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

Students to witness real life tonsillectomy and caesarean section as part of RCSI MyHealth Transition Year programme

10 January 2017

Almost 2,000 Transition Year students have taken part over the last 10 years

More than 180 students from 90 secondary schools across Ireland will today witness real life surgeries with a patient tonsils being removed and a baby being born by caesarean section as part of the RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) transition year (TY) programme. The week-long interactive RCSI MyHealth Transition Year Programme is being held in RCSI on St Stephen's Green and Beaumont Hospital, Dublin.

The RCSI MyHealth Transition Year Programme, which runs from 9th-13th January, gives Transition Year students the opportunity to step out of their usual classroom setting and experience what it is like to train and work as a doctor in the setting of a real hospital.

During the real-life surgeries, students have the opportunity to interact with the surgical teams while being talked through each of the three operations they will witness during the week. As part of the programme, students will also attend interactive lectures, receive hands-on training in clinical skills as well as getting practical experience in medicine and scientific tutorials. They will receive tutorials in a wide range of medical specialties, including human anatomy, forensic medicine, surgery, obstetrics, paediatrics, psychiatry, emergency medicine, cardiology, respiratory disease and family practice.

Leading medical professionals from RCSI and Beaumont Hospital are delivering this programme, including Professor Arnold Hill, Head of the RCSI School of Medicine; Consultant Breast, Endocrine and General surgeon at Beaumont Hospital; and Chair of RCSI's Department of Surgery; Professor Fergal Malone, Chair of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at RCSI and Master of the Rotunda Hospital; and Professor Marie Cassidy, state pathologist for the Republic of Ireland amongst many more.

Due to the growing popularity of the RCSI MyHealth Transition Year Programme, this year live streaming of sessions from Tuesday to Friday has been introduced to maximise the number of people who can benefit from this fantastic programme. Students watching from home or in their classrooms will also be encouraged to interact by using social media and to email in their questions which will be answered live by our expert panel of speakers. With over 100 schools around the country expressing interest in viewing the live stream, it will available to view starting at 9.00am on Tuesday 10th January and continuing until the morning of Friday 13th at

Questions can be emailed to and sent in via RCSI's social media channels including Facebook and Twitter.

Speaking about the course, Professor Arnold Hill, said "In this programme, students will experience what it is really like to train and work as a healthcare professional and it doesn't get much more hands-on than watching real life surgery or a baby being born in front of your eyes. RCSI MyHealth Transition Year Programme is now in its tenth year and it is a fantastic opportunity for students to spend time a real hospital environment. This week, the students will use and learn about the latest innovative technology in medicine from some of Ireland's top healthcare professionals. The experience will give them an excellent insight into prospective careers in medicine, science and research and will help them decide if a career as a doctor is for them."

"We are also delighted to be live streaming the sessions on our website this year to allow as many people take part as possible with students watching online around the country being able to send in questions via social media and email." added Professor Hill.

Dr Steve Kerrigan, Academic co-ordinator of the programme and Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology at RCSI, said "We have put together an action-packed programme of events for the 2017 RCSI MyHealth Transition Year Programme where the students will spend two days at RCSI in St. Stephens Green and the other three days in Beaumont Hospital"."

"This programme is the end-product of a College-wide collaboration involving more than 100 staff who volunteer their time to ensure that these students get the best possible experience. This week the students are going to experience and learn a lot and it will go a long way in helping them decide if a career as a healthcare professional is for them," concluded Dr Kerrigan.


The week begins with a series of practical workshops covering a range of topics, followed by three days of interactive lectures before the Transition Year students end the week with further practical workshops where they can put the knowledge that they have learned during the week into practise. Students will also learn clinical skills such as how take blood pressure readings, suturing skills, learn about tissue engineering, experience a 3D surgery using VR headset technology, learn about microbes and bacteria, do bloodwork and many other skills that they would learn as budding doctors.

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.