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Medical mysteries and lightning-fast ‘cures’

Avery happy New Year to all Dorsal View readers. Hopefully you are rested and well and ready to wade knee-deep into your waiting lists. May this year bring us happier times than the oneand-a-half years that preceded it. To start the year, a quick look back at how freak accidents sometimes led to the resolution…

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It’s beginning to read a lot like Christmas…

A round-up of news and oddities from left field by Dr Doug Witherspoon They say you really know Christmas is looming when RTÉ starts flogging us the Toy Show. But for many in the medical walk of life, the arrival of Christmas is signified by the annual BMJ quirky festive offering. It’s the ‘most wonderful…

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Depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbance – time to revisit the debate on head injuries in modern rugby

Only in recent years has the issue of concussion and head injuries in professional sport been taken seriously. Along with almost everything else, focus on this issue has taken a back seat to Covid-19, but a new study from researchers in Durham University in the UK, along with colleagues in Australia and New Zealand, has…

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Chainsaws, yucca plants and airport trolleys – health hazards of the world’s top golfers

A round-up of news and oddities from left field by Dr Doug Witherspoon As we bid farewell to the more clement weather and it becomes more challenging to get a round of golf in, perhaps the more accident-prone among us are better off – even for the most skilled and coordinated pro, the strangest injuries…

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Sexual intercourse versus a decongestant for nasal breathing issues? Trust the science…

For those who like to take a sideways look at science and research, not least of the medical variety, the Ig Nobel awards are a highlight of the scientific calendar. The awards are for research that “first makes people laugh, then makes them think”. This year’s Ig Nobels threw-up the usual assortment of wondrous oddities.…

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The dapper drummer gathered no moss, but he did amass a fine collection of bespoke menswear

The old ‘the Beatles or the Stones’ debate continues ad infinitum among many music lovers as to which was the greatest band of all time. While just two Beatles are left standing, Stones fans will have noted with sadness the passing of the band’s drummer Charlie Watts recently, a man who stood out as an…

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They put their right foot in, their right foot out –a dance of death that puzzled doctors for centuries

Following on from the last issue’s overview of the ‘Laughter Epidemic’ of Tanganyika, let’s touch on another condition with bizarre and confusing symptoms that baffled doctors when it manifested in mainland Europe between the 14th and 17th Centuries. ‘Dancing mania’ – also known as ‘dancing plague’, ‘choreomania’, ‘St John’s Dance’, ‘tarantism’ and ‘St Vitus Dance’…

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The naked truth about medical care in the ancient Olympic Games

As you read this, the slightly strange and crowd-free Olympic Games are drawing to a close. Of course, the medical assistance offered to all of the athletes is now world class, with the best sports medicine specialists and top-line monitoring and treatment equipment, as well as a dizzying array of physiotherapists, nutritionists, nurses, and so…

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When the truth hurts: Lies, damn lies, and patient consultations

Along with lawyers, the police, and judges, doctors must be one of the most lied-to professions. As you know, some patients may happily tell you whatever it is they think you want to hear, perhaps to avoid some kind of embarrassment related to their personal habits or a treatment they would rather not have. A…

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The paradox of the murdering nurses of WW2

A round-up of news and oddities from left field by Dr Doug Witherspoon With everything that’s been going on, one could be forgiven for not paying too much attention to the recent 77th anniversary of the D-Day landings on 6 June. However, without the sacrifice and bravery of the 156,000 American, British, and Canadian troops…

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