News in brief: Celebrity receptionist charged with theft from rheumatology clinic; Tocilizumab monotherapy induces remission in GCA; Gender disparity in citations a career barrier for female academics in medicine

Celebrity receptionist charged with theft from rheumatology clinic

A celebrity who worked as a receptionist at a Sydney rheumatology clinic has been charged with allegedly stealing $52,350 from the practice.

Arabella Del Busso was charged in Sutherland Local Court with two counts of stealing $35,785 from Rheumatology Specialist Care in Kogarah and $16,565 from the clinic’s Randwick branch, according to the Mail Online.

The former model and reality TV star was reported to have worked at the two clinics between September 2019 and February 2020 when the alleged offences were committed.

The clinic is now called Integrated Specialist Medical Care.

Ms Del Busso made headlines with her troubled relationship with NRL player Josh Reynolds and her role in reality TV show SAS Australia.

Tocilizumab monotherapy induces remission in GCA

The IL-6 receptor inhibitor tocilizumab has shown promising effects as monotherapy on remission of giant cell arthritis when given after an ultra-short pulse of glucocorticoids.

In a proof of concept trial in 18 patients with GCA, Swiss researchers gave patients with newly diagnosed GCA a single IV infusion of tocilizumab, after three days of IV methylprednisolone, followed by weekly subcutaneous tocilizumab injections for a year.

Overall, 14 of 18 patients (78%) had remission within 24 weeks (mean time to first remission 11 weeks) and 13 showed no relapses up to 52 weeks. The mean time to first partial remission was six weeks.

“Overall, our study suggests that there is a high potential to further spare glucocorticoids when treating giant cell arteritis with tocilizumab,” the study authors said in Lancet Rheumatology.

Gender disparity in citations a career barrier for female academics in medicine

Women face an additional barrier to advancement in academic medicine because their articles published in medical journals have fewer citations than those written by men, a US study shows

An analysis of 5,554 articles published in 5 high-impact journals showed that, 36% had a female primary author, and 26% had a female senior author.

However, articles with women as primary author were cited a median of 36 times in other journals, compared to 54 citations of articles with male primary authors.

As senior authors, women were cited a median of 37 times, while male counterparts received a median of 51 citations.

The disparity is likely putting female academics at a disadvantage compared to their male peers because the number of citations of peer-reviewed articles is commonly used as a metric for academic recognition, influence, and in professional evaluations and promotion, the study authors said.

“This imbalance will not be solved through hiring and mentoring more women alone,” said senior author, Dr Rachel Werner of the University of Pennsylvania.

“We must also work to ensure that women already in academic medicine are equally valued and promoted for their contributions and their successes. From the journals publishing this work, to academic institutions promoting articles once published, everyone should be invested in bridging this gender divide.”

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