Galway docs scoop top award

Rory O'Neill and Dr Muiris Houston at the dotMD conference. Photo: Richard Walshe.
Rory O'Neill and Dr Muiris Houston at the dotMD conference. Photo: Richard Walshe.

The Galway doctors behind an annual sell-out event that has been described as ‘the Electric Picnic of Medical Conferences’ have scooped a prestigious award at the Irish Healthcare Awards for Best Educational Event of the Year.

The dotMD conference exposes health care professionals to ideas occurring at the interface between medicine, the arts and technology.

Previous events have seen presentations from a rapping doctor, live music, patients, artists, cartoonists and photographers, writers, musicians, technology entrepreneurs, and even an undertaker.

The meeting is run by Galway-based doctors and consultants, Dr. Ronan Kavanagh, Dr. Muiris Houston and Dr Alan Coss with help from Dr. Mohammed Hamza.

The award is also shared with local Galway company, Go West Conference & Event Management who run the annual sold-out event.

dotMD was originally set up because its founders had become frustrated with traditional medical meetings.

“Medical conferences tend to be very science and data based and although the numbers are important, there is also a great need and hunger amongst doctors to reconnect with the art and with the heart of medicine,” said Ronan Kavanagh.

“This meeting uses disciplines outside medicine – like art, literature and even technology – to shine a light on the practice of medicine in unexpected ways,” he added.

The meeting, which is in its fifth year has certainly been a hit. The next meeting, which takes place on March 10 2017 sold out in two hours and will feature a concert pianist psychiatrist, writer and broadcaster Sinead Gleeson, and a session on the prescribing of literature for medical problems.