Irish Examiner (Ireland)—November 29, 2013
Despite being one of the most sought-after spine surgeons in the world whose work has led to great advances in his field, Patrick O’Leary does not feel he is deserving of the alumni achievement award with which University College Cork has honored him.
Dr. O’Leary’s high level of sophisticated spine care has such a reputation that he has been sought out around the world by famous actors, world leaders, and professional athletes.
“We operated on VIPs from all over the world, but whether you were a farmer from West Cork or a famous sportsperson, you get the same care,” he says.
He received a lifetime achievement award in 2012 from HSS and he returns to his alma mater today to be presented with his alumni achievement award, the highest honor the university can bestow on a graduate.
At the presentation of his lifetime achievement award in 2012, Thomas P. Sculco, surgeon-in-chief at HSS said: “Dr. O’Leary’s incredible skill and dedication to his patients have made him a leader at HSS and in international spine surgery. His work has improved surgical techniques and patient care and led to great advances in the field of spine surgery.”
Over the course of his career, Dr. O’Leary has seen spine surgery change beyond all recognition.
Over the years, he has treated many professional sportspeople — including some of the top basketball, American football, and hockey players in the US. Advances in technology mean many athletes can now play professionally after surgery — some are even good enough to return following a broken neck, although no insurer will no cover them to play at this level following such a serious injury.
Despite his modesty, Dr. O’Leary is glad of the opportunity to return to his alma mater to express his gratitude for the education he received there.
Read the full story at irishexaminer.com.