Alumni Spotlight

Dr Doireann O’Leary, GP and media health contributor

14 Jan 2019
Dr Doireann O’Leary

UCC Medical graduate, Dr. Doireann O’Leary, is a busy GP who also finds time to write on the topic of health for RSVP Magazine and The Style Edit. 

She is a popular blogger and social media influencer focusing on the areas of healthy living, fashion and lifestyle.  We caught up with Doireann to talk about her memories of UCC, the skills she learnt while studying medicine and the friends she met along the way.

Course/subjects studied in UCC and year of graduation
Medicine. Graduated 2011

Best memory of University College Cork
Sitting in the quad laughing with friends between exams. The course was stressful but somehow my main memory of UCC is laughing! We had so much fun and I made friends for life there.

How has your time at UCC helped you to get to where you are now?
My time in UCC was spent learning how to practice medicine, primarily focusing on how to skillfully take a history from a patient and how to examine them and coming up with possible diagnoses without necessarily relying on tests or scans. A good grounding in history and examination skills have stood to me hugely and have helped me in my day to day work in general practice. The patient was always central to the consultation in UCC and that patient centred approach has stayed with me. I got to learn and observe in the teaching hospitals of Cork, mostly CUH.

What is your advice to current UCC students?
Your education is a privilege and will be the most valuable thing to you in future life. Don’t take it for granted. Your education is your voice, your identity and your independence. I wish I was more mindful of this when I was studying. I took it as a given. A third level education is an enormous privilege which isn’t available to so many people.

What person/people at UCC had the most positive influence on you?
My best friend Aodhnait. I met her on my first day of medicine. I couldn’t have gotten through the course without her. She was a bridesmaid at my wedding.

Were you involved in any Clubs or Societies?
I was a member of the Surgical Society. I thought I wanted to be a surgeon! I didn’t end up pursuing surgery, but I enjoyed my time as a member of the Society. The most memorable event we organised was a guest lecture from Mr. Edward Kiely, the London based surgeon, also a UCC alum, who performed surgery on the Cork conjoined twins, the Benhaffafs. The lecture theatre was jam-packed and you could hear a pin drop. We hung on his every word. A really memorable lecture.

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