MedCurious Edition 3

| May 15, 2020

Welcome to the third edition of the MedCurious newsletter. Hopefully you’ve been enjoying our fortnightly emails so far. We love including submissions from friends and followers in each edition, so please get in touch by email if you’ve written or created something that you reckon would fit the bill.

In this edition we have a photographer turned nurse, an anaesthetist turned DJ, and a psychologist reminding us of the importance of looking after ourselves as doctors. There’s some fantastic writing with a lens focused on the people at the heart of medicine.

New Writing and Poetry 

“I cannot comprehend this new ordinary.”

Rory Plant is an SHO in medicine from Cork, having previously studied Law and Political Science. He wrote the poem ‘Quarantine’ while reflecting on life in lockdown, and we are delighted to share it here. Rory focuses on the frustrations of our ‘new ordinary’ but he reassures us that there is hope. 

Digging Holes and Weaving Tapestries

“We need to get to the bottom of this thing, doctor.”

John Launer is a GP, educator, and award-winning writer whose interests range across the borders of health care. His recent book “How Not to Be a Doctor” is highly recommended. In this insightful new piece, he digs deep into the different ways we approach the patient encounter. 

Healing in the ICU during COVID-19 

“Sometimes, after my shift, I walk in my apartment, slide down the door, and cry”

Karen Cunningham is a ICU nurse in New York, having made a mid-career turn from photography. In this new photo-essay from the New Yorker (with text by David Remnick), she follows her friend Cady on a nightshift looking after COVID patients.

Musical Interlude (Bavaria via Sligo) 

Jan Steiner is an anaesthetist and intensivist working in Galway. He is also an accomplished composer, musician, and DJ. Here’s a new piece from him called Schwarz::Wald. Dancing around the kitchen is optional.

Just Like Real Life… 

“You really don’t want to hear a doctor talking about his issues with commitment just as the drugs take hold.”

The ever brilliant Patrick Freyne writes about a certain long running tv medical drama.


Our good friend, roving dotMD photographer, and self-described Emergency Medicine upstart, Mohammed Hamza, has just launched a new podcast for those of the ED persuasion. Knowing Mo, this is bound to be good. First episode was released May 11th. If you’re on Twitter, follow the updates here

What’s Wrong With Patient-Centred Care? 

At our last dotMD meeting in 2019, Caroline Elton, a chartered psychologist who specialises in helping doctors, spoke about the importance of looking after healthcare professionals before we can expect them to look after patients. Caroline’s words resonate even more now, in a world that would have seemed so alien last September when she joined us in Galway.

What’s your story?

A new virtual workshop ‘Telling Your Story Online’  has been created by Athena Media & Podcasting Ireland to help you tell stories online, using text, pictures, audio or video. This could be useful for health care professionals who want to tell better stories or who wish to get information or messages online. Athena have offered dotMD friends a 10% discount  (use the code dotMD when booking) on one of their storytelling training Zoom events. They have some places left for May 29th. 

(Please don’t share the code on social media as its exclusively meant for those on our mailing list)


Written by

Ronan Kavanagh

Dr. Ronan Kavanagh is a Galway based rheumatologist and medical director of dotMD - A Festival of Medical Curiosity.


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