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MED SOC

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z,

NEWSLETTER  

Issue 2 March 2013  

Sports Intervarsities for Medical Schools

Congratulations  to  the  NUIG  Intervarsities  team,  which     travelled  to  Limerick  to  compete  in  the  2013  Medical  Intervarsities   held  in  University  of  Limerick  on  the  9th  of  March.  The  team     included  Gary  Ryan,  Shane  Russell,  Dave  Lehane,  Lakshan   Senanayake,   Colm  Neary,  Padraig  Synnott,  Eoin  Fahey,  Rachel     Wallace,  Caitriona  Quigley,  Jenny  Hayden,  Heather  Carey,  Pa  Carey,     eara  and  Siobhan  Pennycook.   Aine  O  M      NUIG  came  an  outstanding  third  in  the  tag  rugby,  fourth  in   the  5km     race  and  of  course,  first  in  ‘having  the  craic’.  Other   competing  schools  included  UL,  UCD,  UCC,  RCSI,  TCD,  and  QUB.       T AG R u gby   MedSoc's  first  ever  interclass  tag  rugby  league  has  gotten   off  to  a  g   reat  start,  with  matches  taking  place  every  Wednesday  on   the  President's  Lawn.  Monday,  8th  April  will  see  the  mighty  Fourth     Meds  take  on  the  First  Meds.  All  welcome  to  come  along  and  show   their  support.    

T ED ME D TALKS ARE COMING TO NUI GALWAY!

ST A FF P R O F I LE S DR. BRIAN STEWART, DR. SEAN DINNEEN, PROFESSOR COLM MCDONALD!

L IF E IN T H E AC AD AM IE S CASTLEBAR, SLIGO AND LETTERKENNY!

 

SE V EN T IP S TO R E SE AR CH

H E AV EN ! !

  •

 

MEDSOC AGM

Medsoc AGM will be held in the on

Wednesday, 27th March. A new committee will be voted on for the year 2013/2014. Full details on our Facebook Page and in your email inbox soon.

M ED IC IN E VS SU R G ER Y !


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What is TEDMED?

What is TEDMED Live - NUIG?

TEDMED is a multi-disciplinary community of innovators   and leaders, sharing a common     determination to create a better future in health and medicine.    

NUIG School  of  Medicine  and  MedSoc  have     teamed  up  to  bring  this  exciting  conference  to     doing  so,  we  hope  to  inspire   our  doorstep!  In   and  fuel  the  minds   of  NUIG  students,  some  of     who  will  hopefully  take  the  TEDMED  stage  one   Once a year at The Kennedy       Center in Washington, DC, TEDMED day!         curates an unusual and   on  April  19th  2013,  with  a   provocative program on   the Opera The  event  will  run       live  stream  from  TEDMED  Washington.  In   House stage. The program       features brilliant short talks addition,  the  TEDMED   20  great  challenges  in   and stunning artistic medicine  and  health   care  will  be  discussed  by         performances. various  experts  across  varied  fields.  The  topics         The program recharges brains and are  available  on  TEDMED  website.     jumpstarts new thinking. 1,800       We  will  have  experts  speaking  in  TEDMED   leading figures from across       society form the delegation. style  on  these  topics  and  these  talks  will         sent  into  TEDMED,  and   TEDMED believes that the future subsequently  be   of around  the  world!     health and medicine   will be   The  best  talks  sent  in  will  be   shaped by vital input from invited  to  speak  in  2014  at  the  next  TEDMED  in         leading medical colleges, the   U S!   teaching hospitals, government agencies, and non-profit institutions around the   world.   And so, in a spirit of     collaboration and information sharing, the entire TEDMED event     is broadcast free to these   institutions thanks to   the generous support from their  

TEDMED fosters  a  culture  of  collaborative     thinking  and  learning!  We  hope  this,  our  first     in  NUIG  will  develop  a  similar   TEDMED  live  talk   culture  amongst     ourselves  and  our  peers.    

Stay   tuned  for  the  release  of  local  speakers     as  well  as  the  international  speakers!     Registration  will  start  soon!  Book  the   afternoon  of  April  19th  2013  off!        

www.tedmed.com for  more     information  about  TEDMED  and  join  t  he  

See    

for all  the  updates!    

Follow us  @TEDMEDLiveNUIG  on  

 

group  for  TEDMED  Live  -­‐  NUIG  


NUIG WIN THE COLLEGE OF PSYCHIATRY OF IRELAND’s  

“SPIKE MILLIGAN” PUBLIC SPEAKING COMPETITION!!

The emails  calling  for  a  team  for  the   Spike  Milligan  Psychiatry  Public   Speaking  Competition  went  out   weeks  in  advance  of  show-­‐time  on   the  6th  of  March!  Our  first  meeting   was  exactly  one  month  to  D-­‐day  and   we  nervously  gathered  to  read  our   speeches  before  a  final  team  was   selected.     With  the  motion,  ‘Online  or  out  of   touch  -­‐  Mental  Health  Services  for   Generation  Y’  before  us  we  started   brain-­‐storming  from  day  1.  Ideas   flowed  and  things  moved  quickly.   The  meetings  involved  Skype  calls  to   speaker  Fiona  Nolan  in  the  hills  of   Donegal,  as  ideas  bounced  between   John  Campion,  Marion  Hanely,   Maria  Duignan  and  Sarah  Cormican   in  the  meeting  rooms  of  Galway’s   Clinical  Sciences  Institute.  Dr.   Walsh’s  voice  rose  an  octave  when   we  were  onto  something  good  and   the  cool,  calm  and  collected  Dr.   Byrne  oversaw  it  all!   Suddenly,  it  two  days  before  the  big   trip  to  Dublin,  and  Fiona  and  John   were  having  long  skype  conversions   and  the  finishing  touches  were   running  well  into  the  early  hours!   Professor  McDonald  was  being   hounded  for  transport  expenses  and   the  pom-­‐poms  were                

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ere being  rooted  out  as  NUIG  spirit    

largest  there.    

kicked into  motion!  Then  finally  -­‐  it   was  confirmed  –  we  were  all  going!    

The MC  introduced  each  of  the  acts   and  we  waited  for  our  duo.  The   teams  were  picked  and  third  to  go  -­‐   John  and  Fiona  stepped  onto  the   stage.  We  roared  from  our  seats  and   each  supporter  held  up  a  letter  of   the  banner.  Everyone  in  the  room   was  impressed.  We  were  proud!      

It was  1.30  on  the  day  of  the   competition  –  but  wait!  Something   was  missing!  A  Banner?    And  so  the   poster  printing  began!  SPIKE  GOING   WESHT  –  we  might  as  well  be  proud   of  the  country  accents!     All  aboard  the  Gobus  and  set  to  go.   Ann  Spellman  kept  Kevin  Dunne  and   Colm  Harrington  busy  with  the  latest   “Woman’s  Now”  magazines,  they   swapped  make-­‐up  tips  and   recounted  dramatic  hair  dilemmas!    Yay!  We’re  in  Dublin.  Now  where  is   the  Sugar  Club??  It’s  ok  everybody   remain  calm..  We  have  all  we  need..   Siobhan  Mc  Cormack!!    She  had   printed  off  directions  to  the  Sugar   Club,  almost  one  for  everybody  in   the  audience.  

Fiona and  John  outlined  to  us  all   what  exactly  it  was  to  be  a  part  of   Generation  Y  and  from  smartphones   to  condoms  and  vodka  –  we  were   suitably  shocked!  We  laughed  and   we  learned  as  they  spoke  and  as  the   bell  signalling  time  KEPT  ringing  we   crossed  our  fingers  hoping  they   wouldn’t  be  kicked  off  the  stage!   At  the  interval  we  headed  for  the   bar!  Four  more  pairs  spoke  each  for     ten  minutes,  with  a  very  impressive   argument  and  a  few  good  belly   laughs  from  RSCI!  The  three  Judges   went  out  to  deliberate  and  we   played  “Countdown”  with  our   banner  as  Colm  made  new  words   from  the  letters  -­‐  ‘Shite  spoken  gig’  -­‐   we  got  a  round  of  applause.  

