Careers Night Round-up

Last night’s Careers Night collaboration with TCD Surgical Society was a huge success, with our panel of eight consultants extolling the virtues of their chosen specialty during an evening which turned out to be both hilarious and extremely informative. Representing surgery were Dr. Amy Gillis and Mr. Quinlan. Hospital medicine was represented by Professor John Crowe and Dr. Ormond. Professor Jim Lucey spoke on behalf of psychiatry, while Dr. Wilson acted as spokesperson for radiology. A last minute substitution saw Professor Paul Ridgway abandoning his surgical roots to join Dr. Morrison in defending general practice.


Round one saw a member of each of our 5 teams pitching their specialty to a packed lecture theater. Some, such as Prof Lucey, delivered passionate speeches about the value of their specialty to society, while others took a  perhaps more cunning route by taking the early opportunity to get some jibes in towards the other teams. We followed this round with an audience question, a simple yes-or-no to gauge how many of those present were thinking of emigrating. The result was overwhelming, with the vast majority of our audience members raising their hands in favour of emigration. Our panel members were shocked at the result.

During round 2 our panel discussed some hot topics, namely: 1. Why is your specialty better than everyone else’s? 2. Lifestyle, and 3. Career Prospects.  Answers for Question 1 made for some excellent quotes, some of which can found below. Our particular favourite involved a car analogy delivered by Dr. Ormond. Radiology, he claimed, was akin to a Volkswagen – “practical, sturdy, but rather dull”. GP was described as a Skoda, i.e. “it gets you from A to B”. Surgery was vilified as the “Hummer” of the medical world, in that it “goes for it, doesn’t give a damn, and might be compensating for something”. Dr. Ormond was quick to defend his own specialty of Dermatology, desribing it as a Porsche – “intelligent, expensive and very classy”.

Surgery were quick to concede that they couldn’t quite compete with the lifestyle offered by dermatology, psychiatry or GP, but remarked that at least they finished their day at work having actually achieved something. The panel came to an agreement that part-time dermatology might be the way forward, while the appeal of holidaying in Cuba meant that radiology came in at a close second. The panel thankfully pointed out that despite what the media might suggest, they do believe that the lifestyle of trainee doctors is set to improve over the coming years, with the European Working Time Directive slowly coming into effect (“Albeit 14 years after it was made law”).

Career prospects were deemed to be particularly good for those interested in Radiology, GP and Psychiatry, with those training schemes being cast in a very positive light. Surgery honestly admitted that while training schemes in this country are a bit haphazard at present, they are set to improve over the coming years.


Round 3 saw us put a few more twitter questions to our panel, as well as taking some from the audience. Hot topics included emigration, travel and working lifestyle. The panel asked their own question, seeking to find out why so many of those present were planning on emigrating. The answers given were based around working hours, as well as the perception of doctors both in the general public and the mainstream media. Prof. Ridgway expressed his own view on this issue stating that while everyone hates consultants, they love their own consultant. The whole panel reiterated that the situation of NCHD working hours is improving, and urged us all to work in Ireland. Dr. Amy Gillis, a Canada native, voiced her love of Ireland and declared it a great place to work.

The evening ended with a final vote as to which specialty had convinced us the most. While GP and Psychiatry all claimed a decent portion of the audience, radiology impressed with a decent show of hands, remarkable due to the fact that an earlier audience question had revealed that very few people knew anything at all about this profession. However, it was Hospital Medicine and Surgery who battled it out for the big prize, with a recount declaring Prof Crowe and Dr. Ormond the winners!

The evening ended on a positive note, and was hopefully both entertaining and informative for all. Below are some of our favourite quotes from the night, as well as some of the more …interesting questions received.



Hot topics for the night included emigration, lifestyle and specialty bashing.


There were unfortunately many questions that we didn’t have time to ask, including those from:


The romantics


The imaginative


The confused


And those just chancing their arm

As well as the somewhat controversial


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