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."