After a  coffee  stop  and  a  trip  to  the   Disney  store,  and  we  had  arrived!   There  was  a  large,  dimly  lit  room   with  steeped  red  couches,  round   tables  -­‐  and  a  stage!  It  had  the  feel   of  an  old  cinema  and  there  was  a   lingering  air  of  anticipation.  The   Oh  God,  now  was  the  time  –  the   supporters  from  NUIG’s  Sligo  and   winners  were  being  announced!   Letterkenny  academies  joined  us,   …..”Runners  up  –  RSCI”  a  round  of     making  a  group  of  15  supporters,  the                              


4   applause  and  we  were  on  the  edges   of  our  seats...  until  finally  for  our   “chemistry  and  support”  NUIG  were   the  winners!!!   We  jumped  and  shouted  and   cheered!  Dr.  Walsh  and  Dr.  Byrne   more  than  most  and  John  and  Fiona   thanked  their  fellow  competitors   and  their  supporters!   The  free  food  and  drink  flowed  for  it.   A  few  headed  off  back  to  Galway   and  some  of  us  ‘missed  the  bus’.  It   was  a  night  out  in  Dublin!    We   headed  off  Dawson  street  where  we   hit  club   37.  

www.reachout.com www.seechange.ie            

There  was  a  round  of  shots  awaiting   us  and  Dr.  Walsh  handled  hers   coolly,  while  Dr.  Byrne  wasn’t  even   fazed  by  his.  The  night  wore  on  with   more  champagne  and  banter!   We  stayed  in  a  rented  apartment  for   the  night,  thanks  to  the  generosity   of  our  Department  of  Psychiatry,   and  the  party  continued  only  to  end   by  being  woken  up  to  a  horribly   familiar  alarm  the  next  morning!  

           

We  were  brought  to  our  senses  with     the  reality  of  work,  presentations   and  college  but  not  without  Spike....     WE  WERE  BRINGING  HIM  WESHT!!!                

Marion Hanley 4MB    

     

LESSONS FROM A NTIMIC ROBIA L  

A WA RNESS WEEK !  P ishoy

G ouda 3MB

  “4  things  to  remember  about  Antibiotics  and  Antibiotics  Resistance’           A  local   be  summed  up  in  four  points.     microbiology  professor  once  told  our  class  that  his  entire  lecture  can     (Probably  because  didn’t  think  we  could   r emember   a ny   m ore   t han   t hat!)   I   t hink   we  can  do  the  same  with     the  i   ssues  revolving  antimicrobial  resistance.             Doctors  are  part  of  the  problem!  Many  physicians  over  prescribe  antibiotics   1. for  several  reasons.       Primarily,  it  is  due  to  the  expectations   of  patients  to  receive  a  prescription  when  they  are  sick.     Alternatively,  it  may  be  to  reduce  the  risk  of  future  litigation  or  due     to  uncertainty.  Many  countries     have  begun  to  introduce  prescribing   guidelines  to  help  curb  this  overprescribing  trend.     2. Taking  antibiotics  can  hurt  other  people.  This  is  usually  one  of  the  t  oughest  concepts  for  patients  to     understand.   B y   u nnecessarily   t aking   antibiotics,  they  effectively  create  an  environment  where       resistant  organisms  can  grow  easily   by  killing  their  natural  bacterial  flora.  Although,  these  organisms       may  not  affect  them,  they  might  be  harmful  to  others  that  come  into     contact  with  them.   3. We  are  running  out  of  options!  F   or  far  too  long  we  thought  we  could  create  antibiotics  faster  than     resistance  can  make  them  obsolete.  This  is  evidently  false  with  the    rising  incidence  of  multi-­‐drug     resistant  organisms  and  even  total-­‐drug   resistant  organisms.  We  now  know  that  one  mutation  can     result  in  an  organism  becoming  resistant  to  an  entire  class  of  antibiotics,     due  to  similar  mechanisms     of  actions.       can  reduce  the  prevalence  of   4. Is  there  any  point?  Yes!  Many  studies  have  shown  that  interventions     resistance.  Everyone  has  a  role  to  play  in  preventing  the  propagation  of  antimicrobial  resistance.  By    

maintaining high  standards  of  hand  hygiene,  implementing  active  surveillance,  taking  contact   precautions  and  investing  in  antibiotic  stewardship  programs  we  can  minimise  the  mortality  and   morbidity  associated  with  antimicrobial  resistance!


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STAFF PROFILES!!

Dr. Brian Stewart, Lecturer in Medicine

CA M E RA S H Y!

Favourite place/book/movie  Place:  Very   things  from  them  that  are  not  necessarily   hard  to  choose,  lots  of  great                                                                          related                             to  medicine.     places  in  Ireland  and  have  been  lucky   enough  to  see  a  good  bit  of  the                                                                If          y    ou                h    adn’t                         chosen  the  career  path  you   have,   w hat   else  might  you  have  liked  to   world.  Would  have  to  say  Lyon.  Seems  like   do?   S cience   or  something  sports  related.     such  a  nice  city  to  live  in.                                                                                                                   Book:  1984.Movie:  Mean  Girls...no  one   Most  influential  person  to  you?  Dr  Phil   reads  this  right?   McGraw.  His  wisdom  amazes  me  to  this   day.   Favourite  aspect  of  being  a  doctor  The  

all of  a  sudden.  Sure  do.                                                     Great  times...  errrm  all                                                         that  studying  and                                                                   attending  every  lecture  and  not  going   out.  Yeah,  that’s  what  happened   alright.  Seriously  though,  made  some   great  friends  and  some  great  laughs   were  had.  Say  no  more!  

social aspect  of  it  all.  You  get  the   opportunity  to  meet  a  lot  of  interesting   people  and  can  learn  a  lot  of  important  

3 words  to  describe  your   professional  attitude:  Positivity,  

Do you  remember  being  a  Student   Doctor?!  Thanks  for  making  me  feel  old  

considerateness, humility  

Professor Colm McDonald , Professor of Psychiatry Favourite place/book/movie:  Tough  one   -­‐  I’ll  give  a  couple  for  each.  Nature’s  Valley   South  Africa,  Knockalla  Beach   Donegal/Birdsong,  In  the  Beauty  of  the   Lillies/Pulp  Fiction,  Fargo  

If you  hadn’t  chosen  the  career  path  you   have,  what  else  might  you  have  liked  to   do?  Within  medicine  -­‐ophthalmology.   Outside  it,  and  if  I  had  more   talent…architecture,  physics.  

Favourite aspect  of  being  a  doctor:   Doing  something  real,  and  inherently   valuable  in  itself,  that  you  can  also  make  a   living  out  of.  Privileged  in  depth   engagement  with  people  to  help  in  their   struggle  with  illness.  

Most influential  person  to  you?  Robin   Murray,  Institute  of  Psychiatry  – inspirational  leader,  true  scientist  who   enthusiastically  abandons  even  cherished   models  when  faced  with  opposing  data;   Brother  Kingston  in  secondary  school  for   teaching  us  how  to  think.  

