New web resources for docs and patients


SkinCareGuide, an international medical publisher and marketing company, recently launched www.SkinTherapyLetter.ca, a new source of online dermatology information for physicians and other health care professionals.

The web site is intended to be an authoritative desktop reference source designed to meet the needs of Canadian physicians. The original Skin Therapy Letter has grown to include 12 interlinked dermatology-related web sites for US and Canadian physicians and their patients. The newly launched site for Canadian physicians, SkinTherapyLetter.ca, connects all of the information into one web site.

The new web site provides a unique and peer-reviewed source for new treatment information. Included are past issues of Skin Therapy Letter and various teaching aids like A-Details (academic drug presentations), Continuing Medical Education, and Meeting Abstracts and Proceedings. There is also extensive content dealing with approved treatments as well as clinically balanced reports on disease indications awaiting formal regulatory approval.

Along with the physicians’ web site, SkinCareGuide also features a series of guides designed for patients. It is written by recognized international dermatologists and provides third-party content for patients to learn more about their skin condition. It includes information about gold standard drugs as well as new treatment advances.

End-of-life care

Hospice Foundation of America (HFA) recently launched www.hospicefoundation.org, its redesigned web site geared to patients and caregivers.

The site is intended as a gateway to the best information on hospice care for caregivers or anyone wanting more information about the concept of hospice and care at the end of life.

HFA’s site includes a Caregiver’s Corner for family caregivers and paid professional caregivers that offers reading suggestions, tips on end-of-life caregiving, stress tests, and other resources.

The site also provides visitors an opportunity to “Ask an Expert” and receive answers, by e-mail, from hospice physician William Lamers, an authority on pain management and hospice care, or Kenneth Doka, a professor of gerontology who is known internationally for his work on grief and bereavement.

Other features include:

• An End-of-Life Info Section that provides information on dying and what to expect as your loved one or patient is near death, after the death, and information on pain and patient comfort.

• A new search engine that helps organize end-of-life resources and literature.

• An opportunity to register for HFA’s free e-newsletter, with the latest information on hospice care, provided monthly at no cost to subscribers.

Blood transfusion

In December Canadian Blood Services launched transfusionmedicine.ca, which they call a “one-stop stop for health-care professionals to get blood transfusion information.”

The site provides current and reliable information about blood and blood components and blood transfusion to health care professionals. In consultation with hospital stakeholders, the site was designed to serve as a comprehensive web-based portal containing information on all aspects of transfusion medicine from donation and pre-transfusion to administration.

The web site includes information on:

• Donation—standard processes that occur at Canadian Blood Services before blood and its components are issued and transported to hospitals for transfusion.

• Pretransfusion—all aspects of component handling from the time the blood component leaves the blood centre until the component is issued for transfusion.

• Administration—blood product management from the time the product is retrieved from the hospital transfusion service until the transfusion is discontinued.

• Complications—complications, transfusion reactions, and adverse events so clinicians can exercise judgment to determine if the expected benefits of transfusion outweigh the risks.

Tax time is almost here

Income tax season is right around the corner, and you are probably gathering up all the forms and documents you or your accountant will need to prepare your tax return. Remember that the Negotiated Benefit entitlement payments are considered taxable income by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). BCMA issued a T4A by 28 February 2005 to each physician who personally claimed and received any Negotiated Benefits in 2004, and for any physician covered under the Physicians’ Disability Insurance Plan for the amount of the premium attributable to the physician’s PDI benefit. Please make sure you include the total amount shown on the T4A in your income when preparing your personal 2004 tax return. If you lose or misplace your T4A, you can e-mail benefits@bcma.bc.ca to request a replacement.

The amount of taxable benefit shown on the T4A is the total of the benefits you received in 2004. A breakdown of this amount is shown on the reverse of your T4A. If you are having your tax return prepared by a financial advisor or accountant, please give him or her your T4A (and if you are faxing it, make sure the breakdown shown on the reverse is sent as well to avoid a delay in the completion of your return).

Your consent is required

To comply with the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), the BCMA will not release any personal information regarding your membership, negotiated benefits, insurance, income, or T4/T4A to a third party unless you have provided the BCMA with a completed Benefits and Income Consent Form.

If you anticipate that others may make inquiries on your behalf, please visit the BCMA web site at www.bcma.org, where the form can be found, print and complete it for each individual you are authorizing to make such inquiries, and fax it to Benefits at 604 736-2961. You can also e-mail us at benefits@bcma.bc.ca for a copy.

Please note that in addition to financial advisors and other individuals unrelated to you, “third parties” include your spouse and other family members.

—Sandie Braid, CEBS
BCMA Benefits Department

Book reviews

Bloody Practice: Doctoring in the Cariboo and Around the World. By Sterling Haynes, MD. Prince George: Caitlin Press, 2003. ISBN 0-920576-97-4. 143 pages. $18.95.

Bloody Practice is a collection of short stories and essays written by Dr Sterling Haynes. Some of the stories have been previously published in the Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine, the Medical Post, Alberta Reviews, Family Practice, and the Harvard Medical Alumni Bulletin.

