The Ministry of Bodies: Looking back in anger at medical misbehaviour

Seamus O’Mahony’s memoir of working life at Cork University Hospital is a fascinating mix of contrariness, despair and resignation

Seamus O’Mahony’s biggest frustration with being a doctor is not the patients or the soul-destroying hospital bureaucracy – but, rather, other doctors


The Ministry of Bodies

By Seamus O’Mahony

Apollo, €21.99

Some years ago, an alcoholic patient of Seamus O’Mahony’s furiously demanded to be released from hospital. She grabbed the self-discharging medical form he handed her, signed it, and then threw it at him.

This prompted the professor of gastroenterology to reflect that his three years of researching mucosal immunology in a laboratory might have been better spent shadowing a pub landlord or a nightclub bouncer. ...