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  • A Giant has fallenReuel S. Amdur
    December 8, 2013

    Following Nelson Mandela's death we are being deluged by hagiography. Indeed there is much to praise, but better we should try to understand his role in history. To begin, it is clear that the festering sore of apartheid could not survive indefinitely, with a privileged white minority astride a much larger subjected black minority and growing international isolation. The seething unrest threw up Mandela as the leader and spokesman for the unrest, but had it not been Mandela it would have been others. In that sense, he was not indispensible. The anthropologist Leslie White, writing in the American Sociological Review back in 1947, expressed the matter eloquently.

  • SchizophreniaReuel S. Amdur
    December 8, 2013

    In the popular mind, there is often a misidentification of schizophrenia with dissociative identity disorder, known to the general public as multiple personality. These are two quite distinct conditions. Let me illustrate from my own experiences. First, schizophrenia.

  • Alternatives to Post Office cutReuel S. Amdur
    January 29, 2014

    Be careful what you wish for. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) urged Canada to turn the Post Office into a crown corporation, at arm's length from the government. Well, a crown corporation is what they and all of us got, beginning in 1981. Big mistake.

  • Harper takes the Circus to IsraelReuel S. Amdur
    January 29, 2014

    The first thing to note about Stephen Harper's trip to Israel is the make-up of the entourage: who was included and who not. And, incidentally, who is paying?

  • The Affordable Housing CrunchReuel S. Amdur
    February 18, 2014

    On February 3, Carleton University held a public forum on the issue of affordable housing, featuring Carleton University professors Ian Lee and Benjamin Gianni, as well as Jennifer Keesmaat, Toronto's Chief Planner, and Brock Carlton, CEO of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

  • Shift workReuel S. Amdur
    March 6, 2014

    Anton Aanonsen was a company doctor at an oil enterprise in a small community on the coast of Norway. In his practice he began to see a trend among workers that captured his interest. The number of workers on the night shift who had health problems was relatively high. His examination of the issue led to his 1964 ground-breaking book Shift Work and Health.

  • Sleep and its difficultiesReuel S. Amdur
    March 6, 2014

    It is not completely clear as to why we need sleep, but its necessity is. It is something we share with pretty well all of the other members of the animal kingdom. Sleep appears to give the body and brain the opportunity to repair, lessen stress and anxiety, and aid in memory and learning.

  • A strange debateReuel S. Amdur
    March 21, 2014

    "Israel and Palestine, a Path to Peace." That was the topic for discussion at the National Capital Branch of the Canadian International Council on March 6. There were three presenters, Michael Bell, a former ambassador to Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, and Thomas Woodley, President of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME). It was a strange discussion.

  • Living with Chronic IllnessReuel S. Amdur
    March 21, 2014

    Most of us, especially if we live to old age, will find ourselves suffering from one or more chronic conditions. In most of these, it is up to us to decide how we cope. Not deciding is also a decision, but one that makes us an object, not a subject, not a participant in our own care.

  • The Health Centre Model of CareReuel S. Amdur
    April 27, 2014

    The old fashioned model of medical care, still widely practiced, consists of a single family physician practicing solo. The pattern is now shifting to other arrangements, such as a group of physicians working jointly, with varying degrees of integration and sharing of staff and resources. In 1970, Quebec's Castonguay-Nepveu Commission called for a province-wide rollout of centres locaux des services communautaires-local centres of community services. These centres were to be part of a web of health and social services, they being the front line, providers of primary care. In addition to physicians, the centres wee to employ nurses, social workers, psychologists, and other health professionals, and the focus was to be one of social medicine. It was an effort to move away from a medical model of care to a more holistic approach.

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