‘I just can’t do it anymore doctor. I’m a wreck’. Mary is a widowed 72 year old lady who has a bad back, sore wrists and shoulders and as a result, has difficulty sleeping and sometimes even dressing herself can be a struggle. These symptoms make her own life difficult but her main concern is …Read the Rest

Have you ever sneakily checked your Twitter feed while having a conversation with someone or felt compelled to check it, bleary eyed in the middle of the night?  Have you ever lied about the amount of time you spend on Twitter or checked your feed for mentions while sitting on the toilet? I have.  Much as I …Read the Rest

Last week I attended a hospital based workshop which focused on how to manage discussions with patients in the setting of an adverse healthcare outcome.  Whereas an acknowledgment of the problem and an appropriate apology are essential, we were also reminded about the importance of encouraging patients to tell their version of events in a …Read the Rest

Over the last couple of years I’ve been putting together a small waiting room library of books for my patients to read. I thought of the idea after visiting a restaurant where they had left  cookery books lying around for patrons to look at while waiting for their food.  The challenge was choosing suitable reading …Read the Rest


In: Blog, The practice of Medicine

Comments Off on Learning healing from an unexpected teacher

I don’t usually get emotional listening to the proceedings of our national parliament but this week found myself overwhelmed and tearful while listening to a speech by our Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. He was apologising, on behalf of the Irish State and its citizens, to women who had been incarcerated in a group of Catholic church …Read the Rest

Anyone who’s been in my office in the last year or so might have noticed two little girls looking down at them from my wall.   The photo caught my eye at an exhibition by Galway photographer Joe O’Shaughnessy a few years ago so I bought it, not really knowing where to put it.  Recently, in an effort …Read the Rest

Although I sometimes flatter myself that patients actually look forward to seeing me for their appointments, the reality is that for most, attending doctor appointments can be a bit of a chore. Medical appointments themselves don’t take that long but the process of getting there often does. There’s the time off work or childcare to consider, finding …Read the Rest

I was a junior doctor when I experienced my first episode. The strange thing is, that despite my medical training (I may have bunked off a few of the relevant lectures in medical school), I didn’t recognise the symptoms. I had lost my appetite and had lost weight.  I wasn’t sleeping and was irritable, angry …Read the Rest

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sit in on a doctors appointment with a patient with a similar illness to yours? Wouldn’t it be interesting to listen in  to see how they approach discussions with their (your) doctor, whether they’ve got the same concerns and side effects as you’re experiencing? Can …Read the Rest

The Middle.

Dec 23


In: Blog, The practice of Medicine

Comments Off on The Middle.

There’s a little boy inside me that still titters at a particular type of smutty British seaside postcard. The range of postcards, popular in the 1950’s, featured double entendre gags illustrated by cartoons of buxom bathing ladies, naughty vicars, randy milkmen and hen pecked husbands One of my favourites features an exchange between a younger …Read the Rest