When 2013 was announced as the year of `the Gathering'
in Ireland, RCSI decided to hold its own Gathering event
from September 12 to 14. This was an ideal opportunity
to engage with Alumni from the Schools of Medicine,
Physiotherapy and Pharmacy, as well as Faculties which
provide post-graduate education such as Nursing,
Healthcare Management and the School of Postgraduate
The Physiotherapy Higher Education Forum was held on
Friday, September 13, and a number of RCSI School of
Physiotherapy Alumni were invited to present on both
research and clinical topics that would be of interest to
the alumni and current students.
Our keynote speaker was Professor Karen Harrison,
Emeritus Professor of Physiotherapy Education at
Coventry University, who is a former External Examiner
to both the RCSI undergraduate and postgraduate
physiotherapy programmes. She has published widely in
the area of physiotherapy education and has considerable
expertise in the area of curriculum evaluation and quality
management in higher education. She was previously
Head of Physiotherapy and Dietetics at Coventry
University. Professor Harrison's presentation provided
an overview of the profession of physiotherapy, where it
has come from, what it can offer and where it might be
going to, in the context of globalisation, which is a strong,
distinguishing focus of RCSI's strategic development as a
third level higher education institution.
Aisling Brennan, Class of 2002, who is currently working
as a Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist in Musculoskeletal
Triage in Tallaght Hospital, Dublin, provided an overview
of the role of the advanced practitioner physiotherapist
working in a triage musculoskeletal clinic. The benefits
of such a post in terms of current research evidence and
metrics-related data were demonstrated.
Sarah Rand, Class of 2003, discussed her role as a
Specialist Physiotherapist in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) in Great
Ormond Street Hospital, London where she combines
her clinical role in an outreach programme with research
work that explores the use of exercise as a management
strategy in CF. Dr Ailish Malone, PhD, RCSI 2012, who
is currently working as Senior Physiotherapist in Gait
Analysis at the Gait Laboratory, Central Remedial
Clinic, Clontarf, discussed the use of three-dimensional
motion analysis, as a research tool and in the clinical
context, to assist in diagnosis and decision-making
regarding management of adults and children with gait
Dara Meldrum, RCSI Lecturer in Physiotherapy, who is
currently completing her PhD in the area of vestibular
rehabilitation, highlighted the increasing importance
of technology in rehabilitation and posed the question:
will electronic devices revolutionise clinical practice?
Avril Copeland, Class of 2010, discussed the role of the
physiotherapist in physical activity promotion and how
she is currently developing technology to assist clinicians
in the prescription of physical activity with funding
received from Enterprise Ireland.
The thought-provoking programme was well-received
by all who attended on the day, including alumni, clinical
colleagues from acute hospital, primary care and private
practice settings and current students.
RCSI School of Physiotherapy Gathering 2013
Pictured are Vicky Jones, Noreen Dockery and Claire Igoe at the
RCSI Gathering Physiotherapy Higher Education Forum.
Sarah Rand, Avril Copeland and Dara Meldrum pictured at the RCSI
Gathering Physiotherapy Higher Education Forum.