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Medical student selection: the quest for the Grail

Nendaz M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20467

Is striving to find the best predictive tools to select students, including professional behaviours, the best option? Or should efforts rather be put into the conditions and quality of medical education and training, by offering feedback and assessment, using portfolios with mentoring, guiding career choices to reflect society’s needs, taking into account local sociocultural issues, and training faculty members?

Harnessing unique experiences to build competence: Medical student engagement in frontline care during the COVID-19 pandemic

Klasen JM, Bingisser R, Meienberg A, Bogie B
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20480

As countries experience subsequent pandemic waves and identified variants of SARS-CoV-2, the lessons learned from the current interventions may help guide medical education leaders across the globe in their decisions concerning how to promote medical student engagement in frontline care during a continuing public health crisis.

The SilenT AtRial FIBrillation (STAR-FIB) study programme – design and rationale

Original article
Nozica N, Lam A, Goulouti E, Elchinova E, Spirito A, Branca M, Servatius H, Noti F, Seiler J, Baldinger SH, Haeberlin A, de Marchi SF, Asatryan B, Rodondi N, Donzé J, Aujesky D, Tanner H, Reichlin T, Jüni P, Roten L
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20421

Anticoagulation of patients with screen-detected atrial fibrillation may prevent ischaemic strokes. The STAR-FIB study programme aims to determine the age- and sex-specific prevalence of silent atrial fibrillation and to develop a clinical prediction model to identify patients at risk of undiagnosed atrial fibrillation in a hospitalised patient population.

Use of psychotropic substances among elite athletes – a narrative review

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Exner J, Bitar R, Berg X, Pichler EM, Herdener M, Seifritz E, Claussen MC
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20412

Knowledge on the underlying causes and patterns of substance use, as well as the prevalence of substance use disorders in professional sports, is still limited. High prevalence of various substances (i.e., nicotine, prescription opioids) may indicate potentially harmful patterns of use, requiring further research. Specific preventive and therapeutic concepts for the treatment of substance use disorders in elite athletes should be developed.

Outcome of open inguinal hernia repair using sutureless self-gripping mesh – a retrospective single cohort study

Original article
Schnyder F, Cabalzar-Wondberg D, Raptis DA, Eisner L, Zuber M, Weixler B
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20455

This study shows that open inguinal hernia repair using a self-gripping mesh is feasible, with a short operation time and low hernia recurrence rates in a peripheral teaching hospital. However, significant differences in neurological disturbances dependent on the surgeons experience were identified. Especially younger patients should be operated on by an experienced surgeon to reduce neurological disturbances and neuralgia.

Valproate in pregnancy: authors’ reply

Author reply to technical comment
Spoendlin J, Blozik E, Graber S, Rauch M, Marxer C, Ruegg S, Meier C, Winterfeld U, Panchaud A
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20481

Valproate in pregnancy: comment from the SAPP

Technical comment
von Mandach U, Hösli I, Swiss Academy for Perinatal Pharmacology (SAPP)
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20476

Adherence to, and patient convenience of, prolonged-release tacrolimus in stable kidney and liver transplant recipients after conversion from immediate-release tacrolimus in routine clinical practice in Switzerland

Original article
Bonani M, Balaphas A, Bedino G, Bühler L, Dutkowski P, Fausch K, Gluderer S, Graf N, Hirt-Minkowski P, Müllhaupt B, Schönholzer C, Schulz MM, Venzin R, Wüthrich RP
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20453

Non-adherence to immunosuppressive therapy in patients following solid organ transplantation is associated with an increased risk of transplant rejection and graft loss. A high pill burden can adversely affect patients’ implementation of their treatment regimens and may lead to omitting doses of medication. The aim of this study was to investigate medication implementation adherence in liver and kidney transplant recipients converted from twice-daily, immediate-release tacrolimus to once-daily, prolonged-release tacrolimus.

Cohort profile: SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 hospitalised patients in Switzerland

Original article
Thiabaud A, Iten A, Balmelli C, Senn L, Troillet N, Widmer A, Flury D, Schreiber PW, Vázquez M, Damonti L, Buettcher M, Vuichard-Gysin D, Kuhm C, Cusini A, Riedel T, Nussbaumer-Ochsner Y, Gaudenz R, Heininger U, Berger C, Zucol F, Bernhard-Stirnemann S, Corti N, Zimmermann P, Uka A, Niederer-Loher A, Gardiol C, Roelens M, Keiser O
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20475

In cooperation with the Federal Office of Public Health, a surveillance database was set up in February 2020 to monitor hospitalised patients with COVID-19, in addition to their mandatory reporting system. The surveillance system has been successfully initiated and provides a robust set of data for Switzerland by including about 80% (compared with official statistics) of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 hospitalised patients, with similar age and comorbidity distributions. It adds detailed information on the epidemiology, risk factors and clinical course of these cases and, therefore, is a valuable addition to the existing mandatory reporting.

Enhanced-view totally extraperitoneal approach in emergency ventral incision hernia repair: a case report

Original article
Nazeeruddin S, Butti F, Herren G
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20423

The rate of emergency operations for incarcerated and strangulated ventral hernias is about 10–15%, with worse outcomes than elective surgery. A recent laparoscopic technique called the enhanced-view totally extraperitoneal approach (eTEP) was shown to be indicated in elective repair of ventral and incisional hernias, and has a lower rate of postoperative morbidity than the Rives-Stoppa technique, while having the same indications. However, use of the eTEP laparoscopic technique in emergency ventral hernia repair has not yet been reported.

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