This year my wife and I decided to compile a list of all of the holidays we’ve had since we had kids. Its a nice list and we’re lucky to have traveled as well as we have. I always get excited about going. There’s the anticipation of downtime away from work (and other peoples’ problems), time for relaxation, sleeping, eating, reading, and some quality time with my family. Life is just ...

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I was a junior doctor when I experienced my first episode. The strange thing is, that despite my medical training (I may have bunked off a few of the relevant lectures in medical school), I didn’t recognize the symptoms. I had lost my appetite and had lost weight.  I wasn’t sleeping and was irritable, angry and tired most of the time. Most disturbing to me was a feeling (despite being surrounded by work ...

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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 local hospital who had struggled with her care and she was looking for second opinion. After ...

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Although as a medical student rheumatology was always associated with an air of mystery and complexity to me - factors which might have aroused a younger me had they been associated with a member of the opposite sex – the specialty didn’t catch my eye at all as an undergraduate. To a medical student cruising for medical action in the 1980′s, rheumatology wouldn’t have got as far as a first ...

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