Monday, June 06, 2011

These Irish eyes are shining

A story from the Emerald Isle. The Irish Times reports that Dr. Rhona Mahony has just been elected the first female Master of a Dublin maternity hospital. The first one since 1894. I know this is a country steeped in tradition, but it is nice to see a change!

There is some speculation as to what her title will be. “Of course, I will be known as Mistress,” she says jokingly.

Confirming she will use the title Master, she says it has long been in use, is well understood and is, she says, an “affectionate” term. So Master Rhona it will be – in a positive, asexual, way.

The Mastership system is unique to the three Dublin maternity hospitals – the Rotunda, Coombe and Holles Street. Established in the 18th century by a royal charter given to the Rotunda, the system was well ahead of its time. It means the buck stops with one individual, both clinically and administratively.

Note this emphasis on good clinical practice, too: She believes the key to reducing the number of [Caesarian] sections is in how a woman’s first labour is managed – “we must make sure we don’t make her first delivery complicated” – as this leads to a much higher probability of an operative delivery.

And staff engagement: Mahony emphasises the extent to which every single staff member contributes to the success of NMH. “They go the extra distance every time and have a great esprit de corps."

Congratulations, Master Rhona!


Anonymous said...

I'm glad she is keeping the title of Master. I always thought this "chairperson" business was a bit silly.


76 Degrees in San Diego said...

What a great article! Dr. Mahony has 4 children, is a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, is the leader of all aspects of the hospital, and is humble. Wow!

And, I learned a new phrase: "too post to push"!