Working life: Professor Mary Horgan, dean, School of Medicine UCC and consultant in infectious diseases, CUH

Professor Mary Horgan

I like to get the house organised before I leave: empty the dishwasher, put on the washing machine and enjoy quiet time. 

I’ve been a working mum most of my career but now that my two kids are older, I’m a bit freer in the mornings. Fortunately, I live close enough to work to walk.


I work my way through emails before launching into a series of morning meetings. The medical school has a sizeable number of departments — surgery, medicine, anatomy, physiology etc — so there’s a lot of teamwork involved in bringing together people with different expertise. Our focus is on getting young, bright kids in to study medicine and encouraging them to be passionate about it.


We have a heads of department committee meeting to discuss strategy and operations of the School followed by a meeting with the Medical School manager where we pore over our budget. 

It’s a bit like running a big business and it’s up to us to make sure students are well supported and that we train the best doctors for our health service. We also educate international students and we want to ensure that everyone has a world-class experience at UCC.


As part of the College of Health and Medicine, I meet with heads of other schools – pharmacy, dentistry, nursing and clinical therapies. I also interact with colleagues on the main campus, an obvious example being the new masters in healthcare leadership which commences in UCC this month. 

Designed with the Cork University Business School (CUBS), it aims to equip those working in the health service with appropriate leadership skills and business acumen.


After a sandwich at my desk, I head to CUH where I don my other hat as consultant in infectious diseases and general medicine. 

It’s good to keep a hand in the real world of practising medicine and I enjoy engaging with trainee doctors on a practical level. I consult on patients with various infectious diseases on the wards, and provide advice on managing infections and antibiotics to use.


Evenings include visits to the gym and meeting up with friends. I’m a firm believer in a good work/life balance. I do have some additional work commitments, including on call for medicine at CUH.

* Professor Mary Horgan, dean, School of Medicine UCC and consultant in infectious diseases and general medicine, Cork University Hospital (CUH)


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