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

RCSI Graduate Entry Programme Open Day

14 January 2012

The RCSI Graduate Entry Programme (GEP) Open Day took place at Connolly Hospital on Saturday, 14th January 2012.  A total of 60 potential students, from a diverse range of academic backgrounds, attended the Open Day.  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.

Blood pressure
Dr. Aoife Egan, Endocrinology SpR (right) instructs participants on measuring blood pressure levels.

The event was opened by Professor Seamus Sreenan, Director of the GEP, who welcomed the attendees and introduced the day’s participants. This was followed by a series of short talks regarding the programme, RCSI facilities, the structure and style of the curriculum as well as details of the application process, which were given by Prof Sreenan and Ms Céleste Golden, Deputy Admissions Officer, RCSI. 

The theme for the day was diabetes and 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.

Blood Sugar 
Dr. Ana Rakovac Tisdall, Clinical Tutor, introduces participants to measuring blood sugar levels. 

Dr. Aoife Egan, Endocrinology SpR and Dr. Ana Rakovac Tisdall, Clinical Tutor  introduced the prospective students to Diagnostic Investigations, which provided an introduction to basic clinical skills with an emphasis on diabetes including measuring blood sugar and blood pressure levels.

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; a session focusing on the importance of good communication skills to clinical practice, given by Dr Mahmood Al Saeed, GEP Clinical Tutor; and attendees had the opportunity to meet students already in the GEP programme. 

GEP participants were introduced to basic clinical skills relevant to diabetes.

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 in 2011, as in 2010, 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.

GEP Clinical Staff and Students 
GEP Clinical Staff and Students who contributed to the Open Day.

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

“Very informative and well organised. Interaction with Medical Students was very beneficial”

“I really enjoyed the diagnostic investigation and how the day was based around “meet the patient".

“An excellent Open Day, informative, very enjoyable”.

“It was a very good and informative day. The parallel sessions were very good”.

“The GEP Open Day was an excellent introduction to what to expect at RCSI. I can't see how you could improve on this as I really enjoyed the day and look forward hopefully to coming back here as a student”.