Do you  remember  being                                                                 a  Student  Doctor?!                                                                   Certainly  do,  I  remember  in                                                       the  clinical  years  starting  off  firmly  at  the   bottom  of  the  ward  hierarchy  and  feeling   in  the  way  …..but  simultaneously   privileged  to  be  at  the  clinical  interface,   excited  by  the  expanse  of  future  options   that  appeared  open  ahead.   3  words  to  describe  your  professional   attitude:  Engaging,  patience,  empathically

Dr. Sean Dinneen , Consultant Endocrinologist Favourite place/book/movie:  I  have   recently  discovered  the  writings  of  Haruki   Murakami,  a  Japanese  novelist.   “Norwegian  Wood”  and  “What  I  talk  about   when  I  talk  about  running”  are  worth   checking  out.   Favourite  aspect  of  being  a  doctor:   Helping  people  to  achieve  their  personal  

goals while  living  with  a  chronic   disease   If  you  hadn’t  chosen  the  career  path  you   have,  what  else  might  you  have  liked  to    

do? If  I  had  not  studied  Medicine  I  would   love  to  have  joined  the  Diplomatic  Corps   and  become  an  Ambassador  for  Ireland  in   a  foreign  land.  

3 words  to  describe  your                                           professional  attitude:    

Most influential  person  to  you?  Jean   Phillipe  Assal,  a  Swiss  educationalist  and   medical  doctor.  He  developed  the   approach  to  chronic  disease  management   called  Therapeutic  Patient  Education.    

Do you  remember  being  a  Student  Doctor?!   I  still  consider  myself  to  be  a  student  doctor!    

(How) can  I  help  (you)?  

MANY THANKS TO ALL INVOLVED


FIRS T STUDENTS OF “TRAV EL MED IC INE” IN NUIG 6   Second  year  students  at  NUI  Galway  are  the  first  medical  students  in  Ireland  to   learn  about  the  exciting  and  dynamic  specialty  of  Travel  Medicine,  with  the  introduction  of   a  new  special  study  module  in  Travel  Medicine  Research.  Eleven  students,  working  under   the  supervision  of  Dr.  Gerard  Flaherty,  are  attending  clinics  at  the  Tropical  Medical  Bureau   and  collaborating  on  designing  an  airport  survey  which  will  be  administered  to  travellers   passing  through  Dublin  airport  by  5  of  the  students,  as  part  of  a  funded  summer  research   project.     Dr.  Flaherty,  current  President  of  the  Travel  Medicine  Society  of  Ireland,  has   recently  introduced  a  student  category  of  membership  of  the  society.  Doctor/Nurse   members  normally  pay  €60  as  an  annual  subscription  but  the  student  rate  will  be  only   €15.  For  this,  student  members  will  be  invited  to  attend  4  regional  educational  seminars  in   Travel  Medicine  each  year,  receive  4  copies  of  the  society's  newsletter  with  articles  and   reports  on  many  travel-­‐related  health  risks,  and  be  kept  informed  of  global  disease   outbreaks  through  an  email  alert  system.  This  is  open  to  all  medical  students  in  Ireland.    If  you  have  an  interest  in  Travel  or  Tropical  Medicine,  Public  Health,  Infectious   Diseases  or  Occupational  Medicine  and  wish  to  join,  please  email  the  society's  secretary,   Anne  Redmond,  at  annehredmond@eircom.net  or  contact  Dr.  Flaherty  for  more  details  on   gerard.flaherty@nuigalway.ie              

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Cia ra n T oo m ey M e mo ri al   T ou r nam e nt wo n by 3M B !

The Radisson  yet  again  played  host  to  what  turned  out  to  be  the  biggest   Medball  to  date!  The  sell  out  event  featured  m usic  from  local  choir  'Coole   Harmonies',    Limerick  band  Hermitage  Green  and  DJ  Byrno  with  Buck  Taylor  on   hand  in  college  bar  to  soothe  any  sore  heads  the  following  afternoon.   Guests  were  transported  to  the  North  Pole  upon  entering  the  ballroom  which   wouldn't  have  been  complete  without  a  visit  from  the  big  man  himself.   Accompanied    by  two  helpers,  Santa  posed  for  photos  and  gave  out  sweets  to   those  lucky  enough  to  m ake  the  'nice  list'.  Anyone  who  missed  that  photo   opportunity  was  surely  captured  in  the  photo  booth  which  made  a  return   appearance  this  year  due  to  popular  demand.     The  m adness  carried  onto  college  bar  the  next  day  where  research  into  the   myth  of  the  'hair  of  the  dog'  was  very  scientifically  conducted.  Finishing  up  in   Carbon  nightclub  the  weekends  remaining  brave  soldiers  were  rewarded  with   plenty  of  drinks  promotions.   Another  year,  another  Medball  over  but  this  was  one  that  certainly  won't  be   forgotten!     Gardai  are  seeking  any  information  on  the  whereabouts     of  a  missing  reindeer  leg    #fixfionafawn  


“Do you know what you want to specialise 7 in yet?”

  This  is  the  question  that  has  plagued  medical  students  from  the  first  day  of  med  school.  Every  relative,  teacher   and  friend  seems  interested  in  our  choices,  however  many  of  them  are  disappointed  when  all  we  can  tell  them  is  that     we  have  no  idea!  Finding  something  that  you  are  passionate  about  it  is  difficult  enough,  but  then  you  have  to  think   about   the  entrance  requirements,  training  positions  available  and  lifestyle  associated  with  your  choice.  Frankly,  this  can     be  a  little  overwhelming  at  first.    Medsoc’s  Specialty  Night  gave  us  the  opportunity  to  begin  exploring  our  options  and     asking   questions.      

We heard  from  a  wide  variety  of  speakers  about  the  joys  of  not  having  a  bleep  in  general  practice  as  well  the   challenges  of  a  career  in  surgery.  Even  if  by  the  end  of  the  night  if  you  weren’t  sure  about  whether  you  wanted  to  be     rockstar  surgeon  or  a  geeky  medic,  the  take  home  message  was  pretty  clear.  Find  something  you  are  passionate  about,   and     p ursue  it!   The  entire  event  can  be  found  recorded  on  blackboard.  Also,  a  special  thank  you  to  all  our  speakers  who  took     time  out  of  their  schedules  to  support  this  event;  Dr.  Sean  Dinnenn,  Dr.  Shane  McInerney,  Dr.  Ailish  Loftus,  Dr.  Claire     Gaffney,   Dr.  M arie  Rochford,  Dr.  Sexton  and  Prof.  Michael  Kerin.      

Pishoy Gouda  3MB    

 

MEDICINE VS SURGERY

Medicine allows  you  to  get  to  know  your                                                                                     patients  over  time  

Surgery   can  very  rapidly  improve  a  patient’s  health   A  c   areer  in  Medicine  equals  generally  predictable  hours  with  room   for  a  personal  life  

Surgery is  thrilling  -­‐  any  bleep  could  mean  repairing  organs,  saving     or  removing  malignant  growths   limbs   A  c   areer  in  Medicine  means  professional  clothing!     A  c   areer  in  Surgery  means  scrubs,  glorious  scrubs!    

A FU L L H O US E F O R M E DSO C

Medics think.      

SP E CI AL TI ES AN D CA R EE R S

Surgeons do.  

N I GH T IN C SI

   

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8   On  Saturday,  2nd  March,  MedSoc  held  their  annual  Gala   Swing  Ball  in  aid  of  VSA.  The  ball  was  attended  by  doctors  and   medical  students,  who  enjoyed  a  delicious  five  course  meal  in  the   beautiful  Hotel  Meyrick.     After  attending  swing  dancing  lessons  with  Galway  Swing   guests  were  able  to  dance  the  night  away  to  the  Black  Magic  Big   Band.     MedSoc  would  like  to  thank  the  many  local  businesses   who  donated  so  generously  to  the  raffle:    Ocean  Fitness  Gym,   Salthill,  Ard  Bia  Restaurant,  Nimmos  Pier,  The  House  Hotel,   Galway  Lawn  Tennis  Club,  Salthill,  Lazlo  Jewelers,    Hartmanns  of   Galway,    Fusion  Hair  &  Beauty    Salon,  Barry’s  Hair  Studio,  Ali’s   Barber  Shop,  Doonbeg  Golf  Club,  Bellissimo,  Kilkenny  Galway,   Anthony  Ryan’s  homeware  store,  Maldron  Hotel,  Oranmore,   Medical  Society,  NUIG,  Matt  O’  Flaherty’s  Pharmacy,  Galway,   Galway  Golf  Club,  Blackrock  Salthill,  KC  Blakes,  The  Galway  Races,   The  Scholar’s  Rest,  Newcastle  Road,  Galway,    Eason,  Galway,    The   Edge  Barbers,  Radisson  Blu  Hotel,  Galway,    Markree  Castle  Hotel,   Sligo.                                  

