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

Second RCSI GEP Open Day held at Connolly Hospital

29 January 2014

The second RCSI Graduate Entry Programme (GEP) Open Day took place at Connolly Hospital on Saturday January 25th 2014. A diverse range of potential students from Dublin, Sligo, Roscommon, London and New York attended the second GEP Open Day of RCSI's Admissions Season 2014. The first was held in December 2013.

Pictured (l-r) front row is Erica Coughlan, Dr Asiya Suleiman, Martha McCormack, Laura Hughes, Sharon Kennedy; (second row l-r) Diarmuid Hughes, Alexander Mulherin, Claire Keaveney, Maeve McCarthy, Aoife Green, Catherine Duane, Laura Armstrong ; and (back row l-r) Des O'Carroll, David Lorigan Shane Carr, Jack Alderson, Professor Seamus Sreenan.
The format of the day was based around small group interactive discovery sessions which provided participants the opportunity to experience ‘a day in the life of an RCSI GEP Student'. Saturday's event was opened by Professor Seamus Sreenan, Director of GEP, who welcomed the attendees, provided an overview of RCSI and introduced participants to the format of the day. Professor Sreenan then introduced Shane Carr, RCSI Students' Union President, who provided a very insightful talk about the programme and his experience of RCSI as a GEP student and RCSI student life.
The theme for the day was Cardiology with Professor Jim O'Neill, Consultant Cardiologist at Connolly Hospital. Prof O'Neill introduced a cardiology patient to the attendees in the style of the "case of the week"; a weekly clinical case 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 discovery sessions covering Diagnostic Investigations, which provided an introduction to basic clinical skills with an emphasis on cardiology including echocardiography.

Other break-out sessions included an introduction to how the RCSI Virtual Learning Environment ‘Moodle' supports learning in the programme, delivered by Eric Clarke, Lecturer in Health Informatics at RCSI and a session focusing on the importance of good communication skills to clinical practice, given by Dr Asiya Suleiman, GEP Clinical Tutor and RCSI Medical School Graduate. Attendees also met current GEP students for 20 minute discussion sessions.

After lunch, details of the Graduate Medicine application process and bank loan facilities were presented by Ms Céleste Golden, RCSI's Admissions Officer. This was followed by Dr Joan Lennon, (RCSI GEP Graduate) who discussed the transition from Medical Student to Internship. The GEP Open Day concluded with a Question and Answer session. Attendees had the opportunity to address their questions regarding the admissions process, tuition costs, loan facilities and medicine as a career with Professor Sreenan, Dr Lennon and Ms Golden.

Professor Sreenan said ‘GEP Open Day continues to provide a great opportunity for prospective graduate students to see what distinguishes RCSI from other Graduate Medicine courses offered in Ireland. We could not hold such a successful Open Day without the collaboration of the patient, teaching staff and our own GEP students who provide superb insight to the programme and the challenges facing prospective students. Feedback was very positive and we hope to meet some of today's attendees as registered GEP students in September 2014.'
Celeste Golden added ‘Open Days are extremely important for RCSI and particularly for Graduate students considering their return to full time education. Today's feedback is excellent and is due to the efforts of our GEP students, GEP teaching staff, graduate and the patient who give up their time to collaborate and inform prospective RCSI students. Many of today's graduate attendees will decide RCSI is their College of choice.'
Here is an example of such feedback from potential students on the day:

"Very informative, well organised, well presented. Thorough in all aspect. One of the best Open Days I've attended". - DIT Biomedical Science Graduate.

"Fantastic day really helpful and has provided lots of information on GAMSAT, entry and medicine in general". - University of Sunderland MPharm Graduate.

"Excellent event, invaluable to decision making for GEP". TCD Biochemistry Graduate.

"Far better than any other Open Day attended. Great insight into becoming a medical student. Speakers were great, especially Cardiology patient." - DCU Science Graduate.

"The chance to talk with current GEP Students was very beneficial. The day was well structured and organised and presented RCSI in a very positive way. I will definitely be placing RCSI as No 1 on CAO". - Science Graduate.