Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI welcomes more than 530 new students at Orientation Week 2018

10 September 2018

This morning, RCSI began welcoming its newest cohort of students to the College as Orientation Week 2018 gets underway. 539 students began their courses in medicine, pharmacy and physiotherapy and will get to know their way around the College, while also being introduced to academic and professional services staff. Orientation Week 2018, which kicks off today, will continue until Friday 14 September and will run in tangent with Freshers’ Fortnight.

This year's undergraduate intake of 314 medical students, 65 pharmacy students and 35 physiotherapy students come from Ireland and a host of other countries across Europe, North America, Australia, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Also joining are 36 medical students who are coming to RCSI as part of the Penang Medical College programme. This year’s intake also includes 89 graduate entry medicine students who commenced their programme last week.

RCSI’s three undergraduate schools welcomed their respective new students to RCSI this morning with an opening address from School Heads with Professor Arnold Hill welcoming students to the School of Medicine, Professor Paul Gallagher welcoming the new pharmacy students and Professor Frances Horgan (Acting Head) addressing the new physiotherapy students.

Further speeches included Philip Curtis, Director of Admissions, Recruitment and Student Services; Dr Orna Tighe, Vice Dean for Student Support & Development; and Ronan Tobin, Head of Student Engagement & Development. The students were provided with an overview of the extensive range of academic and non-academic supports that are available to all students in the College. The Students’ Union also briefed the new incoming students about the range of social activities that they have organised as part of Freshers’ Fortnight and introduced the Clubs and Societies which play such an important part in the life of an RCSI student

The 2018 Buddy Programme also got underway with second and third year pharmacy, physiotherapy and medical students volunteering to act as ‘buddies’ for the new students this year. The Buddies provide an invaluable resource in the form of friendly, knowledgeable and experienced students, who welcome the new students to RCSI for the first time and provide them with first-hand knowledge about the College, the courses, extra-curricular activities and student life in Dublin.

Later today Mr Kenneth Mealy, President of RCSI, will host a reception which is an opportunity for our new students’ families to join in the excitement of the beginning of their life as an RCSI student. The President will provide an overview of the College and its wider activities. This will be followed by a presentation from Professor Clive Lee, Head of Anatomy, who will provide a unique perspective on RCSI and some of its distinguished graduates. Students and their families will also have the opportunity to meet with academic and non-academic staff at the President’s Reception.

On Tuesday 11 September, the White Coat Ceremony will take place in 26 York Street. The White Coat Ceremony is undertaken in the first week in College as a common ceremony for all medicine, physiotherapy, pharmacy students and physician associates - to mark their new role as student health professionals. Students are invited by Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, to make a commitment to professionalism that mirrors the graduates’ declaration recited at their conferring day, and that signals the responsibilities they must begin to undertake as trainee health professionals from the start of their programmes.

The symbolism of having all disciplines start together recognises their common pathway in developing professional competence - and the importance of teamwork in healthcare delivery. The ceremony will be live streamed on the RCSI website from 5pm to enable families and friends who are unable to attend the event to watch proceedings from anywhere in the world.

As well as orientation, it is also Freshers’ Fortnight for the students. There are a wide variety of social events organised, including sign-up day for Clubs & Societies on Wednesday 12 September and the Dardistown Carnival on Thursday 13 September in the RCSI sports grounds in Dardistown. Next week’s activities including Pharm Soc’s BBQ, a UNICEF Dare Night and a Climbing Club trip to Glendalough.

The orientation and Freshers’ activities and events are being organised by departments across the College including Admissions, Student Services, Student Academic and Regulatory Affairs (SARA), CoMPPAS. IT and staff from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences as well as the Students’ Union.