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

First International Conference for Healthcare and Medical Students Hosted in Dublin

04 November 2011
The first International Conference for Healthcare and Medical Students (ICHAMS) is taking place today and tomorrow in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). More than 150 undergraduate healthcare students from countries such as the United States, Sri Lanka, the Ivory Coast, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom will attend the conference and 100 students will present a wide variety of healthcare research.


The conference has been organised by RCSI undergraduate medical and healthcare students for students worldwide: ‘A conference for students by students'. It seeks to provide opportunities for students to develop their biomedical research skills. The presentation of their research findings to each other and the extended research community of RCSI will cultivate the exchange of research knowledge. It will educate these undergraduate students on the importance of research in the broader medical fields and give them the chance to expand their networks in an international setting.

Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences said ‘The importance of research cannot be underestimated in the quest to advance understanding and treatment of disease, which in turn leads to better clinical care and best practice patient care. By providing healthcare students with the opportunity to develop their research skills and interests at an early stage in their career, it gives students an insight into the world of scientific research and a better understanding of how research can be translated from the bench to the patients' bedside.'

According to the Forfás Ireland 2011 report, Ireland is failing to attract the same levels of international students as other English speaking countries (New Zealand (24.4%), United Kingdom (19.9%) Ireland (7.2%)) (1). With more than 150 students attending the conference, ICHAMS will help to attract foreign students to strengthen Ireland's reputation as a centre of excellence in research.

Professor Nikolaus Plesnila, of the University of Munich's Medical Center and Dr Kate Coleman, eye surgeon and founder of the Right to Sight charity, will give keynote addresses at the conference. 100 poster and oral student presentations will be presented. Interesting student research being presented includes: ‘Long term consequences of a career in professional horse racing: the prevalence of pain amongst retired race jockeys'; ‘Willingness and attitudes of the general public towards the involvement of medical students in their healthcare' and ‘Fever, fear and hunger: The response of the Irish population to infectious disease during the Great Irish Famine 1845-1848'.


(1) (pg 115)