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

RCSI Graduate Entry Programme Open Day

12 November 2011

The RCSI Graduate Entry Programme (GEP) Open Day took place at Connolly Hospital on Saturday, 12th November 2011.  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.

The event was opened by Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, whose address introduced the attendees to RCSI's programmes with particular emphasis on the GEP. This was followed by a series of  short talks regarding 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 Mr. Philip Curtis, Director of  Admissions, RCSI. 

GEP 2 student Kerac Falk (centre) assisting open day participants at Diagnostic Investigation session. 

A total of 64 potential students, from a diverse range of academic backgrounds, attended the Open Day.  In keeping with the theme for the day, which was cardiology, Dr Jim O'Neill, Consultant Cardiologist at Connolly Hospital introduced a patient with heart failure 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. 

Dr Ibrahim Yearoo, Cardiology Tutor and Dr Daragh Moran, Cardiolgy Specialist Registrar,  introduced the participants to Diagnostic Investigations, which provided an introduction to basic clinical skills with an emphasis on cardiology including measuring blood pressure levels and a demonstration of echocardiography.

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


GEP 2 student Erica Coughlan with open day participant

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

The GEP Open Day concluded with a question and answer session where the attendees had the opportunity to address their questions regarding the process of application for the programme and about medicine as a career. 

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 in 2010 by unconditional accreditation by the Irish Medical Council to 2013.

Dr Ibrahim Yearoo, Cardiology Tutor (left) instructing open day participants at Diagnostic Investigation session. 

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

"The event was excellent. I can't think of any other ways to improve the Open Day. The student experience activities were excellent and really provided an insight into the daily life here. Many thanks!"

"An excellent overview of the GEP programme. The "day case" made the day very worthwhile providing a more realistic medicinal experience"

"Excellent day, it was very informative to both how life would be like in medicine and what we need to know before making this decision to change careers."

"The day was fantastic. I am genuinely surprised at how well organised and participative it was. Top marks all around"