Working life: Dr Dermot Nolan, GP and asthma specialist, and spokesperson for Live Every Breath Campaign

Dr Dermot Nolan, GP and asthma specialist, and spokesperson for Live Every Breath Campaign


I’m lucky enough to have a home that overlooks the sea. I take in the views over breakfast, and turn on the tennis on TV. My 15-year-old daughter Faye attends Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in the south of France. She’s met some of the big names there like Serena Williams and Andy Murray.


It’s a short commute to the Tramore Medical Clinic, a purpose-built centre in Co Waterford. My wife Penny works with me, also as a GP. I devote the first hour to paperwork, catching up on admin and writing prescriptions. I meet up with the other GPs and our GP trainee for coffee and to discuss any problems before opening the doors to patients.


I see a steady stream of patients throughout the morning. The clinic is very focused on trying to provide as many services as possible in the community, such as ultrasound, minor surgical procedures, chronic disease management, blood tests, lung spirometry, cardiac investigation.


This morning involved making a new diagnosis of diabetes, suturing a child’s head and dealing with advanced dementia in an elderly man.


I utilise lunchtime to make house calls and grab a sandwich. Today I visited an elderly patient who is receiving palliative care to ensure their pain relief is adequate.


I run an asthma clinic two days a week, along with our practice nurse Maria. It can be a tricky condition to manage so we spend time with patients explaining the different inhalers and educating patients about the disease. I work closely with the Asthma Society of Ireland and right now I’m promoting its winter campaign, Live Every Breath.


I’m currently rewriting asthma guidelines for the Irish College of General Practitioners. I set aside some time for this project, before heading home around 6pm.


Some evenings, I head for the swimming pool where I take part in a fitness programme. Other evenings I travel to University Hospital Waterford where I’m a group leader in continuing medical education sessions.

Our evenings are largely our own as our son Jack, Faye’s twin, is in boarding school in Glenstal Abbey.

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