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

Students get a taste for medicine, pharmacy and physiotherapy at RCSI Open Days

04 January 2017

More than 350 students from second-level schools throughout Ireland will get a taste for life as a medical, pharmacy and physiotherapy student at the RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) Open Days which take place at the College on St Stephen's Green in Dublin today. Students will have an opportunity to find out what it is like to work as a healthcare professional through interactive workshops in each of these fields including experiencing a real-life 3D operation using virtual reality, witnessing a pregnancy scan, and getting some hands-on practice in physiotherapy and pharmacy, as well as a sneak-preview of the new state-of-the-art facilities opening at RCSI's city-centre campus later this year.

This day-long event incorporates three Open Days in medicine, pharmacy and physiotherapy and will provide Leaving Certificate students with a unique opportunity to get a first-hand insight into what it would be like to be an RCSI student while the workshops offer students the unique opportunity to witness real patients being treated by RCSI professionals.


Highlights of the interactive workshops include ‘VR surgery' where the students will experience what it is like to be in the operating theatre in Beaumont Hospital by viewing a real-life gallbladder operation in 3D using virtual reality (VR) headsets. Students will witness a pregnancy scan on a mother-to-be and will also get hands on experience by performing surgical stitching and suturing on dummy patients. Physiotherapy workshops will use hands-on practical methods to show students the role of a physiotherapist in the management of acute injury and rehabilitation, as well as promoting the importance of exercise and physical activity to prevent injury. Students will also get the chance to experience the art of drug formulation and delivery in the pharmacy workshop.

Speaking ahead of the Open Days, Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, RCSI said: "The annual Open Day is a great opportunity for second level students to get a sense of life, both academic and social at RCSI and this year we are running three separate Open Days for medicine, pharmacy and physiotherapy to give a more focussed insight into each of these three programme. We want our guests to leave with a good understanding of what a career in healthcare entails so our hands-on workshops give potential students a practical insight into what life really would be like, not just as an RCSI student, but in their career afterwards, whether that be as a doctor, pharmacist or physiotherapist."

"Later this year, we are opening a new academic education building on York Street that will provide state-of-the-art simulation technology for students to practice their clinical skills and today's event will provide prospective students with a sneak preview, using a 3D video walkthrough, of the wonderful new facilities students will be able to avail of here at RCSI for the 2017/2018 academic year," Professor McGee concluded.

The RCSI Medicine Open Day will feature a series of talks including an overview of the medicine programme at RCSI, life as a medical student, and information on the Health Professional Admissions Test (HPAT).

Staff and students from the RCSI School of Pharmacy are among the contributors to the Pharmacy Open Day that will provide information about the MPharm (Masters in Pharmacy) programme at RCSI including life as a pharmacy student and talks from working pharmacists about careers in a range of settings including industry, pharmacy practice, hospital pharmacy and research.

The Physiotherapy Open Day will include talks from staff and students from the RCSI School of Physiotherapy who will cover topics including an overview of the BSc Physiotherapy programme; life as a physiotherapy student; and the global career opportunities open to physiotherapists.

Each Open Day will provide details of entry requirements and how to apply to the College through the CAO system for each programme. Information will also be available on the wide choice of clubs and societies available in RCSI as well as student accommodation, library and sports facilities.

For further information on the medicine, pharmacy and physiotherapy programmes at RCSI visit

RCSI is ranked in the top 250 institutions worldwide and joint 1st place in the Republic of Ireland in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2016-2017). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.