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Biographical entry O'Brien, Michael Coleman (1945 - 1975)

MRCS and FRCS 1973; MB BCh BAO NUI 1968; FRCSI 1972.

29 April 1945
22 December 1975
ENT surgeon and General surgeon


Michael Coleman O'Brien was born in Cork on 29 April 1945 and was educated there. His father was a distinguished ear, nose and throat surgeon. He graduated in medicine at University College, Cork, in 1968 and held a house appointment at the Mercy Hospital, Cork. In 1972 he took the FRCSI and the following year the FRCS England. After a post as senior house officer at Leicester Royal Infirmary he went to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, where he worked in the ENT department for six months and then returned to general surgery. He held a research scholarship from Queen's University.

In 1973 he married Deidre McGrath who was a nurse and they had one daughter. Mike O'Brien endeared himself to all northerners and showed himself to have three valuable gifts: a fine pair of hands, an excellent intellect, and a marvellous, attractive personality. The surgical world seemed to be at his feet when he developed a carcinoma of the transverse colon. He bore the knowledge of his inevitably fatal illness with tremendous dignity and courage. He died on 22 December 1975, aged 30 years.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1976, 1, 529].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England