcoming RACGP federal presidential election race is hotting up. NSW rural GP (and current Vice President) Dr Christopher Mitchell has already put his hand up for the top job, and now incumbent President, WA’s Dr Vasantha Preetham, has thrown her hat in the ring. Vasantha is only the second President to seek a second consecutive term, although her job is cut out for her as Dr Mitchell has some factional heavy hitters behind him. Prof Peter Mudge (Chair, Tasmanian RACGP faculty), Dr Di O’Halloran (Chair, NSW & ACT faculty), Dr Jane Smith (Chair, Queensland faculty), and past RACGP president Dr Peter Joseph all support Dr Mitchell’s candidacy, as does local GP Dr Olga Ward. While the RACGP has expanded its membership and been running smoothly under Vasantha’s presidency, time will tell whether stability is enough to sway members. Postal ballots are open until July 16. Further info (including candidate statements) can be found at www.racgp.org.au

Fake bus stops

German nursing homes have found a novel way to stop Alzheimer’s patients from wandering off: fake bus stops. Benrath Senior Centre in Düsseldorf built a fake bus stop outside, so when patients attempt to leave, they wait at the stop for a bus that never comes. Staff then engage the patient (who forgets why they were waiting for the bus) and invite them back inside for a “cup of coffee”. The idea has proved popular enough that other German nursing homes are adopting the strategy.

Oral sex throat cancer?

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that throat cancer is on the rise – and oral sex is the culprit. HPV infection, commonly linked with cervical cancer (from sexual intercourse) has now been linked to cancer of the upper throat from oral sex. With 6,000 cases per year and an annual increase of up to 10% in men younger than 60, researchers say the HPV-linked throat cancers could overtake cervical cancer in the next decade. The HPV infections likely began decades ago as the Baby Boomers were reaching adulthood, and only now are affecting throat cancer cases, mostly among men and women in their 50s. Stocks in flavoured condoms are set to soar!

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