PHOTOS BY GALWAY PHOTOGRAPHER

PAUL O’ MAHONY ARE AVAILABLE TO VIEW ON FACEBOOK!


LETTERKENNY

                                                         

Letterkenny General  Hospital  (LGH)  is  an  acute  general  and  maternity  Hospital,  which  forms  an  integral  part   of  the  Health  Service  Executive  North  West  Region.  Besides  NUIG,  LGH  is  linked  in  with  Letterkenny  IT  and   the  Royal  College  of  surgeons  as  a  teaching  hospital.  LGH  employs  over  1700  people  and  has  about  360  beds.   In  terms  of  facilities  all  of  the  4th  year  specialties  are  w ell  catered  for,  the  maternity  unit  is  modern  and  busy   with  over  2000  births  per  year  and  in  your  four  week  rotation  here  you  should  get  your  fair  share  of   deliveries  signed  off.  The  paediatric  w ard  is  also  busy  with  excellent  teaching,  you’ll  certainly  feel  well   prepared  for  your  OSCE  exams  after  your  rotation  here,  furthermore,  Donegal  seems  to  provide  some  weird   and  wonderful  rare  diseases  and  syndromes  to  keep  you  studying  your  textbooks!  The  psychiatric  unit  is   thoroughly  modern  and  impressive  having  been  opened  in  2011  and  a  new  2 2  million  euro  Accident  and   Emergency  department  was  o pened  in  2012  w ith  state  o f  the  art  facilities.  However  the  gynaecology  ward   was  shut  down  this  year  due  to  budget  cuts  and  there  are  no  ENT  surgeries  performed  in  Letterkenny.     There  is  a  canteen  with  reasonable  lunches  and  dinners,  and  free  tea  and  coffee  facilities  in  the  education   centre.  There  are  study  rooms  with  wifi  which  are  warm  and  quiet  and  open  till  ten  at  night,  but  the  library   hours  are  restricted  to  say  the  least,  closed  for  lunchtime  and  finished  for  the  d ay  at  half  five  with  a  small   supply  of  essential  textbooks.  To  be  honest  I  am  enjoying  my  hospital  placement  more  here  than  I  did  in   Galway,  in  terms  of  learning  and  hands-­‐on  experience  it  excels.  Patients  are  very  happy  to  chat  with  you  and   allow  you  to  examine  them,  as  they  haven’t  already  been  harassed  by  ten  of  your  classmates!  Another  thing   is  avoiding  the  stress  we  students  place  on  each  other  during  exam  time,  for  our  OSCEs  just  passed  at  the   beginning  of  March,  the  majority  of  us  here  in  Letterkenny  felt  calm,  confident  and  well  prepared  for   whatever  situations  were  to  be  thrown  at  us.     One  of  the  great  things  of  being  at  an  academy  is  the  small  number  o f  students,  there  are  only  five  o f  us  per   group,  so  there  is  lots  o f  patient  contact  and  lots  of  small  group  tutorials.  Another  thing  I’ve  noticed  is  how   welcoming  the  staff  are,  we  medical  students  are  still  a  novelty  up  here  and  nurses  and  doctors  alike  often  go   out  of  their  way  to  assist  you,  be  it  finding  an  interesting  patient  or  calling  your  mobile  at  midnight  for  an   exciting  delivery.     Accommodation  in  Letterkenny  is  cheap  and  plentiful.  The  average  rent  per  week  is  about  40  euro.  The   majority  of  us  live  in  houses  or  apartments  all  w ithin  around  ten  minutes  w alk  of  the  hospital.  There  is  quite   a  good  selection  of  houses  in  the  area  and  if  you  have  to  drive  parking  is  free.  Just  an  aside  you  can’t  get  UPC   up  here  so  most  of  us  have  Sky  TV.   The  translation  for  Letterkenny  is  “The  hillside  of  the  O’Cannons,”  so  be  prepared  for  the  many  many  hills  in   Letterkenny!!  Letterkenny  has  a  great  nightlife;  there  are  four  nightclubs  in  the  town  and  a  good  selection  of   pubs.  There  is  also  lots  of  shops  for  you  to  indulge  in  some  retail  therapy,  a  bowling  alley,  a  golf  club,  an  8   screen  cinema,  tennis  courts,  swimming  pools  and  lots  of  well  priced  gym  facilities  d otted  around  the  town.   There  are  plenty  of  outdoor  activities  to  fill  your  weekends  with,  be  it  surfing  in  Bundoran  or  Fanad  or   hillwalking  in  Glenveagh  National  Park.  Furthermore  Donegal  boasts  some  of  the  most  breathtaking  beaches   and  scenery  in  Ireland  including  the  “Second  most  beautiful  beach  in  the  world,”  at  Knockalla  and  the  highest   sea  cliffs  in  Europe  at  Slieve  League.   I  suppose  the  downside  of  Letterkenny  as  an  academy  is  its  distance  from  Galway.  At  156  miles  in  a  car   you’re  looking  at  about  three  and  a  half  hours  at  best.  The  Feda  O’Donnell  bus  runs  a  good  and  dependable   service  but  is  pricey  at  €30  return  and  takes  about  four  and  half  hours.  There  is  no  train  service  to  speak  of   in  Donegal,  and  transport  links  around  the  county  are  poor  to  say  the  least,  for  your  GP  rotation  it  would  be   ideal  if  you  had  a  car  as  you  can  be  sent  as  far  north  as  Malin  head  if  you’re  unlucky!  If  you  have  exams  in   Galway  you  really  have  to  go  down  the  day  before  and  stay  in  a  B  and  B  or  w ith  friends.     I  have  to  say  I  am  enjoying  my  time  here  in  Letterkenny,  it’s  an  interesting  place  and  I’m  perfecting  my   Donegal  accent  as  the  days  go  by.  The  standard  of  teaching  is  on  par  with  Galway  and  overall  it  has  been  a   positive  experience.  I  also  think  it’s  good  to  gain  experience  in  a  regional  hospital,  as  many  of  us                                                   will  end  up  working  in  such  an  environment  in  the  future.    

