A day in the working life of Iona Maris, paediatrician at Bon Secours Hospital.
I give myself plenty of time to enjoy a good cup of coffee before leaving for work. Mornings are less hectic since my daughter, Larisa, 19, moved to Dublin to study at Trinity College.
It’s mostly just myself and my son Andru, 7, as my husband, Cezar, travels a lot
with his teaching job. I drop Andru to school on the way to work.
I usually do a ward round on the children’s ward. In my capacity as a clinical senior lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at UCC, a number of student doctors accompany me for bedside teaching.
They are assigned to me as part of their paediatric rotation.
I also deliver some lectures at UCC in the academic year. The ward gets fairly busy this time of year on account of the colder weather.
I head to my rooms in the Cork Clinic where I see children referred by their GPs at my outpatient clinic.
Once a week, I run an outpatient allergy clinic. Food allergies are the most common cause of referral, mainly milk and egg allergies in infants and toddlers and peanut and tree-nut
allergies among pre-school children.
I’m in the process of establishing a Paediatric Allergy Service at the Bons. We already have a dietician and are in the process of recruiting an allergy nurse. I was previously part of the Paediatric Allergy Service at Cork University Hospital.
Lunch comprises of a quick bite in my office — a salad or a sandwich.
If I don’t have a clinic in the afternoon, I devote some time to research and paperwork.
I am involved in clinical trials on peanut immunotherapy through UCC and the Health Research Board.
Immunotherapy involves regular exposure to gradually increasing amounts of the food allergen, under very strict supervision. Oral immunotherapy trials have shown some success in lessening the risk of a severe reaction, called anaphylaxis.
I collect Andru from after-school. He enjoys it because he gets to spend more time with friends. We head home for dinner. It’s an important time of the day, although it’s not quite the same since my daughter moved away. She rings most evenings to tell us how she is getting on.
Andru really misses her.
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