Lucia intended to follow her mother into teaching, but, having failed to find a suit to wear at the interview, had a rethink, and ended up studying medicine.
“I qualified in 1984, but it was four years until I became a GP.”
After a spell in England, Lucia moved back to Ireland, and worked in West Cork, before setting up practice with her husband, in Killenaule, County Tipperary. She is an Assistant Programme Director with the South East GP Training Scheme.
“I’ve always liked to write, but for myself, as a way to figure things out,” she says. “My Masters got me into writing. I enjoyed it, and afterwards, started writing a column for the Medical Independent. That stopped me being fearful.”
A commissioning editor from Gill books spotted the column, and encouraged Lucia to write a memoir.
“I started writing it last November, but I had no voice or tone. I joined an accelerated memoir course with Irene Graham. That helped, but I knew when I’d finished the book that it needed to be redone. That took six weeks and was really enjoyable.”
Who is Lucia Gannon?
Date of birth: 8th May 1963, in Connemara.
Education: An Irish speaking school. NUI Galway, Medicine. University of London, (distance learning,) MA in Applied Positive Psychology.
Home: Killenaule, County Tipperary.
Family: Husband Liam Meagher, Joseph, 27, Ailshe 25, (A newly qualified GP,) Liam Jnr, 21.
The Day Job: General Practitioner
In Another Life: “I’d be a contemporary dancer.”
Favourite Writers: Enid Blyton; Edith Wharton; Ian McEwan; Colm Tóibín; Alice Munro; Iris Murdoch; Deborah Levy.
Second Book: “I want to keep writing and I have a few ideas.”
Top Tip: “Write as if you are never going to show it to anybody. And read Anne Lamont’s Bird by Bird. Her chapter on ‘the shitty first draft’ really helped me.”
The Debut: All in a Doctor’s Day. Gill Books. €16.99. Kindle: €6.19.
This thoughtful memoir follows Lucia through her days as a GP, and as a mother. It explains how the profession works, and the challenges and stress she faces on a daily basis.
“Many of my patients have read it, and were surprised that they enjoyed it so much.”
The Verdict: Affectionate, perceptive, and humourous; this is a memoir to treasure.
Published on June 1st in The Irish Examiner.
© Sue J Leonard. 2019.