9


CASTLEBAR

10

Mayo general  hospital  is  a  332  bed  hospital  located  in  the  sprawling  mass  that  is  C-­‐bar   (Castlebar).  The  hospital  is  very  bright  and  modern.  Upon  arrival  a  common  acknowledgement   amongst  the  student  was  the  friendliness  of  the  staff  and  patients  towards  the  students  in  the   hospital.  So  far  we  have  received  a  great  welcome  and  everybody  has  been  so  nice.     The  hospital  canteen  serves  dinners  everyday  for  around  4euro  which  are  guaranteed  to  keep   you  going!    There  are  library  facilities  and  study  rooms  too.        The  jewel  in  the  crown  of  our  rotations  has  to  be  obs+gynae.  Students  receive  fantastic  teaching   and  clinical  exposure.  The  staff  are  extremely  helpful.  Dr.  Mohammed  is  very  encouraging   towards  students  and  constantly  puts  a  smile  on  everyone’s  face!  Overall  teaching  is  of  a  high   standard  and  is  m ore  focused  as  we  have  smaller  teaching  groups.  My  experience  of  the  teaching   in  the  academies  is  generally  positive!    Accommodation  is  Castlebar  is  reasonable  (rents  ranging  between  40-­‐50  yoyo  per  week).The   standard  of  houses  is  good  and  within  good  walking  distance  from  hospital.    Our  activities  involve  astroturf  soccer  once  a  week,  the  odd  pint  in  the  local  pub  and  more   recently  a  climb  to  the  summit  of  Croagh  Patrick!  The  journey  to  Castlebar  takes  one  hour  from   Galway  which  means  if  you  want  to  go  home  often,  it’s  pretty  easy  to  get  there.  The  only  negative   about  that  is  the  road!        In  general,  the  hospital  is  m odern  and  the  staff  take  an  enthusiastic  approach  towards  teaching   the  students.  The  atmosphere  is  helpful  and  friendly.  If  you’re  lucky  you  might  get  to  meet  Enda   Kenny  walking  through  the  town  or  even  bump  into  Eddie  Durkan  in  the  local  GYM!  

 

   

Croagh Patrick,  Co.  M ayo    


SLIGO

                                                   

Sligo General  Hospital  is  a  large  hospital  in  the  middle  of  Sligo  town.  Despite  the  fact  that  several   of  us  m ay  not  have  been  looking  forward  to  leaving  Galway  for  Sligo  academy,  the  experience  has   been  an  overwhelmingly  positive  one  so  far.  With  almost  three  quarters  of  the  semester  under   our  belt  we  are  all  well  settled  in  at  this  stage!   First  and  foremost  the  teaching  in  Sligo  academy  is  second  to  none.  Having  only  five  students  to  a   tutor  cannot  be  beaten  in  terms  of  intensive  teaching.  In  the  academies  there  is  literally  nowhere   to  hide,  which  may  have  come  as  a  bit  of  a  shock  to  some  of  us!  There  is  no  shortage  of  patients   for  each  student  to  see  seeing  as  there  are  so  little  of  us  here  compared  to  Galway.  A  combination   of  dedicated  tutors  and  mock  OSCE’s  in  each  subject  ensured  all  us  fourth  m eds  were  well   prepared  for  the  exams  two  weeks  ago!     The  atmosphere  around  the  hospital  is  pleasant  and  you’re  always  guaranteed  to  meet  a  fellow   student  in  the  canteen  no  matter  what  time  of  day  it  is!  The  two  euro  dinner  offer  available  to   students  ensures  everyone  is  in  the  canteen  at  approximately  the  same  time.  Furthermore   breakfast  and  an  evening  meal  cost  only  one  euro  each  for  students.     The  study  facilities  in  Sligo  are  not  as  good  as  Galway  with  the  library  closing  at  five  pm  all  but   one  day  a  week.  However  the  education  training  centre  is  open  all  the  time.  It  has  a  number  of   computers  available  for  students  to  use  and  also  has  tea  and  coffee  making  facilities  as  well  as  a   microwave.     As  regards  accommodation  there  is  no  shortage  of  nice  two  and  three  apartments  in  town.  It  can   be  a  bit  m ore  difficult  to  find  a  larger  house  close  to  the  hospital.  Despite  this,  we  succeeded  in   finding  a  tasty  six  bed  house  a  fifteen  minute  walk  from  the  hospital.  All  rooms  are  double  en   suites  with  TV’s  in  each  room.  The  rent  in  Sligo  varies  from  about  sixty  to  seventy  five  euro  a   week.     Sligo  town  itself  is  quite  lively  thanks  to  the  local  I.T.  There  is  no  shortage  of  pubs  and  clubs  to   explore  and  there’s  always  a  good  buzz  around  the  town  on  a  night  out.  Sligo  I.T.  has  also   generously  allowed  Galway  students  to  use  their  facilities  at  student  prices.  Gym  membership  for   the  semester  is  only  45euro  or  three  euro  if  you  wish  to  pay  at  each  visit.  The  astro  turf  pitches   can  also  be  booked  for  thirty  five  euro  per  hour  for  what’s  become  the  weekly  game  of  soccer   between  third  and  fourth  meds-­‐quite  enjoyable  if  you’ve  managed  not  to  be  butchered  by  Ger   Kelly!   Surfing  in  Strandhill  is  another  activity  several  of  us  have  gotten  involved  in  at  this  stage,  most   recently  with  a  group  of  us  kicking  off  St.  Paddy’s  day  with  a  surf!  Having  a  few  Sligo  locals  in  the   group  has  worked  out  nicely  as  they’re  able  to  point  us  in  the  direction  of  a  few  good  pubs  and   restaurants!   The  journey  to  Galway  usually  takes  b etween  two  to  two  and  a  half  hours  if  you’re  driving.   Usually  you’ll  find  someone  who’s  driving  if  you  don’t  have  a  car  yourself  and  thus  the  price  of   travelling  is  never  too  high!  All  in  all  I  think  I  can  speak  for  the  group  when  I  say  that  so  far   placement  in  Sligo  has  been  very  enjoyable.  The  price  of  living  is  cheaper  than  in  Galway,  the   teaching  has  been  exemplary  and  the  nightlife  has  not  disappointed!  Sligo  academy  is  a  great   choice  for  placement  and  I  would  definitely  recommend  it!  

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STUDENT TIPS!! How to Build Your CV Ten Tips 1. First  Off:  If  you  have  a  definite  career/specialty  in  mind  you  should  look   for  ways  to  gain  experience  and  enhance  skills  that  will  help  you  reach   that  goal.  If  you  don’t  know  what  you  want  to  do  that  doesn’t  mean  you   should  wait  around.  Aim  to  get  broad  experience  and  build  basic   scientific  and  medical  skills  that  are  applicable  to  any  career.   2. Lead:  Leadership  is  important  in  medicine  as  in  any  other  field  so  if   you’re  able  to  show  that  you  can  lead  a  team  you’re  likely  to  move  a  lot   faster.  Leadership  isn’t  a  narrowly-­‐defined  concept  and  you  don’t  have  to   be  a  class  rep  to  be  a  leader  (although  that’s  a  good  place  to  start).  Get   involved  with  a  society  (MedSoc’s  AGM  is  on  Wednesday  27th  March!),   lead  a  sports  team  or  tackle  a  health  issue  that  interests  you.  If  you  can   find  a  way  to  develop  your  leadership  skills  in  a  broad  way  that’s  better   still-­‐  the  Washington  Ireland  Programme  for  Service  and  Leadership   provides  electives  in  Washington  DC  and  builds  your  core  leadership   skills.   3. Write.  The  ability  to  write  a  strong  scientific  article  will  be  key  to  career   progression  once  you  qualify-­‐  the  phrase  ‘publish  or  perish’  has  never   been  more  relevant.  There’s  no  point  in  waiting  until  you’re  qualified  to   start  learning,  though.  Start  by  reading  journal  articles  and  then,  if  you   haven’t  got  any  research  to  write  a  paper  on,  write  a  letter  to  a  journal   about  a  contemporary  medical  issue  you  care  about.  Style  and  contenet   guidelines  are  available  on  the  BMJ  website.   4. Volunteer-­‐  not  with  the  first  charity  you  come  across.  Find  a  cause   you’re  passionate  about  and  do  something  about  it.  If  it’s  a  medical   charity  that’s  great  but  if  it’s  saving  endangered  beetles  that’s  fine  too:   the  point  is  that  volunteering  shows  that  you’re  willing  to  sacrifice  your   time  to  change  something  you’re  passionate  about-­‐  a  key  characteristic   in  any  good  doctor.   5. Travel.  Whether  or  not  you’ve  already  done  a  lot  of  traveling,  you  can   improve  your  CV  by  giving  your  travel  a  medical  slant-­‐  apply  for   Erasmus,  do  an  overseas  elective,  volunteer  at  a  hospital,  attend  a   conference.   6. Get  a  hobby.  Doctors  who  have  hobbies  outside  of  medicine  are   generally  less  likely  to  burn  out  and  are  happier  at  work.  There  have   been  interviews  for  Registrar  schemes  that  focus  largely  on  candidates’   hobbies  and  lives  outside  of  medicine.   7. Get  healthy.  “Healthy  doctors  inspire  healthy  patients”  and  if  you  can   show  that  you  care  about  your  own  health  it’s  a  lot  more  believable  that   you’ll  care  about  your  patients’  health.   8. Find  a  mentor.  If  you  know  what  field  you  want  to  go  into,  find  someone   already  in  that  specialty  and  ask  them  for  tips  on  what  to  focus  on  and   what  to  do  to  get  ahead.  Read  papers  they’ve  had  published,  ask  if  they   have  any  research  you  can  help  with  but  don’t  badger  them   unnecessarily.   9. Be  original.  Don’t  follow  the  crowd.  If  you  like  something  that  doesn’t   yet  have  an  elective,  research  project,  placement,  society,  charity  or  club,   don’t  wait  for  someone  else  to  start  one-­‐  do  it  yourself!     10. Summer:  Do  something  with  your  summer:  do  an  elective  in  a   developing  country  or  in  Ireland,  sign  up  for  research,  take  up  a   sport/hobby  or  just  go  traveling  with  friends!  It’s  not  too  late  to  plan  for   this  summer,  nor  too  late  to  start  thinking  about  next  year!  

