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

Students experience life as a healthcare professional for a day at annual RCSI Open Day

06 January 2015

More than 400 students from second-level schools throughout Ireland got a taste for life as a medical, pharmacy and physiotherapy student at the RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) Open Day. At this annual event, students will also got to experience life as a healthcare professional and witness a live operation, a live pregnancy scan and got the chance to test their surgical skills on virtual reality surgery simulators, among many other activities.

Picture Mum-to-be Sandra McKevitt getting a scan from (back row l-r) Lauren Ennis, Emma Lyons and Ellen Walls from Santa Sabina School in Sutton, Co Dublin, at the RCSI Open Day

Students were captivated by the live surgery!

During the day-long event, Leaving Certificate and A-Level students met with RCSI staff and students, to give them an idea of what it is like to study medicine, pharmacy and physiotherapy and embark on careers in these areas. A number of interactive workshops in medicine, pharmacy and physiotherapy ran parallel to each other where the students witnessed real patients being treated by healthcare professionals.
Orla Flanagan and Sondos Siddiqi, from Notre Dame Secondary School, Churchtown, Dublin, try out the surgical simulators

A series of talks were held on the range of courses available at RCSI, how to apply to the College through the CAO system and information on the Health Professional Admissions Test (HPAT). Information was also available on the wide choice of clubs and societies available in RCSI as well as information on student accommodation, library and sports facilities. Another highlight of the day was when current Student Union president, Vincent Healy and other current students gave talks on their perspectives on studying at RCSI. 
Ben Gallagher from St.Patrick's School, Mallow,Co.Cork and Amber Skelly from Kildare Town Community School try out the simulation centre

Speaking at the Open Day, Head of the RCSI School of Medicine, Professor Arnold Hill said, ‘The annual Open Day is always a great opportunity for second level students to get a sense of life, both academic and social at RCSI. This year, we have decided to go one better and give a more hands on experience to students. They will witness a scan of a pregnant patient and a live operation and will even get the chance to talk to some patients too. The event will give potential students a more holistic insight into what life really would be like, not just as an RCSI student, but in their career afterwards, whether that be in medicine, pharmacy or physiotherapy'.

Niamh Connolly from Cross and Passion College in Kilcullen, Co Kildare takes a close look at samples in the lab at the Open Day
For more information on this and future RCSI open days, visit  
RCSI is a not-for-profit health sciences institute which focuses on education and research to drive positive change in all areas of human health worldwide. RCSI is headquartered in Dublin and is a recognised College of the National University of Ireland. In 2010, RCSI was granted independent degree-awarding status by the State, which enables the College to award degrees alongside its traditional powers to award licentiates.