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

RCSI Graduate Entry Programme Open Day

19 January 2011

The RCSI Graduate Entry Programme (GEP) Open Day took place at Connolly Hospital on Saturday, 15th January. The format of the day was based around small group interactive sessions which provided the participants with the opportunity to experience ‘a day in the life' of an RCSI GEP Student.

There were also a number of short talks introducing the GEP programme in RCSI including the facilities, the structure and style of the curriculum as well as details of the application process which were given by Professor Seamus Sreenan, Director of the GEP Programme and Ms. Celeste Golden, Deputy Admissions Officer, RCSI.

RCSI Graduate Entry Programme Open Day
Dr John McDermott, Consultant Endocrinologist at Connolly Hospital, introduces GEP Open Day participants to basic clinical skills with a focus on diabetes. 

A total of 64 potential students, from a diverse range of academic backgrounds, attended the Open Day. As in previous years, the first GEP Open Day for the 2010/2011 academic year which was held in November was oversubscribed, so a second date was scheduled with demand for places, again, outweighing availability.

Dr John McDermott, Consultant Endocrinologist at Connolly Hospital introduced a patient with diabetes to the attendees in the style of the "case of the week", a weekly clinical case that is presented each Monday during the first two years of the programme and which informs the teaching for the week. The case was followed by a series of small group interactive sessions through which 5 groups of students rotated in turn.

RCSI Graduate Entry Programme Open Day
Dr Wan Mahmood, Research Registrar at Connolly Hospital, demonstrates measuring blood pressure at the Diagnostic Investigations session.

Ms. Bernadette Goodwin, Diabetes Nurse and Dr Wan Mahmood, Research Registrar, along with Dr McDermott, introduced the participants to Diagnostic Investigations, which provided an introduction to basic clinical skills with an emphasis on diabetes including measuring blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

Other break-out sessions included an introduction to how the RCSI virtual learning environment 'Moodle' supports learning in the programme given by Mr. Eric Clarke, Lecturer in Health Informatics at RCSI.

RCSI Graduate Entry Programme Open Day
Ms. Bernadette Goodwin, Diabetes Nurse shows participants how to measure blood sugar levels at the Diagnostic Investigations session.

Additional sessions focused on the importance of good communication skills to clinical practice, given by Dr Carmel Curran, GEP Clinical Tutor. Attendees were also given the opportunity to meet students already in the programme.

The GEP Open Day concluded with a short presentation from RCSI GEP graduates, Dr Robert Brady and Dr Maeve Keyes, who were among the first class of graduates from any graduate medical programme in the Country, and who are currently completing their internships.

The RCSI GEP programme is the number one such programme in Ireland, consistently admitting students with the highest Graduate Medical Schools Admission Test score and this year, as last, all students admitted had indicated that RCSI was their first preference. The annual Open Days have undoubtedly contributed to the success of the programme which was recognised during the year by unconditional accreditation by the Irish Medical Council to 2013.

The evaluation of the event was extremely positive and some of the feedback comments were:

"I was very very impressed with the day's events. It was extremely informative and very well organised. RCSI has now jumped to the top of my list."

"I found today very informative. Staff and Faculty members were very helpful and supportive in relation to further goals."

"I felt the day was very productive; really emphasising the good points of RCSI."

"Really enjoyed the day. Found it very informative and beneficial - given me extra bit of motivation to keep studying!"

"Extremely organised and beneficial setup. Everyone was very helpful and approachable. Delighted I attended the day."

"The day helped me decide that medicine is the right path for me."

"Best open day I have attended"

"Overall I thought it was a great introduction to the course. Well worth the time."