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

10 Minutes with ...

27 February 2015

Dr Camilla Carroll graduated with a medical degree from RCSI in 1985. RCSI is deeply woven into the fabric of her family with her husband, father, two sisters and brother-in-law all graduates of RCSI.


When did you first become interested in pursuing a career in medicine and what led you to your chosen specialty?
I pursued a career in surgery following my internship at the Richmond hospital Dublin. My career choice was influenced from an early age, by observing at first hand, the life of a surgeon. My father, Kamal Sayed was a neurosurgeon. Although he spent many hours in the hospital and was frequently on call at night time, it was obvious to us children growing up, that he loved being a surgeon.

After completing general surgical training and the FRCSI in 1989, I began my ENT career. I was appointed to the Irish Training Programme in ENT Surgery and had the opportunity, during this time, to be involved in research and lecturing as the Clinical Lecturer to UCC and TCD.

I completed my higher surgical training in the UK at the University of Birmingham. It was here, working with Professor David Proops at the Birmingham Children's hospital, that I was trained in the multidisciplinary surgical management of profoundly deaf children and cochlear implant surgery.

After my CCST, I was awarded one of 50 places in North America, by the American Joint Council for Head and Neck Surgery, to pursue specialist surgical training in Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery at the University of Toronto, Canada. I spent two years working alongside Professor Pat Gullane. Pat, an honorary fellow of RCSI, is an inspiring surgeon and humanitarian. I am proud to call him my friend and mentor.

In 2002, I commenced private practise as a Consultant ENT Surgeon in Mount Carmel Hospital Dublin, the Blackrock Clinic and UPMC Beacon Hospital. This period of my career was very rewarding and fulfilling. Working in private medicine provided me with the opportunity to deliver a patient centred service.

I joined RCSI postgraduate teaching faculty in 2010 as a lecturer and examiner in the Faculty of Human Factors and Patient safety.


Where are you currently working and what does your role entail?
2015 sees me increase my commitment to medical education having recently joined the undergraduate medical school as a lecturer in the Department of Surgery. I continue to practise as an ENT surgeon, with a recent appointment to the Eye and Ear Hospital Dublin.


What has been the highlight of your career to date?

There are 3 career highlights that I would specifically like to mention.

1982: Gold medal and First Place in the Third Medical year Surgical Clinical Exam at the Richmond Hospital Dublin.
As a result of this award, I was able to travel that summer to the Johnston Willis Hospital at the University of Richmond Virginia. I spent 3 months as a Vascular Surgery medical student fellow. It was my first taste of surgery stateside and I couldn't wait to get more.

1995: I was awarded a surgical research grant of $50,000 by the American Research Council for research carried out by me on Angiogenesis and muscle flap viability in cardiomyoplasty for treatment of end stage cardiac failure. This was work carried out by me at the University of Louisville, Kentucky Department of Surgery under the guidance of Professor John Barker. This research formed the basis of my MD thesis. The late Professor John Fitzpatrick was my thesis supervisor.

2005: RCSI founded 2 annual medals named in honour of my late father Mr Kamal Sayed, Neurosurgeon Richmond Hospital Dublin and Anatomy Prosector, RCSI.

- The Sayed Hanson medal in Anatomy. This is awarded to graduate entry first year medical students who achieve first place in anatomy.

- The Kamal Sayed Neurosurgical Research Medal. This is awarded to postgraduate neurosurgical trainees for excellence in neurosurgical


What advice would you give to recent graduates embarking on their career?
My advice to medical students wishing to pursue a career in surgery is to follow your dream. The current run-through surgical training should encourage more graduates to consider surgery as a realistic choice. One, where it is now possible to have a realistic work-life balance.
I am proud to be a medical graduate and surgical fellow of RCSI. It is a centre of excellence and wherever your career takes you; your RCSI training will be recognised for this.

Remember that RCSI provides all of its graduates with a worldwide medical community, which is there to help you.

Finally, I could not have achieved any of my career milestones without the initial love and support of my parents. I would like to thank my husband Sean, sons Oisin and Brian and my siblings for their continuing encouragement as my life as a surgeon continues to unfold.


Pictured during Christmas 2014 are Camilla and Sean Carroll with sons Oisin 12yrs and Brian 7yrs.