Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

10 Minutes with ...

28 November 2014

This month we caught up with Dr Sheikh Mohammed Basheer who graduated from RCSI in 1961 obtaining first place in medicine. Dr Basheer has recently published his memoirs entitled Snakes to Shamrock: From Uganda to Ireland, A Journey Untold. Dr Basheer was appointed as a Consultant Paediatrician in Limerick in 1973 where he worked until his retirement in 1999. Read more about Dr Basheer's memoirs in a recent edition of the Limerick Leader

What are your most memorable experiences from your time at RCSI?
I was an active founder member of Men's Hockey Club in RCSI. We started in the Junior League, and by 1960, we won the Senior League, winning both the Galtrim Cup & Railway Cup; the two most prestigious cups in men's hockey at the time in Dublin. I was also Captain of the team from 1960-1961.


When did you first become interested in pursuing a career in medicine and what led you to your chosen specialty?
When I saw my Father practicing medicine in Uganda under difficult conditions. The high infant and children mortality at the time led me to become a Paediatrician.


What are the factors that have provided you with the stepping stones to success in your career?
Good undergraduate training in RCSI, followed by good postgraduate training in various teaching hospitals in Dublin, both general & paediatrics - and of course hard work.


What has been the highlight of your career to date?
There have been many-all are in my Memoirs. I suppose responsible for building a separate Paediatric unit, ‘Children's Ark', at the Limerick Regional Hospital and a successful Liver transplant in a 2 year old girl on the Millennium in London, against all odds on that day.


What challenges have you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
Faced racial and work prejudices but overcame them by ignoring them.


What advice would you give to recent graduates embarking on their career?
Focus on your career and ignore all kind of prejudices. You meet prejudices in all walks of life and careers and every part of the world.


What career might you have chosen if you weren't in your current one?


What do you like to do in your spare time?
Reading, walking, photography and playing golf.


What person do you most admire and why?
Nelson Mandela for getting rid of apartheid against all odds.