Dr Ian Ellul
Whilst I was starting Junior College, in October 1996, The Synapse magazine was being simultaneously launched by Dr Wilfred Galea. Little would I have imagined that, in November 2005, I would take the helm of this publication.
Back in 2005 The Synapse Magazine was an 8-pager which would pale in front of the current publication, be it in terms of quality or print run. We have invested much, especially time, to deliver this magazine to the doorstep of our 3,500 readers on a bimonthly basis. The ultimate aim has always been to continually improve the quality of the publication. I still remember the 8pm till 1am meetings at Dr Galea’s Dingli office to discuss the design of the publications, nibbling sandwiches with bloodshot eyes …
During these past 17 years I tried to reciprocate Dr Galea’s trust. I strongly believe that we have managed to position the publication well amongst local healthcare professionals. Everybody is familiar with ‘The Synapse’ and cme30.eu which is our online continuous medical education portal.
Apart from the run-of-the-mill editorial work, I particularly enjoyed two aspects. The first was penning the editorials. I have written practically about everything, always in relation to health. Topics have included microand macro-economics, socio-politics, procurement, etc. I was also privileged to have published guest editorials from various local members of parliaments and even recently, from Dr Denis Horgan who is the Executive Director of the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM). This was my way to garner views possibly, outside the box.
Secondly there were the interviews, which I felt were needed in this publication, in 2007. I wanted to insert the interviews because I strongly believe in camaraderie, even across different professions. I wanted to convey the message that we should all strive to reduce the silo mentality which at times, erodes our soul. In 2019 I completely took over the interviews with a view to improve the quality. Indeed, each interview which I made took me an average of 20 hours, and this involved fact-checking, meeting up with the interviewee and then writing it. I also managed to conduct interviews with Maltese trailblazers residing abroad including Prof. Sandro Galea, the late Prof. Edward de Bono and Prof. Dame Clare Gerada.
Nonetheless, as weeks rolled into months and months turned into 17 years, I came to realise that the greatest wealth is time and health. Alias, these invariably have an expiry date. Every our decision needs to be gauged against these two things. What is the opportunity cost?
But then again, what will our legacy be?