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7 STEPS  TO   RESEARCH   HEAVEN!!   1)  Set  achievable  goals  for   each  of  your  eight  weeks.   Weekly  targets  will  keep  you   on  track.    

2) Carry  out  a  literature   review  of  your  topic  in  week   1.  Reading  around  the  topic   will  help  your  understanding   and  will  add  to  your  write  up.    

3) It  can  help  to  make  a   PowerPoint  of  aims  in  week  1   to  give  focus  to  your  study.    

4 )Keep  a  diary.  It’s  a  great   way  to  record  experiments  or   data,  or  any  questions  you   have  for  your  supervisor.    

5) Make  sure  to  attend  the   orientation  day  in  June  for   helpful  info  from  lit  review  to   SPSS.    

6) Make  sure  to  present  your   research  at  the  Medsoc   Undergraduate  Research  day   in  Autumn.  It’s  a  great   opportunity  to  present  in  a   friendly  environment.    

7) Remember  you  are   spending  your  summer  in   Galway,  not  the  CSI!!  Enjoy  it!   J    


“HOW TO SURVIVE AN ORAL EXAM!”   With Dr. Choo

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Earlier in  March,  Mr  Marcus  Choo,  a   Consultant  ENT  Surgeon,  working  in   Sligo  General  Hospital  gave  a  very   informative  talk  to  a  packed   audience  with  tips  and  advice  on   how  to  survive  your  oral  exams!!   The  talk  lasted  about  40  minutes   with  a  question  and  answer  time   allocated  at  the  end.    

A summary  of  Mr  Choo’s  tips  were:  

DO –  dress  and  act  appropriately,   develop  rapport  with  the  examiner,   good  eye  contact,  avoid  yes/no   answers,  listen  to  the  question,   allow  for  brief  silences,  practise  and   feel  confident  (even  if  you  don’t)  

MedSoc would  like  to  sincerely   thank  Mr  Choo  for  taking  the  time  to   come  to  Galway  for  the  evening.       Feedback  from  students  who   attended  the  talk  was  very  positive   and  hopefully  they  will  remember   some  of  Mr  Choo’s  tips  when  faced   with  their  next  oral  exam!    

He highlighted  the  fact  that  oral   DON’T  –  ever  answer  a  question   exams  are  designed  to  test  the  limits   with  a  question,  use  ‘I  could’,  always   of  a  student’s  knowledge  and  gave   say  ‘I  would’,  don’t  waste  time  on   the  advice  that  ‘it’s  important  to   B   an k of Ir el an d s ta ff vis ited stuff  you  don’t  know,  tell  them  all   realise  that  you  WILL  get  some   about  the  stuff  you  do  know,  don’t   Sa   nta at M ed B all 2012! questions  wrong  and  that  each   memorise  things  word  for  word  and   question  is  a  fresh  start,  so  let  the     don’t  ramble.   old  ones  go!’  Oral  exams  are  also  a       great  opportunity  for  students  to   lead  an  examiner  and  to  show  what       you  know  and  hopefully  avoid   revealing  gaps  in  your  knowledge!                                                                                                                              

College  is  expensive.  There  is  no  denying   it,  and  when  you  have  spent  what  l  ittle  money  you  have  in  the  Front     Door,  the  need  for  funds  for  VSA  or  other  electives  can  cause  a  lot  of  worry!       Thankfully,  over  the  years  the  student  b ranch  of  Bank  of  Ireland,  located  on  concourse,  has  been  providing  for       oney  is  tight.  Each  year  of  your  study,     from  first  m ed  to  final  m ed,  you   the  medical  students  of  NUIG  when  m can  avail  of  a  “Med  Loan”  from  the  b ank.          

The  Bank  will  be  happy  to  apply  for  f  unds  for  fees,  maintenance,  holidays,  c   ars  or  general  educational  costs.   Up  to  €8,500  can  be  taken  as  part  of  the  “Med  Loan”  interest  free  package  until  you  graduate,  at  which  point  all         you  meet  with  the  bank  again  to  discuss   your  loans  are  lumped  together  and   repayments.  At  this  point,  a     special  low  interest  rate  is  added  to  your     traditionally  this  has  been  in  the     loans  until  they  are  fully  repaid  and   region  of  4%  annually.         Further  funds  are  made  available  to  4thMed  students  to  deal  with  the  costs  of  their  electives.  This  is  the  VSA     loan,  and  it  is  an  extra  a   vailable  €4,000  and  is  also  interest  free     until  graduation.     To  organise  loans  with  Bank  of  Ireland,  NUI  Galway,  call  Kevin  on  087-­‐7742206   or  Mary  on  087-­‐7811318  or     pop  in  to  the  Branch.  


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Going on  Erasmus  and  studying  medicine  are  not  concepts  I  had  ever  imagined  going   together  when  I  started  out  in  college….  But  here  I  am,  sitting  in  deepest  western   Germany,  reflecting  on  what’s  been  a  great  experience  so  far!!    

