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

10 Minutes with ...

09 September 2015

This month we speak to Philip Wiehe, Class of 1980, who hails originally from Mauritius and now lives in Dublin where he works as a GP. Dr Wiehe celebrated his 35 year reunion at the Alumni Gathering 2015 at the end of August in RCSI, and commented after the event "The weekend was so enjoyable, and a great opportunity to reacquaint. The greatest regret was the speed with which it went by. A most sincere thank you to all the team."

What are your most memorable experiences from your time at RCSI?
Happily a large number of memories surface on reminiscing from the early years in RCSI. The most memorable come from the pre-clinical years where tremendous camaraderie and support within the class and from the student body overall enabled one to work hard and play hard.

Annie's 5 star canteen, anatomy card signings with Moira O'Brien, the old lecture theatres, being present when the new building was completed, and the recognition of the MB BCh degree from NUI are some very few selected memories of this very special time in my life.

When did you first become interested in pursuing a career in medicine?
Probably in my last two years in secondary school, and I never lost my desire despite taking 2-3 years to achieve entry into medical school.

What led you to your chosen specialty?
General Practice was always my goal. I have always enjoyed first line contact with people and been continuously intrigued by the variety in human behaviour. There is probably no better place than general practice to experience same.

What are the factors that have provided you with the stepping stones to success in your career?

A lot of luck, some hard work and dedication, and loyal and supportive friends provided the framework. At the core, the tremendous support from my wife and family as well as my partners and colleagues in work has helped me throughout my career.

What have been some of highlights in your career to date?

I have had the privilege of working in the same practice for 30 years, and to have looked after a very large number of people from different walks of life.
Another highlight was participating in undergraduate teaching in its early days, during the time when Bill Shannon became Professor of General Practice at RCSI. I was also Programme Director of GP Training in one of the Dublin programmes for 9 years, and I am still involved as GP Trainer for the Dublin North Inner City Training Programme.

What advice would you give to recent graduates embarking on their career?

To remain positive, enthusiastic, dedicated, professional and hard working. To always remember that it is a privilege to care for people.

What person do you most admire and why?

Nelson Mandela. He is surely the individual in recent times that has been the most extraordinarily resilient in the face of most challenging adversity.