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

RCSI GEP Open Day takes place at Connolly

19 December 2013

The RCSI Graduate Entry Programme (GEP) Open Day took place at Connolly Hospital on Saturday, 14th December 2013. 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 & Health Sciences, who welcomed the attendees and provided an overview of RCSI and GEP. This was followed by a series of short talks lead by Professor Seamus Sreenan, Director of GEP, regarding the programme, RCSI facilities, the structure and style of the curriculum and an introduction to the day's participants. 

Pictured (l-r Front row) is Ciara Gillespie, Louise Murphy, Caroline Smyth, Sean Flynn, Mary Burke, Catherine Duane, Sharon Kennedy(l-r Middle row), Dr Martin Rourke, Paul Curtayne, Shane Carr, Peadar O'Conchur, Michael Gilmartin, Marc Freemantle and (l-r Back row), David Lorrigan, Catherine O'Flynn, Ultan Healy with Asiya Bel Sulieman.
Prospective students travelled to the RCSI GEP dedicated teaching facility in Connolly Hospital from all over Dublin and as far as Belfast, Drogheda, Galway, Limerick, Sligo, Wexford and Nottingham (by ferry on very wild seas the day before). These potential RCSI GEPs' diverse academic backgrounds ranged from Arts and the Humanities, Law, Finance, Economics, Psychology, Biological Sciences, Veterinary Medicine and Nursing. In keeping with the theme for the day, which was diabetes, 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. 
Speaking on the GEP open day, Prof Sreenan said 'The open day was very successful with very positive feedback from the attendees which can be attributed to the contributions of all involved, including the patient who presented to discuss his case, the students on the programme who took time out of their busy school programme, the staff and the clinical tutors. There is clearly a continued interest in the graduate entry route into medicine and many of our students, as previous attendees at our open days, feel that they provide a very valuable opportunity to attendees to get a feel for the RCSI graduate entry programme. Therefore we look forward to the next open day on January 25th 2014.'

Pictured is Dr Catherine O'Flynn, GEP Clinical Tutor, Dr Asiya Bel Sulieman, GEP Clinical Tutor and Dr Ultan Healy, Endocrinology SpR.
Dr Ultan Healy, Endocrinology SpR and Dr Catherine O'Flynn, Clinical Tutor introduced the participants to Diagnostic Investigations, which provided an introduction to basic clinical skills with an emphasis on diabetes including measuring insulin 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. Additional sessions focused on the importance of good communication skills to clinical practice, given by Dr Asiya Bel Sulieman, GEP Clinical Tutor. Attendees were also given the opportunity to meet students already in the programme.

The GEP Open Day afternoon session was lead by Dr Martin Rourke, RCSI GEP Class of 2012. Dr Rourke provided a detailed account of his academic journey towards RCSI GEP, the Admissions experience, GAMSAT and life as an Intern and GP Trainee. The day concluded with the CAO and application process session which was given by Ms Céleste Golden, Admissions Officer, RCSI, closing with a Q & A and final evaluation, which was extremely positive, some of the feedback comments were:

I found the whole day to be very informative and honest about what my expectations should be for both the course and career would be. Meet the patient is excellent.

Very much enjoyed communication skills and diagnostic tools sections.

Very well organized, very enthusiastic staff.

The day ran very smoothly - very enjoyable and informative.

Very informative sessions. Great atmosphere, staff / team. Very comprehensive.

I loved the opportunity to see actual lecture slides.

Very well run day. A lot of effort clearly went into the day. Thank you.

Thank you for a very beneficial day. Job well done! Many thanks to Students & Martin.

Excellent Open Day, very satisfying, all talks were very interesting and useful and gave a good picture of the course. The ex GEM Doc was particularly good. Lastly the information at the end was very transparent and good to hear specific facts.

The RCSI "day in the life of an RCSI GEP Student" Open Days held twice a year, undoubtedly contribute to the success of the RCSI Graduate Entry programme.
The next GEP Open day will be held on Saturday 25th January 2014.