IQS Experts.

Dr Alison McCoubrey


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Alison McCoubrey is a general & colorectal surgeon. Her key interests include medical education, patient safety and quality improvement. Increasingly Alison has become interested in the role diet has to play in our health & wellbeing.

Tell us how you came to be in the role you are today…

I knew from fairly early on in my medical student career that I wanted to be a surgeon. Inspired by enthusiastic and passionate teachers in my third year surgical attachment, there was no question that I was going to do anything else. I loved the mix of patient contact, challenging cases and the ability to do something very practical to impact on a patient’s health and wellbeing.

What would be your best advice to someone starting out on the same career path as you?

Work hard & be enthusiastic. Look after yourself – surgery (and medicine in general) can be all too consuming and it is important for you, your family and your patients, that you take time out to look after yourself. Having friends or a partner outside of medicine can help you regain a little perspective.

How do you relax when you’re not busy answering questions at I Quit Sugar?

Weekly sessions with my personal trainer. Yoga and reading. I also love to crochet after teaching myself about two years ago. 

What’s the hardest thing about your job?

Breaking bad news.

In five words, tell us the most important qualities for someone in your particular role…

Compassion, tenacity, approachable, energy, motivated.

What do you enjoy most about working in your field?

Being able to make a significant differences to a patient’s life in a very practical way. So rewarding when a patient comes back and says that you have transformed their life.

What’s next on your horizon?

I am investigating the possibility of doing an integrative nutrition course or studying functional medicine. I have patients who can’t be helped by surgery but could be helped by nutritional advice.

If you weren’t a Colorectal Surgeon, you would have been a…

Gastroenterologist – I love medicine and would still be a doctor, just a different type of doctor.

Why are you such a firm believer in the I Quit Sugar philosophy?

I am becoming increasingly convinced that our modern diet and lifestyle is making us sick. We have more “health foods” than ever before yet the population is getting fatter and sicker. I see patients whose symptoms would be improved simply by improving their diet. I am a great believer in cooking from scratch. The I Quit Sugar philosophy is sustainable – Just Eat Real Food – that’s it! No calorie counting or dieting – bliss!!

The IQS Team are coming for dinner. What are you cooking for us?

Slow cooked lamb shanks with mash and roasted veg – one of my favourites!

Are you ready to transform your life and find food freedom? 
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