This year I attended what is known (in the social media parlance of us Twitterboffins) as a ‘Tweetup’. This is where a group of people, known only to one another from their exchanges on Twitter, meet in person to press the flesh, check one another out to see if they bear any resemblance to their …Read the Rest

Keeping my patients well educated and uptodate with everything they need to know about their illness is a very important part of my practice. Knowledgeable patients do better on treatment, are less anxious about their illness, and tend to he happier overall in my experience. Having content, well informed patients in my practice also means I tend …Read the Rest


In: Blog, Social Media

Comments Off on My thoughts on social media in health care

“Dr. Ronan Kavanagh (@RonanTKavanagh) is one of the leading voices in the rheumatology conversation on the social web.  Through his portfolio of social presences, Dr. Kavanagh maintains an admirable balance between approachable affability and informed professionalism, and I was delighted when he agreed to share some his insights regarding healthcare professional use of social media with the Symplur …Read the Rest

Despite the simplicity of the this ad, there is something about it that resonates strongly with me every time I watch it.  It shows three icons of Irish rugby (Paul O’Connell, Brian O’Driscoll and Jonathan Sexton) asking house owners permission to play, and for volunteers to join them in a game of tip-rugby on the grassy …Read the Rest

I’ve been lucky enough to be working with a new Healthcare startup called and have been preparing short educational video’s for use on their platform for my patients and for anyone else who’s interested. They will be short, 30-60 second answers to questions I’m asked as a rheumatologist all of the time.  We’ve had …Read the Rest

In my first few months working as a rheumatologist a referral letter arrived from a local doctor about a lady with rheumatoid arthritis. She had recently moved to the West of Ireland from the UK, where her original diagnosis had been made. Her GP had originally referred her to a general physician in a small …Read the Rest

1. Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) was first described by an Irish man Kerry physician, Bernard Connor first described the condition in 1693 in a skeleton  from a church graveyard. If you look carefully at the above illustration from that skeleton you can see how the spine is fused. 2. It takes an average of 8 years to diagnose …Read the Rest

What is Gout?

May 03

  What is it like to Have Gout? Gout, for anyone has experienced it, is one of the most painful joint conditions that you can get. It typically causes intense pain, swelling, and redness in joints – usually lasting a few days at a time.  This is often in the big toe but also can …Read the Rest


In: Blog, Disease information

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Treatments for Gout are broken down into two broad categories.  The first is what we use for in acute attacks and the second group is really what we use to prevent attacks coming up.   Treating Acute Gout Most patients who have Gout in it’s early stages get attacks once in a while (for example affecting …Read the Rest

I’m delighted to introduce my first guest blog from a patient. She articulates very well the challenges of finding reliable and relevant online information and communities that are directly relevant to patients. It also includes a call to action for Doctors to get online.  Generic versus (very) personal information Personally.. I don’t want to be …Read the Rest