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

New memories are waiting to be made...

By giving a gift to RCSI, you will give today's students memories of their own. And a career to be proud of. Students are helped in a number of ways by alumni gifts. Without these supports, some students may never attend RCSI, complete their degree, or have such a bright career ahead of them

You can read about some of these students by clicking on the links below...


"Completely shocked and really happy"

What makes a great doctor? I think you would agree that it's nothing to do with bank balance. It takes talent, and a life-long passion to be a doctor. Someone who wants to contribute to the medical field and society. That person deserves to go to medical school. No matter their means. And we want them to come to RCSI. If you agree, I hope you enjoy reading Erica's words below. And I hope you will consider making a gift today.

Erica and Sarah "Ever since early in secondary school I was really interested in science and I just knew I wanted to do medicine. I wanted to be like my own GP and help people in the community. When I got my offer to RCSI I was just so shocked. I kept checking it again and again. Completely shocked and really happy. I was especially proud to get the scholarship because I'd submitted a personal statement saying why I wanted to be a doctor. Without the scholarship I wouldn't have been able to study medicine at all. I'm just really grateful for being able to study and for the support with things like books, travel, and other costs of living. I'm just trying to do really well and make the most of the opportunity."

Next semester Erica will be starting her clinical placements! She has a bright career ahead, thanks to alumni like you.



"My dream to become a doctor had become a nightmare for my parents"

It is difficult to capture in a line or two the importance of the Student Hardship Fund. Through no fault of their own, students can find themselves in financial crisis and the stress and upset this causes is deep and far reaching. While advice, words of support and a listening ear are hugely important, the Hardship Fund provides the true lifeline. Without it we would undoubtedly lose very committed and talented students who have worked extremely hard to get to where they are. Modest sums can often make all the difference in helping students through a financial crisis, keeping them on track to reach the finish line. I am privileged to see firsthand how the Fund can change lives. I've included a short note below from a student who was helped earlier this year. This is why we need your help. Thank you.

"My family have always struggled when it comes to money. My Father didn't go to college and as a result has spent his lifetime in poorly paid jobs. This has affected our opportunities as a family but on a positive note has inspired me to work hard and do better. I worked extremely hard to get a place in medical school but when my Father lost his job, I couldn't see a way to continue with my studies. I felt very guilty that my dream to be a doctor had become a nightmare for my parents. The Hardship Fund saved me from giving up. I don't know where I would be today without it. I have been able to stay in college and will graduate next year. Thank you to all the graduates who gave money to the Fund and I promise someday that I too will make a donation. I will be forever grateful to you." - 4th year medicine student

There is has been an increase in demand for the Student Hardship Fund in recent years. We never want to be in a position where we can't give a student the help they need. EVERY STUDENT DESERVES EVERY CHANCE. Please give a gift today.


"Instead of helping one patient, you can help a thousand"

Jack Donohue, 3rd year Medicine, explains how alumni gifts make student research possible;

Jack at Research Day "For people like me who live down in Wexford - who don't have anywhere to stay in Dublin - the funding is great. It allows me to do research over the summer because I can pay for the bus. It's great that it gives me the opportunity. I rent in Dublin during the college year but I'm back home in Wexford for the summer. The bus takes about an hour and a half so it's doable. Otherwise, I'd get up and get a lift with my Dad which would be at 5 in the morning. I'd have less sleep and I'd have to leave a lot earlier in the afternoon so I'd end up getting less work done. Now I can get the data that I need and get the work done. I'm the first one in my family to study medicine. My father is a prison officer and he was the first person in his family to go to university. I always wanted to do medicine. There's a long line of inherited cancer syndromes in my family so I guess being confronted with that at a young age influenced me.

For the RCSI Research Summer School I'm looking at pathogenic variants in epilepsy patients with intellectual disability. We've identified a few mutations that we think may be contributing to epilepsy. So we're looking at those to see if they are specific to epilepsy patients and if they are the cause of these mutations. Neurology or neurosurgery is what I'm most interested in. When I think about being a physician I think it must be nice to be able to talk to the person and give them that one to one attention. But it must also be nice to be the researcher that focuses on a general affliction for lots of patients. Instead of helping one patient, you can help a thousand patients at a time. Being in the Summer School has opened me up to that."



"It's an uplifting place when things go well. It's also a place that brings you back down to earth"

We caught up with grant recipient Paraic Behan during his clinical elective in Ethiopia. Your gift today will help give another student hands on experience.

Paraic in Ethiopia "I love RCSI. It's a very small college. There is a family feeling to it. It's not like a large university where you're just a number. I'm doing my clinical elective with three of my classmates in Tikur Anbessa in Addis Ababa. It's the largest hospital in Ethiopia with 800 beds and the only oncology centre in a country of 91 million people! The grant is really helpful. The flights are a huge cost in themselves and we also pay for accommodation.

They get incredible cases into Tikur Anbessa. Conditions that you wouldn't really see in Ireland. It's been a rollercoaster. It's resource limited. But people are really genuinely trying to do their best.

The technology is very old here. In my first week we calculated the central venus pressure but we actually measured it manually. In Ireland I would never have seen this. The machine would have just told me. Because of the lack of resources you need to rely on your clinical acumen. They don't have very expensive blood tests so a lot of decisions are based on clinical examination and history. It makes us generate differential diagnoses. It makes us think on our feet. And simple things like electricity. It often fails. You could be in surgery and the patient might be ventilated and then the electricity goes. Then you have to manually ventilate using an ambu bag. I was in surgery last week and there was a 15 minute delay between the electricity failing and the generator kicking in. It's almost like a parallel universe practicing medicine here.

People spend their life's savings trying to get from rural Ethiopia to this hospital. And this is their last chance to get a cure or improve their quality of life. It's an uplifting place when things go well. It's also a place that brings you down to earth. Last weekend we visited a small hospital in a rural part of Ethiopia - we met an Australian surgeon in the Christian Mission and he invited us down. There was one particular case that stood out. A lady came in, she was in her early thirties. She'd been building a house and came in contact with high voltage electricity. The image of her will never leave us. It was quite heart breaking. The level of accidents is quite high here. We see many children with scalds and burns, because they heat all their water with an open stove. The paediatrics ward is massive. There are children everywhere with malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea. It takes it's toll personally. We are lucky that there are four of us here to debrief in the evening. It's a window into a world that you wouldn't see if you stayed in Dublin. For that reason the grant is very worthy and I am eternally grateful."

Your gift today will help give another student like Paraic the opportunity to gain precious experience.

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