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The growth of the RCSI Faculty of Medicine over the
past 10 to 15 years, coupled with international academic
developments, has led to a strategic re-structuring, informed
by models in other higher education institutions, of the
role of Dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences.
The result is the creation of the separate role of Head of
the School of Medicine to which Professor Arnold Hill,
formerly Head of Department of Surgery, was appointed in
November 2013.
A UCD graduate, Professor Hill did his basic surgical
training in Dublin, and his middle grade surgical training in
London. He did a basic two-year fellowship with Dr John
Daly at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and
The New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center in the US,
returning to Ireland to do his Senior Registrar training on
the National Training Programme. He also did a Clinical
Fellowship in Surgical Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering
Cancer Centre in New York, prior to taking up his consultant
His clinical interests are in the area of breast cancer and
melanoma. His laboratory research interests are in the
transcriptional control of breast cancer in particular the role
of the coregulatory proteins.
Professor Hill outlines the nature of his new position: "My
function is to support and assist the Dean of the Faculty of
Medicine, as required, in the onerous responsibilities of that
role. In particular, a central objective is to lead the delivery
and continuous improvement of the core medical degree
programmes, ensuring excellence in medical education
and training, and enabling the continued evolution of the
core medical curriculum and course as a premier medical
The curriculum is well-placed to evolve further, he believes:
"It has been the subject of repeated independent, external
evaluation that underscores its quality. We can, therefore,
look to develop further enhancements to the curriculum,
confident that we are building on a platform of excellence."
Professor Hill acknowledges that the clinical component of
the curriculum is widely recognised as one of its distinctive
strengths and notes that the intention is to maintain and
develop it further as the curriculum responds to changing
realities. "One of the most significant phenomena in
medicine globally is the sheer explosion in knowledge,
particularly in areas such as genomics. A key challenge the
curriculum must meet is to ensure that, not only are our
graduates strategically positioned at the frontiers of leading
edge knowledge and research but also that they must have
the competencies to contextualise that knowledge in terms
of patient care.
"We need to position our doctors as well-rounded
practitioners at the forefront of learning. Ultimately, we are
nurturing graduates, not to be followers but to be leaders
of change; to be proactive and visionary in their outlook; to
be ready, willing and able to confront the challenges of the
From a personal perspective, while this new role brings
with it new challenges and new responsibilities, the most
satisfying part of his work remains the same: "Probably one
of the most fulfilling aspects of what I do is seeing young
students develop into mature practising doctors. Observing
and supporting this growth in knowledge skills and attitude
is a very rewarding part of my job."
Finally, in developing the vision for an enhanced curriculum,
Professor Hill adds that he welcomes input from a wide
range of experts, including alumni: "We encourage feedback
from alumni that can help inform and shape our approach to
change and innovation."
New role of Head of School of Medicine
focuses on evolution of medical curriculum
Professor Arnold Hill was recently appointed to the newly-created role of Head
of the School of Medicine, RCSI Dublin. He spoke to
RCSI Matters
about the role
and what it will entail
Professor Arnold Hill, Head of the School of Medicine, RCSI Dublin.