Presentation Secondary School Thurles
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RCSI Transition Year Mini Medicine, Mini Pharmacy & Mini Physiotherapy online event

This week, some of our TY's attended an online programme involving medicine, pharmacy and physiotherapy, held by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI).
RCSI Transition Year Mini Medicine, Mini Pharmacy & Mini Physiotherapy online event

This week, 22to 26 February, a number of our TY students attended a virtual TY programme held by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), which explored the many aspects of medicine, pharmacy and physiotherapy. The programme allowed students all over the country to hear talks from healthcare professionals; watch live surgeries and receive advice for studying medicine, pharmacy or physiotherapy in the future. They also had live question and answer sessions (Q&As) with students at the college. The week was split up into three sections: Monday to Wednesday was Mini-Medicine, Thursday was Mini-Pharmacy, and Friday was Mini-Physiotherapy.


Mini-Medicine ran from 22 to 24 February, and each of those days were divided into three sessions, with two breaks, and the programme ended at 12:45pm. The first session of the programme ran from 9.15 to 10.00 am on Monday morning, kicking off the week with an introduction from Professor Steve Kerrigan, the facilitator for mini-med, alongside Professor Arnold Hill. They introduced everyone to the event, giving the layout for the week, and offering a brief overview and insight into the exciting days ahead. Next, was a talk from Professor Mark Redmond who spoke about heart surgery. He was closely followed by Dr. Edgar Mocanu who explored the topic of fertility and the reproductive systems. There was then a fifteen minute break for the students, until they were brought back at 10.15 am for Session 2. This started off with a discussion between Professor Arnold Hill and a lung transplant patient, Joy Byrne, who discussed her struggles with cystic fibrosis, and how her life changed after her lung transplant. Next, Professor Susan Smith, a General Practitioner (GP), spoke about a day in the life of a GP. This was followed by the first of many highly-anticipated live surgeries that would be included during the event. Professor Mayilone Arumugasamy performed a keyhole surgery of the oesophagus which was thoroughly interesting and fascinating to watch and experience. After the surgery the students had another fifteen minute break, before being brought back for Session 3. This was the last session of the day and it began with a discussion between Professor David Williams and his patient Clíodhna Ní Bhróin, who spoke about her life after having a stroke. Next, Professor Hilary Humphries spoke about bugs, microbes and infection, with Mr Richie Power closing off the day with a talk about transplant surgery. Monday was most definitely a great first day into the programme, leaving the students with much excitement and anticipation for the week ahead. Tuesday and Wednesday ran the same way as Monday, in regards to the time schedule.

Tuesday’s Session 1 consisted of a talk with Professor John O’Byrne, doctor to the Irish soccer team, followed by Miss Kate McErlean who spoke about the lifestyles of doctors, closing with a talk on plastic surgery with Mr Barry O’Sullivan. Session 2 began with one of the most exciting parts of the programme, a real life caesarean section carried out by Professor Fergal Malone. This was truly an amazing moment to experience, seeing a baby being born. Professor Fergal Malone then did a live Q&A. This was followed by Professor Jim Lucey who spoke about the importance of mental health. The last session of the day was led by a Q&A with a RCSI student, Ms Evelyn Flynn. This was followed by Professor James Paul O’Neill, a cancer surgeon, who performed an exciting real life tonsillectomy. Next was a talk with a rheumatologist, Dr Laura Duncan, who was then followed by pathologist, Professor Siobhan Glavey who closed the day.

Wednesday began with Mr David O'Brien who spoke about head injury. He was followed by Dr Orla Walsh, a paediatric surgeon. Next, Professor Ger Curley spoke about critical care and anaesthesia. Session 2 started with Mr David Hans who spoke about keeping moving and staying fit. Ms Anna Whitaker was the next speaker as she conducted a Q&A session with a RCSI student. Next, was an impressive real life Laparoscopic surgery with Professor Arnold Hill, who removed a gall bladder with gall stones. The last session of the Mini-Medicine part of the programme began with Dr Linda Mulligan, who spoke about forensic pathology and forensic medicine. Mr Niall Hogan then spoke about sports injuries. Next, our students got a very valuable talk from Mr John Gannon who gave us advice on the Health Professions Admission Test (HPAT). The programme was then ended by Professor Steve Kerrigan, who thanked everyone for attending. Mini-Medicine was truly an amazing opportunity for TY students to gain an insight into a career in medicine, and it was a very valuable and beneficial experience.


The TY Mini-Pharmacy Programme took place on Thursday, 25th February. It began at 9.30 am with an introduction from Mr Frank Moriarty, who welcomed everyone and gave an outline for the next two hours ahead. First was a talk with community pharmacist, Mr Dylan Walsh who spoke about the life of a pharmacist in a local chemist. Next, a hospital pharmacist, Ms Louise Fitzsimons, spoke about a day in the hospital as a pharmacist, and what her job consists of. There was then a 15 minute break until students were brought back by Mr David Hogan, who spoke about being an industry pharmacist. Next, Dr Susan Spillane spoke about Role Emerging, which means being placed within an organisation, where there is currently no pharmacist employed. The day then ended when pharmacy student of RCSI, Ms Áine Fitzgerald spoke about her experience in RCSI. The programme ended at 11.15 am, and even though it was only around two hours, it was a very interesting and enjoyable time.


Mini-Physiotherapy began at 9.15 am on Friday, 26th February with Ms Louise Keating speaking about physiotherapy as a career. Next, Dr Orlagh O'Shea spoke about the importance of physical activity for chronic disease, followed by Dr Suzanne Doyle who spoke about nutrition and its significance for our body and brain. There was then a 15 minute break before Session 2, which began with Dr Helen French speaking about our musculoskeletal health. Next, Dr Ailish Malone spoke about how our muscles and nerves affect our balance. After another break, Ms Louis Keating spoke about sport-related injuries, with a talk on mental health and resilience from Dr Olivia Hurley following that. Next, Professor Suzanne McDonough gave an insight into studying physiotherapy, before a live Q&A with Ms Louise Keating and student ambassadors to close off the event at 12.30 pm. Overall, it was a very insightful day which left students with a lot of new knowledge on physiotherapy.

Overall, the RCSI Transition year programme was a truly memorable and immensely beneficial experience, that left not only our TY students, but students all over the country, which a much better understanding of medicine, pharmacy and physiotherapy, giving them a helping hand into what careers to choose in the future. Thank you to our TY Co-ordinator, Ms Glascott for giving us the opportunity to attend this programme, and RCSI for hosting the event.

Written by Ellen Bracken (TY)

Jun 07
State Exams Commence
Jun 12
Incoming 1st Year Meetings
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