Working Life: Padhraig O’Loughlin, consultant orthopaedic surgeon

Padhraig O’Loughlin is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Mater Private, Cork.

Working Life: Padhraig O’Loughlin, consultant orthopaedic surgeon

Padhraig O’Loughlin is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Mater Private, Cork.


Having a wife who starts her day with a very early morning run has a galvanising effect: I do resistance training while Mary bounds along the water’s edge in East Ferry.

It’s a scramble to get the kids out as Mary is also a doctor and sometimes our schedules collide, but we have a fantastic childminder, Diana, who helps make it all happen.


I work across three sites — Cork University Hospital (CUH), South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital (SIVUH) and the Mater Private (MPC).

I do elective (scheduled) work on Monday and Wednesdays. I meet the team first to go over the plan for each patient.

Most patients are undergoing arthroplasty (hip or knee replacements), although we also do some trauma cases in MPC as we have an emergency department there.

Tuesday mornings are a little different as I’m often post-call in CUH. We begin with the trauma round followed by theatre.

There are two trauma theatres running in CUH and it’s extremely busy. Trauma cases include patients injured as a result of road traffic accidents or industrial or farming accidents, as well as sports injuries. Conducting audits is an important part of my work.

We have a weekly meeting at CUH to discuss all of the previous week’s trauma cases. It doubles as a very effective teaching opportunity.

At CUH, we hold regular research meetings where junior doctors present. I also teach medical students at UCC.


A quick, late breakfast/early lunch.


Afternoons often involve orthopaedic clinics.

When an opportunity arises, I try to do extra clinics in the evening to see those patients who have been waiting the longest.

As I am relatively new at SIVUH, my waiting list is comparatively small, so that helps when trying to address those patients who have waited a long time for their appointment and/or surgery.

I hold a fracture clinic in CUH once a week.


I head home to beautiful East Cork to spend my evenings with Marcus, 9, Adam, 7, and Elizabeth, 4, often on the pitches of Aghada GAA or Corkbeg FC.

As a farmer’s son from land-locked Kildare, who married in to get the Cork passport, living near water is an enduring novelty and a therapeutic distraction from a busy, humbling, and satisfying job.

I’m very grateful to do what I do.

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