Working life: Dr Patrick Tunney, obstetrician

Dr Patrick Tunney is a consultant obstetrician/gynaecologist at Orwell Clinic, Dublin.

7am

I don’t have far to travel to work, because the clinic is attached to our home on Orwell Road, Rathgar, near Dundrum Shopping Centre. Lots of my patients head to the mall after I’ve seen them.

I have breakfast with Paula, my wife, and two teenage sons. They head to school and I head to the clinic to do some paperwork.

9.30am

My first patients are a couple who have spent years trying to get pregnant. My particular sub-specialty is infertility and miscarriage. Facing into fertility treatment is daunting and, often, people come to me first for investigations. I do blood tests and send the woman for an ultrasound scan to check the pelvis. I look for infections and endometriosis, a condition where tissue that normally grows inside the uterus grows outside it, instead, and can cause infertility.

10am

My next patient has a history of miscarriage. I do some more blood tests and also send her for an ultrasound scan. My wife, Paula, is the senior clinic sonographer. She has her own company, Babyscan.ie, in Ballincollig, Co Cork. As well as carrying out diagnostic scans, she offers 3D/4D scans that show baby’s features, facial expressions and movements. Most mums feel it helps bond with their baby before birth.

11.30am

As part of the daily gynaecology clinic, I see a lady worried she may have a viral or bacterial infection. Blood tests are done with prompt results. A lot of women come to us for personalised infection screening. Chlamydia is pretty common.

1pm

I have lunch at home at 2pm. I’ve a strong involvement with the Miscarriage Association of Ireland. It plays an important role filling the gaps that lie within the current system. Maternity hospitals are so busy that often women don’t get a chance to talk to anyone in depth.

4pm

Paula has picked up a cyst on one of the women I sent for a scan and she needs surgery, so I admit her under my care to the Mater Private. I worked at Mount Carmel for 20 years. It closed last year.

5pm

I run an evening clinic one day a week. The boys keep me busy when I’m not at work. I love rugby and I have just found out I’m going to be one of the team doctors for St Mary’s Rugby Club. I’m delighted.


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