11 August 2021
By Tom Collins
A Life in Trauma is a frank, remarkable account of a career spent helping others, sometimes at a painful personal cost, and ultimately offers a positive outlook on the potential of Ireland’s healthcare system in the future.
Publication Date: October 2021
Publisher: Gill Books
Dr Chris Luke qualified in 1982 at University College Dublin and has been an emergency physician for over 35 years. He has worked in frontline medicine in Ireland, the UK and Australia and has been a consultant in emergency medicine in Cork for over 20 years. Luke, who calls himself a ‘slightly militant altruist’, is a passionate and outspoken advocate for the public health service, those who depend on it and those who work in it. He has four children and lives in Cork.
Concern. Compassion. Doubt. Despair. Anger. Hope. Imagine juggling these feelings every day in a situation where your ability to manage them could be the difference between life and death.
For Dr Chris Luke, a consultant in emergency medicine, these experiences are an intrinsic part of the job – ranging from rage at a system that often leaves vulnerable people waiting anxiously, to the incomparable satisfaction of relieving patients’ suffering and distress and making a real difference in people’s lives and in society.
Here, Dr Luke reveals his own rollercoaster journey from orphanage boy to one of the leading emergency physicians in the country. Luke’s recollections and reflections on a life spent on the frontline – grappling with his own health issues, burnout and sometimes despair at a dysfunctional system – make for compelling reading.