Living Medical History Project

The Living Medical History Project recorded the life stories of Irish doctors, born 100 years ago, at a time when the threat of infectious diseases was part of everyday life. Many recalled their memories of the first time antibiotics came to Ireland and the life-changing introduction of treatment for tuberculosis. Their stories include how cardiac surgery, urinary surgery, and cardiac anaesthetics began in Ireland. Two worked as doctors during WW2 and there are also accounts of the beginning of Farranfore Airport Kerry and the election of Dublin’s first Lady Mayoress, Carmencita Hederman. A second theme of the project documented how life in Ireland changed the latter half of the 20th century. Interviews were conducted by Ida Milne (Carlow College) and Susan Mullaney (TCD) in Dublin, Belfast and Kerry. Specialties included are two GPs, one rural and one urban (Dr P Daly; Dr J Slein), an anaesthetist (Dr R Clarke), paediatrician, (Dr C Field), cardiac surgeon (Mr W Hederman), public health specialist (Dr L Meenan), physician/WHO (Dr P Gatenby), psychiatry/medicine in Africa (Dr P Horne) infectious disease specialist (Dr Caoimhghin Breathnach), urinary surgery (Dr D O’ Flynn). (Another yet to be released)

The transcripts were deposited in the Heritage Centre of RCPI. RAMI are very grateful to the Heritage Centre, which has digitised these unique accounts of doctors’ lives at a pivotal time in medical history.

All the transcripts are available online here