Professor Liam Glynn's Inaugural Lecture
On the 28th November last, the inaugural lecture of Prof Liam Glynn took place in the main lecture auditorium of the Graduate Entry Medical School. The lecture was entitled "An Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of Cure: Lessons for individuals, populations and healthcare systems”. In it Prof Glynn described the lessons he has learned in his twenty odd years as a GP academic trying to improve the lives of the people of the Burren and beyond. He spoke passionately about the importance of the great teachers and mentors in his career from his parents all the way through his medical training and how the core idea of “Prevention” has shaped his clinical work and his research. He challenged the way that we approach health and healthcare referencing the seminal work of Dr Aaron Antonovsky, the renowned American medical sociologist who first described the “health asset based” model of healthcare which is concerned with identifying the protective factors that support health and wellbeing.
Prof Glynn’s final plea was on behalf of the people we care for as clinicians and also the students we teach. He argued that the university should not be just about making competent clinicians, but also about making compassionate clinicians as in his experience, listening to patients describe a life changing moment in their healthcare journey through the intervention of a healthcare provider, they invariably don’t refer to what was said or what was done but how they were made feel.
He finished his inaugural lecture with the following quote from the Dalai Lama:
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy practice compassion.”