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The Institute of Medicine has released a report calling for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) to be renamed Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID).

The report follows decades of debate over the existence of the disorder and the trivialising of its effect under the label ‘fatigue’. The authors of the report argue that the new name will be important to legitimising the disease by giving it a more accurate name. PPE and HSPS applicants would be interested to read how recognition of illnesses historically tie into political ideas of rebranding.

Some of the debate has reflected the unknown cause of the disease; there is currently no clinical method to diagnose the disease either through blood tests or brain scans, which therefore diminishes access to support and healthcare. The condition is covered in less than than one-third of medical school curricula according to the Institute of Medicine, further suggesting that without objective clinical standards to check against, the disorder becomes ignored in the medical community.

Medicine applicants should therefore read further into the idea of ‘the elusive diagnosis’ where symptoms are not easily determinable.

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