Interview: Simon Carley

Are you ready to meet the genuine people behind the professional?

iEM team proudly presents the ICON360 project. In this pleasantly educational series, world-renowned experts will share their habits, give advice on life, wellness and the profession.

Our first guest is Dr. Simon Carley.

Simon Carley is Professor of Emergency Medicine in Manchester, England. Along with being an active clinician, he has published over 100 papers in clinical journals. His main interest areas are disaster medicine, diagnostics, evidence base medicine and medical education. He is a co-founder and developer of the BestBets and St. Emlyn’s websites.

Morning Person Or Night Owl?

Oh, Gosh. I am probably a morning person which is not terribly good for an emergency physician. I get up at six o’clock pretty much everyday and I can work into the night but I just like to get up early in the morning and start work, get things done before breakfast and then the rest of the day is your own.

The song that help you relax?

Gosh! To relax? Wait on… Gosh, to relax… It’s not much of a song. If I actually wanted to relax, I would listen to classical music. Before I was a doctor, I wanted to be a musician. I wanted to be a flutist but I wasn’t good enough to be a flutist so I had to do medicine instead. So I go back and listed to something like Mozart’s First Flute Concerto.

How many hours do you sleep a day?

Oh, now that’s really interesting because I think sleep is incredibly important. So I do a lot trying get myself to have at least seven hours sleep every night. Now sometimes we can’t do it when we are on call and that’s okay, I try to make it up but there is a great book out there called “Why We Sleep”; it will change the way you think about the sleep forever. It is brilliant for learning, health, everything. You have to sleep. You have to sleep!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

So couple of things. When I was younger, I wanted to be a pilot and I still think that’s a great job. I think I might have quite enjoyed being a pilot. Later on, I wanted to be a flutist. I wanted to be a professional musician but sadly I was not good enough to be so. 

Which team are you a fan of?

So my grandfather played for “Manchester City”. So my family plays Manchester City. If you’ve got time for the full story, he was six foot six. He was a goalkeeper. And people ask me if I can play football cause he was such a good footballer, he wasn’t, he was a terrible footballer, he was just very good at stopping other people play football. 

Who is the biggest influencer on you and why?

There are number and if you’re thinking historically in my profession, it’s some of the amazing clinicians in Manchester when I was there when I was a medical student and later a junior doctor. There are many but I would name “Tony Redmond”, “Kevin Mackway-Jones”, “Pete Driscoll” as really influential people both academically, clinically and personally. 

What is the most important lesson you learned as an emergency physician?

I think it’s being able to work with uncertainty. A lot of the decisions that we make is time critical and information light. So it’s working in that area of probability and uncertainty. That’s what makes us emergency physicians and I think those are the lessons which have made me a better clinician over the years.

The hardest thing about being an emergency physician is?

The hardest think is probably the hours and the need to keep up to date in a very broad specialty so you’ve got so many things to look at and so many thing to keep up-to-date with.

The best thing about being an emergency physician is?

We have the best stories. It’s the coolest job in medicine. What else do you need?

The full interview is 24 minutes long and includes many advice on life, wellness, and our profession. We will be sharing short videos from this interview. However, the full interview will be published as an audio file in our Soundcloud account. 

This interview was recorded during the EACEM2018 in Turkey. We thank EMAT.

The interview was recorded and produced by

Arif Alper Cevik

Elif Dilek Cakal

Murat Cetin

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.