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Death of an advocate

Decisions on how money is spent on healthcare should be based on need and not on special pleading “We tend to get at the summit of our professions,” the great surgeon Wilfred Trotter once wrote, “only those rare geniuses who combine real specialist capacity with the arts of the bagman.” I was reminded of this…

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This much I don’t know

Say something loud and with conviction, over and over, and voilà, you’ve created A Fact There is a weekly column in a posh liberal British newspaper entitled “This Much I Know”. It is brazenly ripped off in a somewhat less-posh Cork-based newspaper, which is of course much more my thing. In it, various celebrities/authors/GAA players…

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Let’s talk: Tough conversations with colleagues

Expressing concerns to colleagues or handling difficult behaviour can be challenging. Dr James Thorpe and Dr Sarah Coope, Senior Medical Educators at Medical Protection, provide some insights that may help tonavigate stressful conversations at work Since the start of the pandemic, Medical Protection has received numerous requests for advice from doctors that relate to medico-legal…

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‘Living with the virus’ has not worked – we need a better plan

There is huge frustration among frontline staff that the Government failed to listen to NPHET’s concerns about reopening the country before Christmas As I write, we are in the eye of the storm – the third and worst wave thus far of the Covid-19 pandemic in Ireland. Non-medical friends text and call to ask, “are…

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Telemedicine beyond Covid-19

While telemedicine has been increasing in use gradually over the years, Covid-19 has been the catalyst for large-scale adoption. Recently, the Medical Council reported a five-fold increase in the use of telemedicine in Ireland since the start of the pandemic, and it is proactively looking at the regulatory challenges presented by the increase in its…

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Looking to the stars for career guidance?

New research has examined what your star sign says about your choice of medical career Did your specialty choose you or did you choose your specialty? A recent paper in the Postgraduate Medical Journal (PMJ) addressed this question, but with an astrological twist. Thought to have been established 2,400 years ago in Babylon, horoscopes in…

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Preparing a response strategy for angry and aggressive patients

Ms Aisling Timoney, GP Lead Counsel, Medisec, outlines how doctors should respond to aggressive behaviour from patients A year into the Covid-19 pandemic, both patients and doctors continue to face unprecedented challenges and stressors. In Medisec, we see daily queries regarding patients becoming irate and at times abusive over the level of access to healthcare…

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A recognition that we are not going through this alone

The experience of the pandemic for many of us is something close to grief I said that I didn’t think I could stick much more of this, and you answered, Tony Soprano-style, “what are you going to do?” I was paying €50 to hear that. I might as well have been talking to the postman.…

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The principles of informed consent

Every clinical interaction involving a patient who has capacity rests upon a foundation of consent. Ms Diane Baylis, Clinical Risk Educator at Medical Protection, explores the principles of consent and provides advice on how to obtain valid consent from patients With a proliferation of litigation in clinical negligence there has been a paradigm shift in…

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Decorating Christmas through the ages

Seasonal traditions have provided solace in difficult times 2020 has been a year of massive societal change. Our lives have been turned upside down due to Covid-19. On the plus side, one of the welcome effects has been to make us focus more on traditions. There is no better time than Christmas for tradition. As…

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