It was  about  this  time  last  year  Therese  Dixon  got  in  touch  with  us  (at  the  time)   2nd  Meds  letting  us  know  that  there    were  places  available  in  4  different   countries  for  anyone  interested  in  spending  semester  3.2  on  Erasmus.  Not   having  a  word  of  French,  I  applied  for  a  place  in  the  city  of   never  heard  of  it  either)  

(I  had  

, hoping  my  rudimentary  school  German  

would be  of  some  help!  A  talk  was  organised  in  which  former  Erasmus  students  from  4th  med  shared  with  us  their   experiences  abroad,  which  proved  to  be  very  helpful.  It  was  clear  that  for  the  first  time  demand  for  places  would   exceed  supply,  so  unfortunately  exam  results  had  to  be  taken  into  account  for  the  allocation  of  the  spots!!  In  late   June,  soon  after  our  results  were  released  I  was  told  I  hadn’t  been  successful,  but  a  few  weeks  later  received  an   email  from  Therese  telling  me  there  was  a  place  if  I  wanted  it.  I  didn’t  need  to  be  asked  twice-­‐  as  lovely  as  Ballinasloe   is  and  all,  the  chance  to  do  a  few  months  placement  abroad  instead  was  not  going  to  be  passed  up!   In  September,  we  got  in  touch  with  our  host  university  (Ruhr-­‐Universitaet  Bochum)  and  arranged  modules  (to  mirror   what  rotations  we  would  have  being  doing  at  home)  and  accommodation.   So  with  absolutely  no  idea  of  what  we  were  in  for,  we  (Bronagh  Kelly  and  I)  arrived  here  on  the  4th  of  January,  and   moved  into  our  accommodation  the  next  day.  It’s  more  than  comfortable.    I’m  living  with  an  Italian,  a  Turk,  and  a   Romanian.  Luckily  English  is  the  language  of  communication  and  we  all  get  on  great!  We’re  living  right  by  the   university  in  a  block  popular  with  Erasmus  students,  so  there’s  never  a  shortage  of  parties!     -­‐  for  our  first  month  we  were  part  of  a  class  of  about  30  students  who  were  studying  a  module  in   Respiratory  medicine.  A  mixture  of  lectures  and  hospital  rounds,  all  teaching  was  in  German!  In  February  and  March   we’re  undertaking  electives  in  the  hospitals,  as  the  students  here  are  actually  on  holidays.  We’re  a  novelty  around   here,  and  people  are  going  out  of  their  way  to  make  us  feel  welcome.  Many  doctors  are  very  eager  to  speak  to  us  in   English,  which  is  a  great  help.  With  that  said,  I  wouldn’t  recommend  coming  here  without  some  basic  German.  It  just   makes  life  that  little  bit  easier!    All  things  considered  the  hospitals  here  are  much  the  same  as  home.  We’ve  access  to   all  the  lectures  going  on  back  at  home  through  Blackboard  also.   isn’t  the  prettiest  of  places  but  as  a  student  city  (35,000  attend  the  uni)  you  won’t  get  bored  here.   And  there’s  lots  of  local  beer  and  Currywurst  to  be  sampled!  Its  location  couldn’t  be  better.  Within  one  hour  are  the   bright  lights  of  Cologne  and  Dusseldorf,  which  we  visited  to  experience  the  German  Karneval,  an  unforgettable   weekend.  Within  two  hours  by  train  are  Brussels  and  Amsterdam.  Travel  possibilities  are  endless!!       We  are  receiving  a  grant  of  850  euro  for  our  semester  here.  While  this  does  not  come  close  to  covering  living,   accommodation  and  travel  costs,  it’s  a  help!  The  cost  of  food  and  drink  is  much  lower  here  than  at  home,  and  we  get   a  free  lunch  every  day  in  the  hospitals!     So  if  you  want  to  experience  a  different  culture,  experience  a  different  healthcare  system  and  the  chance  to  meet   people  from  all  over  the  world,

BY AIDAN STANKARD 3MB


15     The  idea  to  do  an  Erasmus  never  even  occurred  to  me  until  one  day  we  were  informed  that  application  forms  were  available.  It  was   kind  of  an  “arra  I’ll  throw  my  name  down  for  the  craic”  sort  of  thing,  which  didn’t  warrant  much  thought  until  I  got  accepted  last   summer.  

Perhaps m y  biggest  concern  coming  here  was  my  language  ability.  Having  not  practiced  for  3  years  m y  French  was  very  poor.  Before         to  understand,  unable  to  speak  and  just   arriving   I  couldn’t  help  but  envisage  m yself  staring   blankly  at  a  doctor  giving  orders,  unable   generally  being  useless.  Fortunately  this  is  not  the  case.  Naturally  at  the  beginning  it  was  tough,  on  our  first  night  ordering  a  Big  Mac         meal  proved  to  be  one  of  the  most  challenging  experiences  of  my  life.  Everyone  seems  very  accommodating  though,  and  help  by   speaking  slowly,  repeating  and  using  English  if  necessary.  Before  long  you  can  understand  the  majority  of  what’s  being  said,  and  at         worst  simply  smiling  and  nodding  can  get  you  through  the  day.  Don’t  let  your  level  of  French  be  the  deciding  factor  for  whether  you   go     on  Erasmus  or  not,  Oisin  is  in  Grenoble  at  t  he  moment  and  never  spoke  a  word  of  French     until  about  six  months  ago!   The     French,  in  general  are  quite  weird  and  their     medical  system  is  even  weirder.  It’s  difficult     for  me  to  accurately  compare   placement  in  Ireland  with  placement  in  France  as  so  far  I  have  only  experienced  the  latter.  It’s  incredibly  laid  back  or  laissez  faire  if   you   to  extern  can  consist  of  jeans,  t-­‐shirt     and  runners.         will.  Common  attire  for  everyone  from  professor    

is quite  different.  There  is     no  definite  structure  to  the  teaching  or  everyday   procedures.  The  only  instruction  I    

was given  on  the  first  day  was  to  go  to  such  and  such  a  ward  where  I  joined  a  procession  of  white  coats  going  from  patient  to       quickly  that  nothing  here  is  spoon  fed  to  y   ou,  no  bedside  tutorials  or  the  like.  Unless   patient,   hardly  being  acknowledged.  You  realise   you  take  the  initiative  it’s  quite  easy  to  become  invisible,  and  pass  through  a  day  without  really  learning  anything.  It  seems  to  be  the         type  of  system  where  if  you  don’t  put  a  lot  in  you  won’t  get  a  lot  back.    

Importantly what  we  learn  and  see  in  the  hospital  here  doesn’t  always  correlate  with  what  everyone’s  doing  back  home  and   occasionally  we  feel  as  if  we’re  m issing  out  in  that  respect.  As  a  result  this  type  of  learning  doesn’t  appeal  to  everyone.     Before  coming  here  I  knew  very  little  about  Montpellier.  It  can  be  to  some  extent  considered  a  French  Galway.  It’s  primarily  a         student  orientated  city  with  three  large  universities  and  over  50,000  students.  Unlike  the  other  Erasmus  options,  Montpellier  isn’t   covered  by  snow  for  most  your  stay.  A lthough  quite  cold  for  the  first  month  it  is  almost  always  dry  here  and  now  as  temperatures         are  picking  up  it’s  turning  into  quite  the  paradise.Nearby  cities  of  Toulouse,  Marseille  and  Carcassonne  can  make  for  nice  day  trips,   Barcelona   and  Paris  are  only  3  hours  on  the  train       for  a  weekend  away.       The   nice  to  us,  welcoming  us  from  the  very     first  day.  We  have  made  some  genuinely     other  med  students  here  have  been  extremely     good  friends  in  our  short  time  here  and  have  been  included  in  their  bizarre  customs  and  events.  Such  events  range  from  a   sophisticated   “Gala”  (essentially  their  m ed-­‐ball       equivalent)  to  a  rave  in  some  farmers  barn     with  a  free  bar  and  ridiculous  costumes.   Apart  from  nights  like  these,  going  out  in  Montpellier  tends  to  be  quite  expensive,  7.20  euro  for  a  pint  of  Guinness  says  it  all  really.  

. It  was  organised  for  us  by  our  

  location  regarding  the  hospital  and  is  incredibly     representative   here  and  to  be  fair  is  in  an  ideal   cheap.  It  is  a  university  run  

accommodation but  is  completely  unlike  anything  we  have  in  Ireland.  I’m  sitting  in  my  room  now  in  a  corridor  of  twenty  similar         rooms,  down  the  hall  is  a  kitchen  with  just  six  rings  on  a  hob  that  have  to  cater  for  an  entire  floor,  about  60  people.  There  is  no   common   area  or  living  room  sort  of  thing.  People       cook  in  the  kitchen  and  head  back  to  their     room  to  eat  alone.  It’s  practically   impossible  to  meet  people  in  this  way  and  on  idle  nights  it  can  feel  a  bit  like  a  prison.  If  anything  this  acts  as  an  incentive  to  stay  out   of     the  house  and  constantly  look  for  something     to  do.  In  hindsight  if  I  had  to  do  it  again  or     for  anyone  considering,  I’d  advise  trying   your  best  to  sort  out  an  apartment  before  heading  out.  

