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

Mr Justice Peter Kelly addresses 79th Biological Society Inaugural Meeting

09 March 2012

Mr Harold Browne welcomed as new Society President

The 79th Biological Society Inaugural Meeting was held Friday 9 March 2012 in the prestigious surroundings of the Albert Lecture Theatre.  The Biological Society is the oldest student society in RCSI and the event was proudly organised by Student Services.

The keynote speaker at the event was His Honour Mr Justice Peter Kelly, a renowned High Court judge.  Mr Justice Kelly regaled the assembled crowd with many interesting tales from his time on the bench.  Mr Justice Kelly paid tribute to incoming President of the Biological Society, Mr Harold Browne, Surgeon Prosector, and the service that he has given the College.

Pictured (l-r) are Professor Mary Leader, outgoing Biological Society President; Mr Harold Browne, new Biological Society President and Professor Eilis McGovern, President, RCSI.

Following the opening of the meeting, outgoing Biological Society President Professor Mary Leader handed over the chain of office to Mr Browne, officially marking the commencement of his time as President of the Society and continuing the legacy of leading lights of the College who have served as President over the years. Professor Leader also reminded everyone that the Society members over the years had made several attempts to get Mr Browne to be their President and were delighted that they had finally been successful.

Pictured is His Honour Mr Justice Peter Kelly delivering the keynote speech.

After a warm welcome from the crowd, Mr Browne began by taking the audience back to his early days as a UCD student in 1938, through his time working in the USA before coming home to Ireland to take up a position at RCSI, which he still holds today and next year will mark 60 years of teaching here. Mr Browne’s talk was entitled "The Patient and The Doctor" and he talked about the importance of doctors engaging with their patients, a skill he feels some doctors do not hold in high regard yet can be the most important skill they have.  Failure to listen to patients is one of the leading factors in malpractice cases, and he highlighted that more importantly, listening and talking to patients leads to the provision of the best care possible. At almost 90 years of age and with 60 years of teaching at RCSI, Mr Browne continues to inspire generations of undergraduates.

Pictured (l-r) is Shane Crilly, winner of the RCPI Council Medal which is awarded to the winner of Junior Case Competition, with Elisabeth von Westerholt, Biological Society Correspondence Secretary.

With the help of Biological Society Correspondence Secretary, Elisabeth von Westerholt, Professor Leader presented awards to a number of students at the meeting. These included Shane Crilly (RCPI Council Medal – winner of Junior Case Competition) and Amrita Roy (Alan Browne Medal in Obstetrics and Gynaecology).  Jennifer Yates (Denis Gill Medal in Paediatrics) and Aisling O’Riordan (RCSI Council Medal – winner of Senior Case Competition) were also announced as award winners and will be presented with their medals at a later date.

Pictured (l-r) is Amrita Roy, winner of the Alan Browne Medal in Obstetrics and Gynaecology with Elisabeth von Westerholt, Biological Society Correspondence Secretary.

Mr Paul Ffrench-O’Carroll attended the event to present a medal in honour of his grandfather, Dr Arthur Stephen Ffrench-O’Carroll, a former President of the Biological Society.  The award was given to the winner of an essay competition and this year’s recipient was Rory Kelly.

Elisabeth von Westerholt, Biological Society Correspondence Secretary;  Professor Mary Leader, outgoing President of the Biological Society, Mr Paul Ffrench-O'Carroll and Mrs Stephanie Ffrench-O'Carroll.

Pictured (l-r) is Rory Kelly, winner of the Dr Arthur Stephen Ffrench-O'Carroll Medal with Elisabeth von Westerholt, Biological Society Correspondence Secretary and Professor Mary Leader, outgoing President of the Biological Society.

Professor Mary Leader also announced plans to introduce new prizes next year in areas such as Anatomy and Pathology at the meeting.  

Pictured (l-r) are Biological Society Council Members Gerard Cotter, Margaret Hsu, Professor Mary Leader outgoing Biological Society President), Elizabeth Von Westerholt, Miriam Al Hussona and Kieran Lohan.

Professor Cathal Kelly, CEO/ Register of RCSI, closed the event and expressed his thanks to those who made the evening possible.  The Biological Society will celebrate its 80th anniversary next year and is in good hands with Mr Harold Browne at the helm.

Pictured (l-r) (front row) Professor Cathal Kelly, CEO/ Registrar, RCSI; Mr Paddy Broe, Vice-President, RCSI;  Professor Eilis McGovern, President, RCSI; Professor Mary Leader, outgoing Biological Society President; Mr Harold Browne, President, Biological Society; Mr Justice Peter Kelly; Professor John Hyland, RCSI Council Member; (Back Row) Biological Society Council Members: Gerard Cotter, Margaret Hsu, Miriam Al Hussona, Elizabeth Von Westerholt and Kieran Lohan.


Listen to Mr. Harold Browne's talk "The Patient and The Doctor":

Harold Browne Bio Soc 2012 from Royal College of Surgeons in Ire on Vimeo.