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I’ve been lucky enough to be working with a new Healthcare startup called Clear.md and have been preparing short educational video’s for use on their platform for my patients and for anyone else who’s interested. They will be short, 30-60 second answers to questions I’m asked as a rheumatologist all of the time.  We’ve had …Read the Rest

In my first few months working as a rheumatologist a referral letter arrived from a local doctor about a lady with rheumatoid arthritis. She had recently moved to the West of Ireland from the UK, where her original diagnosis had been made. Her GP had originally referred her to a general physician in a small …Read the Rest

1. Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) was first described by an Irish man Kerry physician, Bernard Connor first described the condition in 1693 in a skeleton  from a church graveyard. If you look carefully at the above illustration from that skeleton you can see how the spine is fused. 2. It takes an average of 8 years to diagnose …Read the Rest

What is Gout?

May 03

  What is it like to Have Gout? Gout, for anyone has experienced it, is one of the most painful joint conditions that you can get. It typically causes intense pain, swelling, and redness in joints – usually lasting a few days at a time.  This is often in the big toe but also can …Read the Rest

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Treatments for Gout are broken down into two broad categories.  The first is what we use for in acute attacks and the second group is really what we use to prevent attacks coming up.   Treating Acute Gout Most patients who have Gout in it’s early stages get attacks once in a while (for example affecting …Read the Rest

I’m delighted to introduce my first guest blog from a patient. She articulates very well the challenges of finding reliable and relevant online information and communities that are directly relevant to patients. It also includes a call to action for Doctors to get online.  Generic versus (very) personal information Personally.. I don’t want to be …Read the Rest

A few things that medical meeting organisers could learn from the organisers of TEDMED.   1. Make presentations shorter. The presentations at TEDMED are 18 minutes long. This allows for large numbers of presentations with finely tuned ideas to be presented in a polished digestible format to an audience.  George Bernard Shaw said. “I’m sorry this …Read the Rest

I’m at at the JFK centre in Washington this week to attend a meeting with big ambitions for healthcare. TEDMED is a meeting which celebrates (not a word often used in the context of healthcare meetings, trust me) the imagination, innovation and inspiration that occurs at the intersection of science, technology, government, business, art and …Read the Rest

Rheumatology healthcare professionals need a Twitter Hashtag to assist in the education of specialists through the the exchange of clinical and practical information relevant to rheumatology. It is my intention that the Hashtag, #rheumedu will be used predominantly by healthcare professionals involved in the care of patients with musculoskeletal problems (but of course anyone who …Read the Rest

The development of digital technology has fundamentally altered (and in some cases decimated) the record industry, newsprint media, retail, publishing and advertising industries. Huge fortunes have been made and large institutions have crumbled with the march of technology. Those of who need convincing that medicine will be immune to these forces of change in these areas had better read Dr. Eric Topol’s book ‘The Creative Destruction of Medicine’.