Working life: Dr Sean O’Sullivan, consultant neurologist, Bon Secours Hospital, Cork

7am
I am usually the first person up, so I check emails and read a bit of the news before I get the children up. I make porridge and the family has breakfast together. 

I usually take our youngest (Róisín) to creche. My wife Elaine takes the two boys, Éanna and Pádraig, to school.

8.20am

Work usually begins with a ward round to review any in-patients admitted under my care, or see patients referred from other services regarding any neurological symptoms. 

We see a huge variety of neurological disorders at the Bons, including multiple sclerosis, epilepsy. The Acute Medical Assessment Unit ensures people are seen rapidly and investigations performed without delay.

One frequent admission reason is people coming in for the investigation of possible multiple sclerosis as a cause of a variety of neurological symptoms. 

Having this potential diagnosis hanging over you can be a huge source of worry, so it’s important to ensure investigations are done quickly, to alleviate worries if things turn out to be normal, or to establish a treatment strategy if the diagnosis is made.

12 noon

I grab a quick lunch with colleagues, or take a sandwich outside, weather permitting. 

I attend a weekly neuroscience conference in Cork University Hospital, where my colleagues and I discuss complex cases.

1pm

I have out-patient neurology clinics at the Cork Clinic, Western Road. The most frequent conditions I see are people with headaches, with numb hands or feet, or people with dizzy spells. 

I often perform a greater occipital nerve block injection on patients with headaches, which can be very beneficial in people not tolerating or responsive to oral headache preventative tablets.

I see a lot of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in my clinics, and I have a particular interest in specialised therapies including pump-infusions, which can hugely improve independence and quality of life for people with PD. I regularly arrange hospital admissions for people to start on these advanced therapies.

5.30pm

I try to finish clinic in time to collect Róisín from creche — it’s not always possible if there are patients to be added to clinic for urgent review. I’ve on-going research and educational activities in the evenings or the weekends. 

This week, I’ve been helping organise the Annual Munster Parkinsons’ Patient Conference which takes place on June 20 at 1pm in The Oriel House Hotel in Ballincollig.

Dr Sean O’Sullivan, consultant neurologist, Bon Secours Hospital, Cork


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