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

Graduate Entry Programme Open Day

16 November 2010

The first of two Graduate Entry Programme (GEP) Open Days for this year took place at Connolly Hospital on Saturday November 13th.  The Open Day provides an introduction for potential GEP students to the programme in RCSI including the facilities, the structure and style of the curriculum as well as providing an opportunity to learn about the application process. 


A total of 64 potential students attended the Open Day Connolly Hospital, which included several from outside Ireland and from a diverse range of academic backgrounds.  As in previous years the first Open Day was oversubscribed so a second date has been scheduled for early January 2011. 

Prof Seamus Sreenan, Director of the programme, Mr. Philip Curtis, Head of Admissions and Dr Richard Arnett, Associate Director of Quality gave introductory talks on the programme.  Following that, the format of the day was structured similarly to a typical student day in the programme. 


Dr John McDermott, Consultant Endocrinologist at Connolly Hospital introduced a patient with diabetes to the attendees in the style of the "case of the week", a weekly clinical case that is presented each Monday during the first two years of the programme and which informs the teaching for the week.  The case was followed by a series of small group interactive sessions through which 5 groups of students rotated in turn.  These break-out sessions provided an introduction to how the RCSI virtual learning environment 'Moodle' supports learning in the programme and an introduction to basic clinical skills with an emphasis on diabetes. 

Additional sessions focused on the importance of good communication skills to clinical practice and the attendees were also given the opportunity to meet students already in the programme. 

The GEP Open Day concluded with a short presentation from RCSI GEP graduates, the first class of graduates from any graduate medical programme in the Country. 

The RCSI GEP programme is the number one such programme in Ireland, consistently admitting students with the highest Gradate Medical Schools Admission Test score and this year, as last, all students admitted had indicated that RCSI was their first preference.  The annual Open Days have undoubtedly contributed to the success of the programme which was recognised during the year by unconditional accreditation by the Irish Medical Council to 2013.

The evaluation of the event was extremely positive and some of the feedback comments were;

 “Already decided on the course before coming to the open day however the programme today has given me great enthusiasm to study the programme in RCSI”

“Great open day. Very Impressive”

“Excellent day, could not have asked for more”

“I really enjoyed the day. I would like to thank you all for all your help today. Much appreciated”

“Very informative, gave me a real flavour of what it would be like to do GEP in RCSI”


“A model for others to use. Really helped to copper fasten my decision to do GEP & to pick RCSI.”

“Great day. Keep up the good work”.

“Thank you very much for a very informative open day.”

“I loved every aspect of the day. I felt it was all so well organized and so relevant to me. The day was also a great incentive to go home and study for the GAMSAT. The only bad thing about the open day was that it highlighted how woefully inadequate my institution is!!”