The book is divided into two sections. The first is a collection of frontier medical stories, most of which are drawn from Dr Haynes’s many years as a rural practitioner in Williams Lake, BC. Many of the stories come from being on call in the old clapboard hospital with peeling gray paint and a roof that leaked water into the emergency department. He says, “I was the newest doc and got my share of ‘being on call’ for most of the murders that occurred on weekends as well as the massive trauma associated with mines, sawmills, and logging.” With self-deprecating humor he relates how he sweated as he removed the hatchet from a patient’s brain under telephone guidance from a Vancouver neurosurgeon, how he hovered over the patient terrified that the venous sinus he had closed would start bleeding again, then gaped in amazement when the patient eloped to watch his buddy (who had implanted the hatchet in his head during an argument) compete in the bronc riding at the Williams Lake Stampede. In other stories a plane crash was attended by float plane with a stretcher strapped to the pontoons; transport for the injured patient was provided by the local mortician whose hearse doubled as an ambulance. He made house calls on schizophrenic patients who were armed with shotguns. Autopsies were performed in the morgue, which was located behind the altar in the local chapel. A makeshift canvas curtain screened it off from the church; there was no heat, refrigeration, or running water and the lighting came from two 40-watt bulbs.

The second section of the book is a less cohesive series of stories from Dr Haynes’s experiences as a British Colonial Officer in Nigeria and from his 7 years’ practising medicine in Alabama. He tells the story of the death of George Washington caused by overenthusiastic bloodletting by his physicians. There are travel essays and stories about medicine in Panama, Belize, Cuba, and Costa Rica. There are also personal reflections on his interest in the American Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, on the experience of having an MRI, and on the humor of being able to overhear cell phone and airplane cockpit conversations via his hearing aides.

—Joan R. Stogryn, MD

Birds of the Raincoast: Habits and Habitat. By Harvey Thommasen and Kevin Hutchings with R. Wayne Campbell and Mark Hume. Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing. 2004. ISBN 1-55017-300-6. 222 pages. $44.95.

As a frequent cover-to-cover reader of the BCMJ, I am well aware of the name Dr Harvey Thommasen. He has authored many articles for the Journal and is known for his research in primary care in rural settings. I was unaware that Dr Thommasen was such a definitive resource on birds that inhabit the coastal areas of British Columbia. This book is a “must have” for birdwatchers and exceeds anything I have on my coffee table. Even if you are not a naturalist, you would want this book for the pictures. The photography is outstanding and you will wonder how the birds could be captured on film so close, as if humans were non-existent. The text that follows the photographs is highly informative and the chapters are divided into the various habitats that comprise the coast of BC. A table at the back of the book provides a list of birds and a checklist of seasonal appearances and main habitat. Whether used as a photography book or as a reference for a keen birder, this book will be a frequently read addition in your library.


New immunization programs

In September 2004, BC’s Ministry of Health announced province-wide funding to increase immunization programs aimed at protecting children from varicella, meningococcal C, and influenza. This means more protection for children from these diseases.

Varicella vaccine

• Beginning in 2005, this vaccine is offered to kindergarten students, grade 6 students, and all children born in 2004 when they reach their first birthday. 
• Other children should be vaccinated if they are at high risk and so should their household contacts. 
• The illness is more severe if it occurs in teenagers, adults, or individuals with a weakened immune system. 
• To prevent getting chicken pox, the vaccine is recommended.

Meningococcal C vaccine

• New this year for grade 9 students. BC already offers this vaccine to 1-year-olds and grade 6 students. 
• Risk of meningitis is highest among children under 1 year of age and peaks again between the ages of 15–19 years. 
• There are 35–50 cases reported in BC each year. 
• To avoid serious problems from this infection, it is recommended that infants and teens have this vaccination.

Influenza vaccine

• This new program seeks to vaccinate children 6–23 months, plus all household contacts and childcare providers of children aged 0–23 months and women in the third trimester of pregnancy. 
• This program started in October 2004. 
• This immunization is recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
• Each year, many young people are hospitalized for influenza.

Useful web sites
• BC Health Files
• Canadian Paediatric Society: www.caringforkids.cps.ca
• Health Canada

—Jill Rhynard
Interior Health Authority


2, 4, and 6 months
Þ Diphtheria
Haemophilus influenza
Type B
Þ Hepatitis B
Þ Pneumococcal conjugate

6–23 months
Þ Influenza (2 doses)
(during flu season only)

12 months
Þ Measles
Þ Varicella
Þ Meningococcal C

18 months
Þ Diphtheria
Haemophilus Influenza 
Type B
Þ Measles
Þ Pneumococcal conjugate

Þ Diphtheria
Þ Varicella*

Grade 6
(These vaccines are necessary only if the student has not previously had the vaccination.)
Þ Hepatitis B
Þ Varicella*
Þ Meningococcal C

Grade 9
Þ Diphtheria
Þ Meningococcal C

Þ represents one injection. 
* Varicella is given only if the child has had no history of the disease or if he or she has not already received the vaccination.


Your annual opportunity to mingle with colleagues!

Reminisce with old colleagues or meet new ones—join us at this year’s BCMA Annual Convention, 11 June 2005 at the Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond, BC.

The day’s meetings begin at 7 a.m. and will be complemented by the President’s Luncheon, Awards Ceremony, and a delectable Dinner Banquet.

Registration forms will be available in the April issue of the BCMJ. Save time by registering in advance! For information call Ms Misha Gardiner at 604 638-2877 in Vancouver, or toll free at 1 800 665-2262, local 2877.


Palliative care

The Vancouver Home Hospice Program provides 24-hour consultative support to physicians and nurses caring for their palliative patients in their homes in Vancouver.

Please note new numbers: 
To reach us in Vancouver: 
Daytime: 604 709-6478
After hours/weekends/stats: 604 875-4945
Rest of BC: 1 877 711-5757




Sandie Braid, CEBS, Joan R. Stogryn, MD, Heidi M. Oetter, MD, Jill Rhynard. Pulsimeter. BCMJ, Vol. 47, No. 2, March, 2005, Page(s) 86 - News.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

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