Austin Duffy: ‘You’re covering this big hospital and you feel just inadequate and terrified’

In his latest novel, The Night Interns, oncologist and prize-winning writer Austin Duffy wanted readers to feel as if they were on call while reading his tense portrayal of three young doctors navigating night shifts in a surgical ward

Austin Duffy, author and oncologist: ‘I think one of the ways to improve medical care is to be more open in communication. And this is my way of doing that’. Picture: Fergal Phillips

By the time I speak to Austin Duffy on the evening of a rainy Bank Holiday Monday, the author, doctor and father-of-two has already done an on-call shift in the Mater hospital and gone for a run.

It’s a typically productive day for the Dundalk-turned-Howth man who, when not fulfilling his duties as an oncologist at the Mater, working as associate professor of translational oncology at University College Dublin, or writing prize-worthy novels, can be ...