In conclusion  for  anyone  considering  Erasmus  I  hope  this  have  persuaded  and  enlightened  you  somewhat.  I  can  guarantee

Ronan Joyce  3MB    


16      

Spotlight On… International Health An interview with Dr. Máire Connolly

Dr  Máire  Connolly  is  Adjunct  Professor  of  International  Health  and   Development  at  NUI,  Galway’s  School  of  Medicine.  Having  graduated   from  NUIG  in  1989,  she  went  on  to  work  in  numerous  volatile  situations   around  the  world.  In  2004,  she  co-­‐ordinated  the  World  Health  Organisation’s   response  to  the  Indian  Ocean  Tsunami.      

My interest  in  international  health  began  during  a  VSA  elective  to  Kenya  in   1988.  Qualified  from  NUIG  in  1989,  after  internship  worked  in  paediatrics  in   Baghdad,  and  general  medicine  in  Sydney  and  Dublin.  Having  experienced  the  importance  of  public  health  medicine   in  developing  countries,  decided  to  pursue  a  career  in  this  specialty.  Awarded  MPH  in  UCD  and  was  accepted  on  to   higher  specialist  training  scheme  in  public  health  medicine  in  London.  Awarded  Diploma  in  Tropical  Medicine  and   Hygiene  at  the  London  School  of  Hygiene  and  Tropical  Medicine.  Joined  WHO  in  Geneva  in  1995  as  medical  officer   with  the  Tuberculosis  Programme.  

WHO field  missions  to  Afghanistan,  East  Timor  and  Kosovo  as  part  of  first  UN  deployment  following  cessation  of   conflict.  Worked  on  WHO  team  coordinating  activities  of  health  NGOs,  conducting  rapid  health  assessments,   implementing  measles  immunisation  campaigns  and  controlling  outbreaks  of  epidemic-­‐prone  diseases  such  as   bacillary  dysentery,  dengue  and  malaria.  

Emerging diseases  –  constant  adaptation  of  the  microbial  world  means  that  new  diseases  pose  a  threat  for  which   doctors  must  remain  vigilant.  Increasing  travel,  trade,  immigration  and    urbanisation  all  conspire  to  increase  the   potential  for  new  pathogens  to  emerge.  The  global  health  community  learnt  many  valuable  lessons  during  the  SARS   outbreak  in  2003  and  more  recently  pandemic  influenza  H1N1.   Infectious  diseases  –  rapid  diagnostic  technology  will  revolutionise  the  clinical  management  of  many  diseases,   ensuring  fast,  low  cost  identification  of  pathogens  and  thereby  reducing  the  burden  of  many  infectious  diseases  in   both  developed  and  developing  countries.    

Dr Gro  Harlem  Brundtland  was  appointed  Director-­‐General  of  WHO  in  1998.  She  had  been  the  youngest  and  first   ever  woman  Prime  Minister  of  Norway  for  10  years.  She  had  trained  in  Harvard  where  her  vision  of  health  extending   beyond  the  confines  of  medicine  into  environment  and  development  issues  began  to  take  shape.  She  was  an   inspiration  to  work  with  and  brought  her  many  skills  as  doctor,  politician,  activist  and  manager  to  her  role  as  DG.    Her  handling  of  the  SARS  epidemic  in  2003  was  one  of  her  greatest  achievements  in  terms  of  global  leadership  on  a   health  issue.  She  was  deeply  committed  to  improving  health  globally  and  approached  her  work  with  great  integrity    


“Spotlight On… International Health” An interview with Dr. Máire Connolly

17

in  the  often  complex  environment  of  the  UN.  With  her  indepth  knowledge  of  how  governments  work,  she  made   major  progress  in  the  area  of  macroeconomics  and  health.  She  continues  to  work  on  health  and  development  issues,   and  along  with  Mary  Robinson,  is  a  member  of  the  Elders  under  the  leadership  of  Nelson  Mandela.   Dr  Noel  Browne  became  Minister  for  Health  in  1948.  I  met  him  in  March  1996  at  his  home  in  Connemara,  I  was  in   Ireland  on  behalf  of  WHO  as  part  of  World  TB  Day  activities  to  raise  awareness  of  the  disease.  He  implemented  the   national  TB  control  programme  in  Ireland  in  the  1950s  which  was  successful  in  reducing  the  incidence  of  TB  in  the   country.  Through  the  Mother  and  Child  scheme,  he  sought  to  implement  free  medical  care  for  mothers  and  their   children  but  encountered  resistance  from  a  number  of  sources  including  the  Catholic  church.  Recent  events  may  be   seen  to  have  vindicated  his  criticism  of  the  church-­‐state  relationship  in  Ireland  at  that  time.  He  was  a  man  who   showed  great  integrity  and  kept  to  his  principles  even  when  it  was  not  politically  advantageous  to  him.  

A great  doctor  is  one  who  recognises  the  honour  of  being  given  the  role  of  healer  in  society.  It  is  a  noble  profession   with  traditions  going  back  thousands  of  years  in  many  diverse  cultures.  Compassion,  sensitivity  and  integrity  are   three  qualities  that  make  a  great  doctor.    

Good question!  For  me,  one  mistake  was  possibly  to  have  travelled  too  much  when   my  three  kids  were  very  small.  I  also  ended  up  in  a  number  of  high  risk  situations  in   Gaza,  East  Timor  and  Somalia  which  looking  back  on  I  was  fortunate  to  have  gotten   out  of.  While  the  demands  of  postgraduate  training  are  increasing,  I  would  urge   doctors  who  are  parents  of  young  children  to  cherish  the  time  you  have  with  them   while  pursuing  career  goals.   Another  mistake  was  not  to  have  started  working  on  research  projects  and   submitting  papers  to  peer  reviewed  journals  while  still  at  medical  school.  It  is  a  great   discipline  and  contributing  to  furthering  scientific  knowledge  in  an  area  is  very   rewarding.  

“Find your  passion!   Find  what  it  is  in   Medicine  that     excites  you!”  

Find your  passion!  Find  what  it  is  in  medicine  that  you  find  exciting.  Be  creative,  medicine  has  many  potential  paths.   Whatever  field  of  medicine  you  decide  to  specialise  in,  do  it  to  the  best  of  your  ability.  Take  opportunities  to   experience  health  care  systems/research  institutions  in  other  countries,  both  developed  and  developing,  valuable   lessons  can  be  learnt  in  other  settings.  Try  make  time  to  explore  the  arts  and  other  fields  of  human  endeavour   despite  the  intensity  of  postgraduate  medical  training.      

 


M ED SO C I S P R O UD LY SP O N SO R E D B Y:

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M ED SO C N E W SL ET TE R I S E DIT E D B Y F I ON A N O LA N (4 M B ) Contribu tions from Re bec c a Fi nne gan, Re bec ca She eran, Mar ia Dui gnan, Colm H arri ng ton , John n y C am pion , A n n Spellm an , P ishoy Gou da, A ida n Stan kard , Ron an Joyc e, Ta riq E sma il, Rhona W her ity, D e rmot N olan, Ciara Joy, Dr . Ge rar d Flahe rty, D r. B rian Stew art, Dr . Sean Di nne en and Prof essor Colm Mc D ona ld .

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NUIG MedSoc Newsletter March 2013  

Newletter of the NUIG Medical Society Issue 2.

NUIG MedSoc Newsletter March 2013  

Newletter of the NUIG Medical Society Issue 2.

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