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

Latest RCSIsmj researches ADHD, breast surgery and genetic testing for mental illness

20 April 2015

Students from RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) have launched the 8th edition of the RCSI Student Medical Journal (RCSIsmj). RCSIsmj is produced entirely by RCSI students for students and staff. The journal aims to promote student authorship and to foster research, innovation and student participation in healthcare issues. This year's publication was led by a team of students headed by Natalie Achamallah, Editor-in-Chief of RCSIsmj, and Melissa Schorr, Director of RCSIsmj. The online version of the journal is published today and available to view on the RCSIsmj website.

Pictured (l-r) are Mohit Butaney, RCSIsmj Senior Editor; Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, RCSI; Natalie Achamallah, RCSIsmj Editor in Chief; Professor Arnold Hill, Head of the School of Medicine, RCSI; and Melissa Schorr, RCSIsmj Director.

RCSIsmj is a multidisciplinary publication which includes articles and submissions from medical, physiotherapy, and pharmacy students. The articles range from original research, audits, and special interest pieces to the publication of abstracts, case reports, and elective reviews.

Article topics in this year's edition include medicine in the social media age, genetic testing for mental illness and the use of melatonin in cancer therapy. Other articles explore discrepancies in the prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the hidden dangers of drug-drug interactions, as well as original research on breast-conserving surgery.

For the second year running, a debate was held to mark the launch of this year's RCSIsmj chaired by Dr Siobhán O'Sullivan, Chief Bioethics Officer, Department of Health, chaired the debate. The motion was 'This House believes that healthcare workers should receive untested medications for the Ebola virus' which was debated by Dr Dermot Cox, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics at RCSI and Dr Marian Brennan, Lecturer in Biochemistry in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics.

This year the Ethics Challenge competition focuses on the use of untested drugs in the treatment of the Ebola virus and the debate provided a starting point for students to consider the issue, and write a submission for next year's journal.

The RCSIsmj launch event concluded with the presentation of the 2014/15 Ethics Challenge prize to medical student Julia Ciurria for her essay ‘To sell and buy a kidney' which explored the ethical issues in relation to consenting individuals purchasing and selling organs for transplantation. Julia's winning essay features in the current edition of RCSIsmj.

Pictured (l-r) are Natalie Achamallah, RCSIsmj Editor in Chief; Ian Elliott, RCSIsmj Assistant Peer Review Director; Rachel Green, RCSIsmj Peer Review Director; Melissa Schorr, RCSIsmj Director; and Mohit Butaney, RCSIsmj Senior Editor. 

Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, RCSI, praised the dedication of the student editorial team. ‘The high quality of the journal is a result of a very cohesive and hard-working student team and the committed academic staff who support the students. The RCSIsmj provides a forum for students to present their research skills and interests at an early stage in their career, it gives students a better understanding of how research can be translated from the bench to the patients' bedside, which in turn leads to better clinical care and best practice patient care'

'We as RCSI staff present copies of the journal with pride to many College visitors and to leaders in institutions we engage with internationally - and we enjoy the reflected admiration that the students always receive for their mix of engaging scientific papers in a highly professional production delivered through great teamwork. We have indeed learned to offer copies to guests at the end of our meetings - as the quality of the journals means they becomes a conversation-stopper while people flick through the interesting articles!', Professor McGee concluded.

The RCSIsmj provides a forum for RCSI student contributions to the field of medicine, in any discipline. The journal publishes student research ranging from basic laboratory science and clinical work to humanities analyses of medicine in society. The goal of the RCSIsmj is to encourage student research, writing and submission for publication, whilst reaching a broad international readership through both our print and electronic versions of the journal.

RCSI is among the top 50 most international universities in the world (Times Higher Education University World Rankings, 2014-15). It is a not-for-profit health sciences institute focused 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.