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It’s 10pm on a Sunday night and all of my family and I are watching and laughing at Gogglebox on Channel 4. Except for my teenage son, who is upstairs in his bedroom. He is studying hard because he has decided that he wants to be a doctor. He’s started his vocation early — he’s only 14. …Read the Rest

I have been doing some teaching recently. The final meds have been coming in for some last-minute prep for their exams. They’re a smart bunch and, for the most part, confidant, warm and don’t take themselves too seriously. Much as I’m enjoying the experience, they sure do ask a lot of questions and seem to …Read the Rest

It is usually at this time of the year — as chatter about the ongoing Leaving Certificate examinations reaches a peak — that the nightmares come back. I arrive late for my Irish exam, unable to recall a word of Irish or a single interesting thing that Peig Sayers might have once said. Or I’m …Read the Rest

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In: Blog, Disease information, Rheumatology, Videos

Comments Off on Diet, supplements and dietary fads in arthritis

One of the questions I’m most frequently asked by patients is whether diet plays any role in the management of arthritis. If one were to believe what they read in the papers about dietary remedies, or in the number of books promoting diets or supplements claiming to cure arthritis, one would be forgiven for wondering whether they …Read the Rest

Whereas I am long past the point where I have realised I can’t know everything, I like to think I’m good at keeping up to date. I keep abreast of the medical literature, attend conferences and tick all of the necessary CME boxes to keep the Medical Council happy. And yet, as I pass the …Read the Rest

The hedonistic lifestyles of certain musicians will be familiar to many readers, but the unexpected dangers of playing a musical instrument may not. Aware that I have an interest in musicians’ health, last week a medical colleague alerted my attention on Twitter to an interesting article in the October 2013 edition of Der Hautarzt (German dermatology journal), …Read the Rest

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In: Blog, Medical Independent, Review, The practice of Medicine

Comments Off on The Bad Doctor will see you know.

When’s the last time you read a comic? As a boy I loved reading The Beano and later, like lots of other adolescent boys, immersed myself in the more violent worlds of Action and 2000AD. As a medical student, I became attracted to the subversive allure of Fat Freddy’s Cat, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers …Read the Rest

When was the last time you went to the funeral of one of your patients? Whereas I have had patients with whom I developed strong relationships over the years, whose funerals I might have attended had I known them in any other capacity than as their doctor, I tend not to go. Like many doctors …Read the Rest

Last weekend I was rear ended and my sturdy 2006 Volvo V-70, which I had planned on driving for another few years, was written off. As I got out of the car, I became aware that my neck was painful but naturally declined an onlooker’s offer of calling for an ambulance. The embarrassing prospect of …Read the Rest

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In: Blog, Medical Independant, The practice of Medicine

Comments Off on The Matrix of Healthcare

In the 1999 movie The Matrix, the story’s hero Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, learns how to slow down time. With special training, our hero’s perception and reflexes become so highly attuned to his environment that he is able to anticipate and dodge bullets, blows and kicks — while remaining unflinchingly calm. There are days in …Read the Rest