Dear Dr O’Kane, I suspect you will have long forgotten me as one of the huge number of trainees who you’ve helped over the years, but I haven’t forgotten the superb support you gave us as SHOs at QE2 and Lister Hospitals in 2011/12. I have just been appointed as a Consultant Haematologist in Norwich; you wrote me a glowing reference which was shown to me when I was selected for ST3 in 2013 (the panel remarked on its generosity), having already pushed me through the PACES exam (in particular the dark art of cardiac murmurs!) and after endless extra practice during my Stroke post of neurological examination. I still use your ebooks for reference on my phone. More even than the medical side, I recall your kindness towards us whenever we were struggling.....I especially remember how you told me to leave your ward round one morning to take another SHO - who had just finished a night shift and was clearly tearful about something - for a cup of tea, with the instruction not to return, “until she’s smiling again!”. You took us all for a meal at the end too, and took the time to get to know us all well. We laughed an awful lot on 6A, despite the sometimes bleak clinical outcomes. The NHS is famously poor at praising where it’s due, so as I’ve been thinking about what kind of a consultant I want to be, and whose example I’d like to emulate, I remembered those days on 6A at Lister and I wanted to track you down to thank you. I hope you know what a uniquely terrific teacher and mentor you are, and what fun you make the job. I’m very fortunate to have a post in a department staffed by fine colleagues, and my training in Haematology has been really excellent, but when I look back, your clinical training (tempered with a gentle humanity and a great sense of fun) is what stood out as the best example of a fine physician to aspire to. Thank you very much. I hope you’re well, and you’re very happy at your current post.
One of the most hardworking doctors I have ever met. So passionate about improving not only patient care, but also medical education. He has published books, and developed apps, as well organising courses and educational meetings. A real joy to work with, and an asset to the NHS.
Short link to review Dr Declan O'Kane: http://iwgc.net/ew4j