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Ciara Melia, Physician Associate, Breast & General Surgery

"I have been working on the Breast and General surgery services for the past two and a half years. This service provides lots of variety on a daily basis. My typical day would normally start with an out-patient clinic, for example a breast clinic. In this clinic I see woman and men who attend with a new concern or women who are returning for a follow up cancer review appointment. As part of the clinical team I would take a history from the patient and perform a physical exam. The case is then presented to the consultant and imaging is requested as per physical exam findings. If the patient is a TAC (triple assessment clinic, meaning they have their history taken, physical exam and imaging on the same day) patient, I would review their imaging results with them. At this point I can either reassure the patient and discharge them back to their GP or else I might have to wait for any biopsies results to return. I would advise the patient that the team will back in contact in a few days once their biopsy and imaging is discussed at our MDM (multi-disciplinary meeting).

In the afternoon we have a theatre list. There are typically 3 cases listed. As the physician associate on the team I would normally get to assist on a case or two. Our cases would normally range from removing a persons gallbladder, repairing a hernia to performing some minor breast surgeries. Our major cases or more complex cases would be operated on a different day. As a consistent member of the team one of my duties is to manage the waiting list for theatre. I ensure patients are pre-assessed and all relevant pre-operative investigations are completed. I then arrange dates for patient to attend for their surgeries.

The rest of my week would consist of a mixture of clinics, both breast and general surgery clinics, theatre and also our breast MDM. I really enjoy the variety of concerns that patients present with on this service and it gives me the opportunity to expand on my knowledge base and develop my skill set."

Ciara Melia: Welcome
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