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

RCSI elects first female President

02 June 2010

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) today elected Ms Eilis McGovern as the first female President of the College in its 226 year history.  Ms. Eilis McGovern is a cardio-thoracic surgeon in St. James Hospital, Dublin.

Pictured is Ms Eilis McGovern with outgoing President Professor Frank Keane.

Ms McGovern has served on the Council of RCSI since 1995, chairing the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences committee, the governing body of the schools of medicine, pharmacy, physiotherapy and nursing from 2001 – 2006.  Ms McGovern also chaired the college committee, making recommendations to the Council on issues relating to surgical training and practice.

A graduate of University College Dublin and a Fellow of RCSI, Ms McGovern was appointed a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon in St. James’s Hospital in 1987.  Ms McGovern spear-headed the establishment of the country’s third public cardiac unit ‘The Keith Shaw Unit’ in St. James’s hospital which opened in 2000 and resulted in waiting lists for cardiac surgery in Ireland returning to acceptable limits.  The unit has been held up by successive Ministers for Health as an example of best practice in the Irish health system.

From 2006 – 2008, Ms McGovern was appointed by the HSE as project director of a HSE initiative to reconfigure acute hospital services in the North Eastern Health Board to ensure patient safety and this model has since been introduced in two other health board areas.

Ms Eilis McGovern new RCSI President
During her two year term as President of RCSI, Ms McGovern is committed to promoting safe surgery and advancing the highest standards of surgical care for patients.  Speaking on her appointment, Ms McGovern said “I am honoured to be elected as President of RCSI and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.  The hybrid activities of the College, from our heritage in surgery, our research activities and as a leading provider of medical education all work to ensure excellence in patient care.  Against the current backdrop of economic uncertainty, there is no doubt we are facing difficult times, however during my term as President, I would like to ensure the continued success of the College across its expanding portfolio.” 

Ms McGovern replaces outgoing President Professor Frank Keane.  Following the elections today Mr Patrick Broe, Consultant General Surgeon in Beaumont Hospital has been appointed as the new vice-president.