Sunday, March 4, 2012

#12 Dr. Pat O'Shea

Today's post is in honor of someone who should really be in our family portrait! There are blood relatives I don't see as often as I see this man.

Dr. Patrick O'Shea is a local doctor, born and bred, a very highly-regarded family physician who also happens to be my father's GP.

He is not a doctor I've worked with in my professional capacity, but he has been my sister's and my life ring and sanity-saver, on more occasions that we care to count!

He opened the very busy Newfoundland Drive Family Practice clinic many, many years ago, which is now the 11 Elizabeth Family Practice Clinic. (Moving premises played havoc with the clinic name.)

He is also widely known as a former president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association.

To our family, though, he is a saint, a doll, a gentleman, a rock - just a wonderful man who has helped us along the path of caring for a nonagenarian during the little things and the big.

Dr. O'Shea sees my Dad on average about once a month. Believe me when I say that dear ol' Dad is not the sickest of Dr. O'Shea's patients, not by a long shot. His occasional illnesses and ailments pale in comparison to the majority of others who are in their 90's, but once someone reaches that age, I suppose everything is a medical crisis, at least that's how it works for me fadder!

Dr. O'Shea has a real gift for dealing with the elderly, which is humorously ironic when one sees his exam room, where every available inch of wall, door and now ceiling space is plastered with baby pictures!!

Both my sister and I have accompanied Dad on countless appointments, and never on any occasion has he made us or Dad feel like maybe we were worrying about nothing, or were wasting his time. My father walks out of Dr. O'Shea's office feeling like his complaint was the most challenging and interesting thing Dr. O'Shea had to deal with that day, which I can tell you is never true, but it makes Dad feel special!

It's not that he wants to be sick, he just thrives on the attention! Who among us does not from time to time?

Dr. O'Shea explains things to Dad in language he can understand. He'll print off test results and give them to me, in a gesture of professional courtesy. He is the same way with my sister.

He will help Dad on with his coat, and literally pat us on the back as we're leaving, telling us that we're doing a great job with him.

He assures us that he will do housecalls at any time if Dad needs him. Can you imagine that, in this day and age?!?!

One time, when Dad was actually significantly sick, Dr. O'Shea gave us the number to his answering service, and told us to tell them that it was a 'maternity case' we were calling about, to make sure the message was passed along right away. Dad thought this was the funniest thing ever!

Fortunately, we have never had to inconvenience him like that, but I can tell you it would be an odd day that either of us would call for an appointment for Dad, and not be able to get in on the same day. They all know him there, and take really good care of him.

I've seen many times the way Dr. O'Shea is with Dad, and the consideration he has given to Alice and me. It would make no sense to believe that he treats us any differently than he does any of his patients or patient's families. He has a bedside manner that is a dying art.

In the medical profession, though, being nice only gets you so far. Fortunately for us, he is a very wise, sensible, no-nonsense practitioner, who doesn't go overboard or blow things out of proportion, or order unnecessary tests. He does what needs to be done, always has a plan, and leaves my father feeling very reassured. What more could one want in a GP?

For all these reasons, and for the care and caring he has shown, Dr. Patrick O'Shea has earned a place in my heart as someone I sincerely admire and respect.



  1. Hi! My name's Brittany, and I'm from Saskatchewan. I was researching for a paper I am writing for an ENG 100 class. I stumbled upon the man above ^
    (Dr. Patrick O'Shea) in a CBC article. I was looking for just a tad bit more information for my paper (that he was a family doctor from NF, pretty much) when I found this.

    TO the point: I'm glad to read that the man I am quoting in my essay is in fact, a good doctor!

  2. Hi Brittany,
    Yes, Dr. O'Shea is indeed a good doctor, and a wonderful man. I stand by that to this day. I hope you do well with your paper!!


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