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From hypervigilance and fear to normality (almost)

After a recent Covid diagnosis, I am grateful to have escaped with just a bad cold and some deconditioning Hands up who wants to hear another Covid story? Absolutely nobody, I would imagine. That horse is well and truly flogged, regardless of whether it is actually dead or not. But I am going to tell…

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Never too late to change

Deciding to leave my GP practice for a new role brings with it a certain sadness, but also a feeling of liberation. At the end of September, I will be leaving the practice where I have worked for the past 16 years. I arrived here in July 2005, an eager, wide-eyed GP registrar with an…

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The path to being a GP can begin as a hospital intern

Thinking back, my first day as an intern could have had career-defining consequences If 1 July 2000 hadn’t fallen on a Saturday, I wonder would I have become a GP? I wonder would I have followed my original plan of being a surgeon, like my grandfather? In the years that followed, I convinced myself that…

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Getting over the stigma hurdle

One step towards improving our mental wellbeing is learning to admit when we are not feeling well Today I “attended” the IMO AGM, by which I mean it was transmitting from my laptop while I pottered about tidying up after breakfast, reorganising the knives in the dishwasher and putting on the fifth load of laundry.…

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Throwing those curtains wide open

The recent WiMIN conference might have taken place remotely, but it provided much needed respite and allowed us to travel into each other’s universes for a brief period of time “This time last year” (as many of us have been saying recently) I was getting ready to pack our car with excited children, a supportive…

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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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Back to school

Anyone who has ‘followers’, be they students, trainees, administrative staff, or an under-five camogie team, would benefit from guidance on how to lead and support them It has been a pretty dull year with not too much going on and the workload has been very light, so I decided it would be an excellent time…

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Trials of the pregnancy questionnaire

I’m sleeping like a baby after my portacath was removed, but the questions around pregnancy before the procedure were irritating For six years I haven’t been able to sleep on my right side. I didn’t think it mattered that much. I have a whole left side and a back to lie on, so wanting a…

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The burning issue of physician wellbeing

Being able to spot the signs of burnout is easy, or is it? Miles and miles of print have been devoted to discussing doctors’ mental health. Endless studies citing percentage rates of burnout and suicide and addiction and awfulness. We should do something about it. Of course we should. But the difficulty lies in the…

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Beware of the dark side

Interactions on social media can be a diverting distraction, but they also have the potential to be lethal Many years ago, I was involved in an accident on the road between Killarney and Tralee. It was one of those cartoon-accordion pile-ups, with four or five vehicles scrunching into each other in slow motion after the…

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