The Weekly Balance – Week #1


Alright, here goes! The first of my ‘Weekly Balance’ posts. So this week for me has been a bit ‘all over the place’ as we say in Ireland. I’d like to wish you all HAPPY NEW YEAR and the very best wishes for 2020! I can’t believe New Year’s Eve and Day were just this week past – Christmas absolutely flew by as it always does, and here we are again beginning a new year, and new decade this time!

What went on in my Doctor Life…

I was back to work on Monday of this week, and had Wednesday (New Year’s Day) off. After a week at home celebrating Christmas, it was a little tricky to ease my brain back into ‘work mode’ but I did really enjoy it. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a medical doctor specialising in public health (my title is ‘Specialist Registrar in Public Health Medicine’ and I’m a first year trainee), and I work in a public health department in Galway. I’m 6 months into my new job and new training programme and I love it!

This week at work, I was focusing on an influenza audit I’m doing, looking at management of influenza outbreaks by public health. As many of you know I’m sure, influenza season in Ireland is currently right at it’s peak, putting huge pressure on all hospital and primary care services in Ireland. I’ve shared quite a bit of information on this topic on my blog and elsewhere – check that out here.

I’m also currently working on transforming my Masters (in Public Health) dissertation into an article I can submit to a medical journal – not an easy feat, as many of you reading are aware I’m sure! My dissertation was on the topic of shift work and how it can affect dietary behaviours and physical activity levels – I’ve written about it on my blog quite a bit – have a read here!

So that’s two examples of the work involved in being a public health doctor – research and audit, which are both very important to review and improve the quality of healthcare services we provide (among other reasons!), and also health protection, which is one of the four domains of public health medicine.

Being on-call is also part and parcel of my role as a public health physician – I was on-call on Friday of this week. Fridays always give me a little bit of an ‘eek!’ feeling on-call, because as trainees don’t do weekend on-call (only specialists/consultants do), we don’t have the security of knowing you can come in the next day to follow up – it’s Monday when you’ll next be in! But thankfully, although it was a very busy on-call day (and of course I can’t discuss the specifics of what I was dealing with for confidentiality reasons), I got out only a little bit late – phew! I’ve shared an Instagram post recently explaining what being ‘on-call’ means in public health – have a peek at my page to find it!

What went on in my non-doctor life…

In my non-doctor life this week, I felt quite reflective, as 2019 drew to a close. I went out in Galway city with friends and my sister to celebrate New Year’s and ring in 2020, and it was so much fun – Galway city was buzzing!

What I’m watching…

I went to see the new Little Women movie on New Year’s Day, and I have to say, it was absolutely BRILLIANT. Honestly, just amazing. Saoirse Ronan was fantastic. I loved the book, and the movie really brought the book to life. 11/10, that’s a recommendation from me to check it out!

I tried the Netflix series ‘You’ this week after hearing everyone RAVE about it. After two episodes, I couldn’t sleep on Thursday night, so although it’s definitely a good show (in my humble opinion!), I won’t be continuing it – psychological thrillers are not for me! Especially not before bed!

What I’m reading…

This week, I finished a book I got for Christmas called ‘The Day That Changed My Life‘ by journalist Caitlin McBride. It’s a collection of stories from some of Ireland’s most inspirational women (from sporting to science to political career backgrounds and more) brought together by McBride, all on the theme of a day that changed their life. My brother got it for me for Christmas, and I absolutely loved it. I really enjoy hearing other people’s stories – it makes me feel less alone in my own life experiences. Definitely one to grab from your local library!

I started Sally Rooney’s Conversations With Friends over the weekend and I’m hooked! So that’s my current read – hopefully I’ll finish it by next weekend.

What I’m listening to…

I re-visited an old favourite podcast this week – Ctrl Alt Delete by Emma Gannon. I’ve listened to a few episodes before, and I came back to it this week after realising I had forgotten about it for a while! I love it – I’ve got a lot of episodes to listen back to, but I really enjoyed interviews with Elizabeth Day, Elizabeth Gilbert and Jameela Jamil. I also really enjoyed the new episode of the How To Fail podcast by Elizabeth Day, interviewing actor Andrew Scott.

Brews and Eats

In Galway, this week I tried the seafood restaurant Hooked with a friend – celebrating surviving on-call! I really enjoyed the meal there – I had a VERY tasty seafood chowder, which is something I find hard not to order if I see it on a menu! Definitely one to check out in Galway. I also tried a breakfast at new spot Greens & Co, which is a vegan eatery on the West Side of town. I tried a tofu, spinach and mushrooms on sourdough toast dish, which was, I have to say, completely delicious, and the coffee was great too!

And that’s a wrap for this week gang! I wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who was so kind with messages during my Instagram story Q&A this week. I answered questions mostly about my doctor life, but one was about the fact that I (intentionally) gained some weight during 2019, and I answered as honestly as I felt able to. There were lots of lovely messages in response to what I shared – thank you! It’s something I might write about more here or on my Instagram in future.

See you next week gang – for the second Weekly Balance!

Ciara 🙂 x

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