Primary healthcare news, information & resources

What we've been reading - February

Keeping up with medicine is made easier when we share clinical stories with our colleagues. On this page we share brief learnings and articles that have interested our GP liaison team during the month of February. If you come across an article, video or resource you think clinical and management teams should know about, send it to

Startling difference in rates of most cancers for Māori - thoughts from Dr Jo Scott-Jones

The latest figures available for new registrations of cancer make sobering reading and may be worth highlighting in a practice clinical meeting if you are talking about your Māori health plans, or how to improve screening uptake. 

We all know the reasons why we do these things, we all have memories and stories about individual patients, these figures - showing again the startling difference in rates of most cancers for Māori add to those stories and challenge us to do better - in early detection and referral, but also in prevention. 

All of these cancers are associated with smoking, many with obesity and many with diets high in processed foods and red meat. In the words of the great song "we didn't start the fire" but we can help to put it out. 

Periorifical dermatitis - thoughts from Dr Jo Scott-Jones

My patient had found that over the years, steroids "worked" until she stopped using them, then her face would flare until she started again.

Her skin was thinning and she was seeking stronger creams as the over-the-counter stuff wasn't working.

She bounced away from me when I told her I wasn't going to give her stronger steroids, she found an alternative source, but eventually came back in a much worse state.

It was a nightmare helping to get her out of the cycle of steroid use. We decided to moisturise, moisturise, moisturise.

I'm still convinced that the major cause of her improvement (and return to a near normal complexion now) was time and stopping the medication, but had I thought of it at the time, this article in DermnetNZ would have given me a few more options than we tried.

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