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The annual outbreak of veisalgia on New Year’s Day

Descriptions of the effects of alcohol in medical literature are many and varied hroughout 2019 I had been deferential to my low tolerance for alcohol. So, what led me to deem it polite to accept our neighbours’ New Year party invitation, but impolite to stop them filling and re-filling my glass with liqueur the colour…

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Using Aga again and again

Sitting together for meals is important, especially at this time of year  love my Aga. It heats the house, dries my clothes, and makes the best toast in the world. I love the food it cooks, but you must cook the Aga way. Oven temperatures are fixed, so you move the food from hot to…

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The birth of the sleep-deprived medic

Fueled by cocaine, the US surgeon William Halstead did much to originate the grueling work schedule demanded of doctors Doctors can survive on less sleep than everyone else. Years of being ‘on-call’ has trained us to get by on little to no sleep. Our formative years of hospital training, enduring often brutally punishing ‘on-call’ rotas…

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On Clive James, ibrutinib, and the NHS

“One of the virtues of the NHS is that it doesn’t worry you about money at the moment when you’re least capable of doing anything about it.” his was one of the multitude of Clive James quotations printed on the death of the writer, poet, and broadcaster last November. Towards the end of his life,…

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Lessons learned over a life-altering decade

End of an era lists are generally not my thing, but the last 10 years has brought plenty to contemplate I’ve never been one for the retrospective nostalgia that seems to dominate media streams whenever we come to the end of a year, or decade, or millennium, or whatever other arbitrary junction in time that…

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The costs of healthcare reform

In the previous issue of the Medical Independent (MI), we revealed how the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) said it would not support a draft memo for the Government on the regional division of the health service prior to discussing the HSE’s deteriorating financial situation with the Department of Health. The position was…

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The woes of wellness

The wellbeing of healthcare staff depends upon  greater resources for services, not more wellness programmes What is our health service’s most unwelcome import from the world of business? Ponder it a little because there are some strong candidates out there. There is the use of ‘revert’ instead of ‘reply’ in emails, which can grey blameless…

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The ‘Brexit’ election and me

The UK is growing ever more divided in what is essentially a civil war without the guns My Scottish brother-in-law, Neil, is standing in the Westminster election on 12 December. He’s the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Western Isles. I’ve had a vague interest in British politics since I lived there, but now I’m taking…

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No time like the present

Asking questions about a patient’s life can be the best use of a doctor’s time nna had a list of things to ask the doctor that day. A niggling pain in her foot, a mole on her left shoulder, and if time allowed, she might be able to get that blood test she had been…

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Opening the lines of communication

Interns need to receive greater exposure to general practice during their training  recently saw an interesting discussion on Twitter, which I thought raised valuable points about the interactions between GPs and hospital doctors. Several GPs were commenting on how they were becoming increasingly frustrated by being sent demands from hospital junior doctors on discharge letters…

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