Fun things to do when you're at the psychiatrist: take random objects in his office and glue them to the floor; refuse to co-operate unless he trades his trousers; try to talk him into sitting on the floor; after everything he says, ask, 'And how does that make you feel?'

A code of ethics for patients: do try to suffer from the disease for which you are being treated; submit to experimental treatment readily since, though it may not benefit you, the resulting research paper will be of widespread professional interest; never die in the presence of your doctor as this may cause inconvenience and embarrassment.

Despite all this (and more along the same lines), the Irish Medical Directory is a serious affair. Its print version contains information not on the website, but even its award-winning online presence has a comprehensive database of Irish hospitals, carrying not just contact and clinical service details but short histories, too.

Take, for example, Baltinglass District Hospital in County Wicklow. Set up under the Poor Law (Ireland) Act of 1838, it became a workhouse in the1845-47 famine and remained such until taken over by the military in the wake of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Not until 1922 did it serve as a hospital again.

The site also offers a useful gateway to all the Irish medical and health websites you could want, from the Irish Patients Association to the Irish Clearing House on Health Outcomes and the Dublin-based European Healthcare Management Association.

And finally, what are the collective nouns for the different medical specialties?

The Irish Medical Directory offers the following to begoing on with: a stream of urologists, a rash of dermatologists, a stain of histopathologists, a murmur of cardiologists, a speck of forensic pathologists, and an unexpected bill of anaesthetists.