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

On Call with... Dr Daniel Joyce, Class of 2010

30 March 2018

"RCSI sowed the seed for my belief that I could take on a role like this - the College fostered any aptitude for leadership, ensuring it could be expressed. Even as a student I was allowed test my leadership skills."

Daniel Joyce


Q&A with Dr Daniel Joyce, Administrative Chief Resident at the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, a multi-specialty academic non-profit hospital.



I am chief resident responsible for scheduling the day-to-day running of the team of 70-80 residents at the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio.


It's true, at 29, I'm younger than most of my colleagues but, being an outsider from Co Galway, I have an edge: I am able to plámás [Irish flattery] and use my diplomatic skills. The big difference between the system in Ireland and the EU and the situation in the US is the amount of time off. We have much less of it here. But, I believe people need downtime - being understanding of this is the key to good leadership. Plus, if you are seen to work hard yourself, people respond to that.

Class of 2010

Class of 2010


I'm from Recess in Connemara, went to school in Tuam and won a scholarship to RCSI. After graduating, I trained at Beaumont Hospital for a year. At the time, the Irish economy was at a low point and, with advice from Paddy Broe {Emeritus Clinical Professor of Surgery and Past President of RCSI}, I made the decision to jump ship to the US. At the age of 22, I really didn't think too much about it. I thought I'd give it a go...

P. Broe

"With advice from Paddy Broe, I made the decision to jump ship to the US."

Painting: James Hanley RHA Portrait of Prof. Patrick Broe, Past President RCSI


I knew very little about Cleveland, Ohio when I arrived in the depths of December snow. I love being here. Workwise, the Cleveland Clinic is a phenomenal institution; it sees the most complex cases from all over the world. In terms of life outside work, Cleveland is the mid-west so the lifestyle is laidback and the cost of living reasonable.


Yes. The CEO of the Cleveland Clinic is a physician. All departments here are headed up by practising physicians. Everyone in leadership is clinically active. It is empowering.


The interns are in from 5.15am checking on overnight events, rounds start at 6am. I am in the OR from 7.30am three days' a week, and every fourth or fifth night I am on call. It's an 80-hour workweek rule. Historically, it would have been longer.


I live in an apartment ten minutes from the hospital. It's compact but my experience of moving house here was so miserable that I have minimised my possessions rather than move to somewhere bigger - it's very liberating. I enjoy a good work life balance - Cleveland has a great theatre district, brilliant sport and a lively culinary scene.


I will graduate from general surgery in June and will start a surgical oncology fellowship at Rosswell Park, Buffalo where my husband lives and works. I love to go back to Galway two or three times a year - Connemara is a great place to visit but I now feel like a foreigner there, when once I felt alien in the US.


I am struggling with how we deal with End of Life issues. The vast majority of healthcare spend is on EOL. In the US, $1m can be spent in ten days on one EOL patient, and then the outcome is not good. We need to review our priorities.


It's a cliché but my student days were the best... I cherish every moment. I still remember the moment in the anatomy room when I fell in love with surgery. I have Harold Browne, Henry Osborne and Paddy Broe to thank for that!


Thank you Dr Joyce!


'On Call' is our new alumni interview series in which alumni supply the answers to our searching questions. If you have any comments, feedback, or would like to be put in contact with Dr Joyce please email