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How to cure cases of ‘Zoomitis’

Experts are starting to look at why video conferences leave us so fatigued and what we can do to improve the experience Has anyone else found Zoom meetings hard going? My longest regular meeting at present is two hours, but it is not uncommon for this to be bookended with two one-and-a-half hour calls. After…

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The ‘open notes’ revolution

While allowing patients to view their medical records is a move toward greater transparency, some doctors have concerns On 5 April the 21st Century Cures Act, which gives legal effect to ‘open notes’ in the US, came into effect. It states that patients must have fast, electronic access to consultations, discharge summaries, history, physical examination…

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What does the experience of Covid-19 have to teach us?

Being ready for the next pandemic goes beyond science and requires looking at societal issues One year on from the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, what have we learned? It would be easy to focus on the gloomy answer to this question. But before I do, let’s acknowledge some of the positive aspects of the…

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What will the new normality be after the lockdown era?

History has lessons to teach us about how societies respond in the wake of pandemics Lancet editor Richard Horton has described the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown as “the greatest imposition of restricted civil liberties ever seen in peacetime”. The seemingly never-ending tail to our own latest lockdown, with no loosening predicted until May at the earliest,…

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Cut out the jargon

Inappropriate medical jargon can adversely affect care and alienate patients In spite of our best efforts to ensure appropriate care for patients, we often find ourselves distracted by a sometimes bewildering array of jargon heard during handovers and clinical presentations. Is there a reason we frequently refer to the culinary arts and acts of violence…

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Dreamtime in Dromineer

Life during lockdown was strange and difficult, but there were good times too Did it really happen? Yes, there really was a padlock on the Dromineer playground. And yes, the gardaí were at the crossroads, stopping cars and sending people home. The ‘local police’ were out too, telling visitors they weren’t welcome. It was a…

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An evidence-base for e-consultations

More research is required before telemedicine becomes mainstream practice First of all, a confession: Bless me, for I have sinned. ‘What is Houston going to admit to’, you are wondering. Hopefully a scandal of tabloid proportions? Or maybe, after years of personal probity, the true nature of the man is about to be revealed? Well,…

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A call for intellectual humility

Dr Danielle Ofri’s new book does not necessarily play to her undoubted writing skills When Dr Danielle Ofri opened her talk at the dotMD 2018 conference, she did so with the story from one of her books about a French woman with Stage 3 lung cancer. The patient, doctor and wider team were in the…

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The long, tough road ahead

An exit strategy from social distancing restrictions is necessary and the Government needs to outline how this will be achieved And so our strange lives continue unchecked. Working remotely, not sleeping very well, and the continued absence of non-Covid patients are our daily lot. We really need a clearly laid-out exit strategy from lockdown at…

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A callous concept for Covid-19 control

The promotion of herd immunity is ageist and borders on euthanasia The coronavirus pandemic keeps throwing up unusual reactions. The most politically extreme have, of course, emerged from the US and the UK. One or two are clearly ageist and even border on the promotion of euthanasia. A press briefing by the UK Chief Scientific…

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