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Dr Muiris Houston

The madcap in medical research

From MRIs of sexual intercourse, to which specialties are more likely to receive speeding tickets, the BMJ Christmas issues have it all he annual British Medical Journal (BMJ) double issue is where the learned journal allows itself a certain latitude by encouraging researchers to submit some offbeat studies. Forget large sample sizes and peer review:…

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The myth of the superdoctor

The evidence of the rise of burnout among doctors is accumulating How would you feel about being called a ‘superdoctor’? Uncomfortable? It seems a little dated, does it not? I mean I thought the days of us being considered God-like figures were long gone.  In the latest MPS report — Breaking the Burnout Cycle —…

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Swearing by curse words

As swearing becoming more common? Certainly in the print media, there is less squeamishness about printing the full ‘f… word’. Yet on television, sports commentators are quick to apologise to viewers for swear words broadcast via the referee’s microphone. Whatever your personal use of swear words, have you become less bothered by swearing in general?…

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An advocate for advocacy

The IHCA’s ‘Care Can’t Wait’ campaign is a good example of doctors advocating for patients I am a strong believer in advocacy. And I’m an even greater proponent of doctors advocating on behalf of patients. In my 20 years writing about health issues, I have seen doctor advocacy wax and wane. At its nadir, I…

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Just what does it mean to be a resilient doctor?

Resilience is hard to define and examining the topic can raise more questions than answers Am I the only one who finds the recent emphasis on resilience in doctors a little phoney? Especially those articles expounding how our resilience can be improved, if only we would work on it. It’s almost like some commentators think…

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Will the new structures be more than a rejig?

The division of the health service into six regions has raised more questions than answers So the next stage in the health system’s merry-go-round has been announced. The health service is to be divided into six regional areas, based on recommendations in the Sláintecare Report. Making the announcement, the Minister for Health Simon Harris said…

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Framing the bigger picture of the Ebola epidemic

The Ebola outbreak shows that public health in the Democratic Republic of Congo is in a state of emergency The outbreak of Ebola infection in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is one year old this month. It shows no signs of abating, despite intensive efforts and the use of a vaccine of proven…

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A vaccine in time saves lives

The Minister for Health is correct to fight for childhood immunisation As a new dad, it’s understandable that vaccines are on Minister for Health Simon Harris’s mind. In recent weeks, he has sought the advice of the Attorney General on the constitutionality of preventing children attending school unless they have completed a course of vaccination,…

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It’s all a matter of time

Lengthening the time doctors spend with patients should be a priority for the health service, writes Dr Muiris Houston Family doctors in Ireland work under severe pressure. The notional 10 minute consultation is inadequate. But imagine you were working in Pakistan, where the average consultation length is one minute 45 seconds! Comparative national consultation length…

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It’s all a matter of time

Lengthening the time doctors spend with patients should be a priority for the health service, writes Dr Muiris Houston Family doctors in Ireland work under severe pressure. The notional 10 minute consultation is inadequate. But imagine you were working in Pakistan, where the average consultation length is one minute 45 seconds! Comparative national consultation length…

Read More
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