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

RCSI Open Day for Young People 2006

03 January 2006

Understanding the link between science and medicine is a vital component in the discovery of new treatments for disease, future generations of doctors were told at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)’s Open Day for Young People today.

5th year students from Sutton Park School, Dublin Niamh Barnwell and Nicola Costigan inspect a DNA model at the Biomedical Research exhibition stand during the annual RCSI Open Day.

Keva Doyle from the Teresian Secondary School, Donnybrook in Dublin gets her face scanned by Dr. Robin Hennessy; Director of Morph Metrics, RCSI.

Stephanie Rutledge a 5th year student from Tersian Secondary School, Donnybrook in Dublin, inspects a model of the eye with an ophthalmoscope.

Stephanie Rutledge a 5th year student from the Teresian School, Donnybrook, checks out the anatomy stand at this year’s Open Day

Mr. John Byrne, Research Registrar, Beaumont Hospital, demonstrates a laparoscopic simulator, to Jenny Lydon and Paul Cahill 6th year students from St. Paul’s, Oughterard in Galway.

Addressing the 300 strong attendance at the RCSI Dr. Samuel McConkey, newly appointed Head of the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine, RCSI, said that understanding molecular and cellular biology was really “where it is at, in terms of generating new interventions against diseases.” According to Dr. McConkey “the area of biomedical research is fascinating and interesting and a very exciting adventure to be involved in. “

He encouraged school leavers not to view medicine simply as “the art of healing,” but also as “a science of developing new biological products that make a difference to people’s lives.”

Dr. McConkey has recently moved to Dublin after three and a half years in The Gambia where he led a research programme on viral diseases, focusing on Hepatitis B and HIV in an effort to better understand and develop therapeutic vaccines for these illnesses. Speaking from his own experience of traveling and working in countries throughout the world Dr. McConkey said that a medical degree was “a very international” qualification which permits the unique benefit of traveling and working in Africa, Asia, America and Australia with relative ease adding a multicultural diverse dimension to the profession.

RCSI Open Day is one of the highlights of the College’s annual calendar and this year attracted students from as far a field as Donegal, Galway Cork and Kerry all interested in a career in Medicine, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy.

Coupled with practical information on how to apply to the RCSI, students were also given an opportunity to visit an exhibition hosted by various faculties and speak to relevant staff members. Now in its 23rd year the Open Day continues to attract an increasing number of students and includes a guided tour of the College and the RCSI Education and Research Centre at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin.