Dr Rhona Mahony is currently Master of the National Maternity Hospital, where she oversees over 9,000 deliveries a year and a busy gynaecological unit, and has responsibility for approximately 800 staff. A mother of four, and keen advocate for women in all fields, she was instrumental in the establishment of the NMH Foundation in 2012. Dr Mahony is an Honorary Clinical Professor with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
We sat down with Rhona, speaker at the next IMAGE Women’s Networking Breakfast, to ask…
What was the best bit of advice you’ve got in your career?
Do as much as you can. Some advice is worth not taking and some mistakes are worth making. Keep learning and have courage. And don’t panic. Life is a long game.
Did you ever have a ‘master plan’, and if so, did it work? Or what turns did life take?
Not so much a master plan as a plan to be Master! Actually, I just did what I loved and I was very lucky. Life has presented me with a lot of opportunity. I am learning so much all the time – for that I am very grateful.
If you were doing it all again, is there anything you’d do differently?
I wouldn’t change a thing. The past is done and so far I have survived. I am living as much as I can. I like to think of what might be.
What terrifies you most in terms of your work? How did you overcome it?
A dead baby or a dead mother. Lack of courage. I hope I never get over these things.
How does charity/social responsibility fit into your working life?
Social responsibility is hugely important in my role. Not just fundraising through the NMH Foundation to support the work of the Hospital. It is a question of advocacy. I hope never to waste an opportunity to bring society’s attention and focus back to the importance of childbirth. There is nothing more important than birth. There really isn’t.