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In this issue C iaran Twomey Memorial S o you want to do researc h?


A c ademy in foc us: Ballinasloe and Portinc ula A c ademy in foc us: C astlebar S o you want to do researc h? A pplying for Erasmus S urgic al S oc iety Masquerade Ball S ports and medic ine C Pshc hI S ummer S c hool 2013 Jigsaw G alway S FH E : an update IMO student debates Medball 2013 H ow to survive exam season S lainte S oc ’s Teddy bear H ospital A day in the life of: A G P IMU students – top tips Medc est: A n worrying epidemic

Like the  newsletter?  Submission  for  articles  for  the  next   edition  is  now  open.  Articles,  abstracts,  ideas  and   comments  are  all  welcome!  E-­‐mail  l.flynn12@nuigalway.ie   for  more  details  

A gony A unt: D r. O Mantic U pc oming events

W inning team Bac k row: Jennifer Byrne C onor W aters D iarmuid O ’C onnor Brian G arrney S hane Irwin

Front Tow:

E oghan O ’C onnor

V inc ent G riffin (Referee)

Ciaran Twomey Memorial The annual Christmas soccer tournament in memory of Ciaran Twomey took place on 20th December this year. We were honoured to be joined by Ciaran’s dad for the event. The terrible weather conditions were enough to keep the first and second meds away from the Drom pitches. The first match was between the premeds and the third meds. The third meds took the lead early on with goals from Eoghan O’Conor, Shane Irwin, Brian Gaffney and Jennifer Byrne. The pre-meds made a good effort to come back making it 5-2. However, the third years always seemed to be well ahead and finished the match 8-3 with goals from Conor Waters, Barry Harnedy and Diarmuid O’Conor. The next match was a very competitive game between the fourth and fifth meds. The fourth meds showed why they were reigning champions and put in a powerful performance with goals from Neil Hyland (2) and Ciaran Hayes (2). The game finished 4-1 and so it was the fourth meds versus the third meds in the final. The weather conditions seemed to get worse but both teams battled hard to take home the cup and more importantly take it to med ball. The third meds took the lead just before half time with a smashing strike from Shane Irwin. The fourth years made it 1-1 just after half time with a great goal from Donal O’Malley. The two teams were very evenly matched but the third meds were next to score. Brian Gaffney hit in a great corner and Jennifer Byrne headed the ball into the net to give the third meds a 3-1 lead. The fourth meds never gave up though and they pulled a goal back through Conor Murphy. They pressed on to get an equaliser but the third meds held out and took victory for the first time. All in all, despite the weather conditions, the tournament was a great success. Huge thanks to UEFA B licence referee Vinnie Griffith for refereeing the games and organising the tournament. Jennifer Byrne

Barry H arnedy

So You   Want   To   Do   Research?  

How to get the most of your research •

Find something your passionate about! Research is way more enjoyable when you are actually interested in what your doing and excited to see your results!

Talk to your supervisor!! Let them know how much you are willing to commit before hand and make sure everybody is on the same page before the hard work begins.

Apply for all available funding! Be wary of due dats, times needed for postage – there’s no point going to the effort of filling in the forms if you submit them too late tobe successful!

Spend your first few days getting to know people, and be sure to make a good first impression – it may sounds obvious but you would be surprised how far politeness and willingness to help will get you!

Money, money, money: While research is generally all about the experience, cash never went astray either! We will cover the two main sources of funding in more detail but there are other sources available!

Other sources of funding:

Anatomical Society offers funding to a small number of applicatants working in the field of anatomy over 4-10 weeks.

See http://www.anatsoc.org.uk/Awards/GrantsandPrizes.aspx for more details

NUIG can offer funding to a limited to a small number of students. Contact the university for more information about this!

Show me the money: how do I get funded research? Health Research Board  Who can apply? Anybody studying a health related discipline, provided they are not in final year. Your prject must fall into one fo the following research areas: clinical research, health services research, population health sciences that focus solely or predominantly on basic biomedical research are not eligible. When do I apply? Late January, generally the week after matchings of researchers and students are announced. How much information do I need? Short answer: LOTS. A lay summary (a summar for those with no background in science), 1,000 word project description, details of your supervisors research experience, a letter of support from your supervisor and a detailed description of your exact role in the project. You will also be responsible for submitting a report to HRB after the project is completed. HOW MUCH??! ₏250 a week, for a maximum of 8 weeks. How do I apply? Applications are submitted online, and there is no facility for posting your application in. More information? https://grants.hrb.ie to apply, http://www.hrb.ie/research-strategy-funding/grantsand-fellowships/hrb-grants-and-fellowships/grant/67/ for more information about applications

Wellcome Trust Who can apply? Medical students finishing 2 ,3 or 4 med. Students who have completed an intercalated degree can’t apply, and graduate entry medical students with a previous degree in a science related subject are not eligible. If you have been awarded a grant for a summer research project already, you will not be considered. The project must also fall into the areas of population health, infection and immunobiology, genetic and molecular sciences, neuroscience and mental health, genetic and molecular sciences or cellular developmental and physiological sciences. nd



When do I apply? Mid February – it’s due date this year is the 14 ! th

How much information do I need? Description of the proposed project (including project’s background, aims, objections, experimental design and method and an outline of a timetable of work, a recommendation from one of your current academic tutor, details on your career intentions (at the moment), and an explanation on how your project will contribute to animal or human health. HOW MUCH??! €220 a week, for a maximum of 6 weeks. How do I apply? Applications must be hand signed and posted to England!

More information? Application forms and more information availabe on: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/Funding/Biomedical-science/Funding-schemes/PhD-funding-an undergraduate-opportunities/wtd004448.htm

By Pishoy Gouda A few years into my medical training I had the opportunity to start applying for electives and research positions. In each of those applications there was a heading where you were meant to add all your research and publications. Unfortunately, I had to leave this box blank for the first 3 years of medical school, something I am sure weakened my applications. Now medical writing in itself can be a daunting experience, so I’ve put together some tips on how you can get started.

1. Blogs If you are a little intimidated by the whole academic writing scene, this might be a great place for you to start. Blogs are an informal way of sharing your experiences, opinions and ideas to the rest of the world. They are short and sweet and don’t take too much time or effort to write, but that doesn’t limit their impact. The medsoc blog is a great place to start. You’ll get feedback on your writing and your blog will be published on the medical society website (www.nuigmedsoc.com). We are currently accepting guest blogs, so be sure to check it out. If you are looking to reach a broader audience, publishing on the student lancet blog is also a great idea (www.studentlancet.com).

When trying to think of ideas for your blogs, think of highlights during your training such as dreading your first digital rectal exam or scrubbing into your first surgery. But they don’t have to be just clinical experiences, they can be about the panic attack you had before your first spot test or the anatomy cadaver memorial ceremony. Regardless of what topic you choose, don’t just write for the sake of writing… try and actually share an experience that learn from and it will be well received.

2. Student journals There are a few student journals out there that routinely publish the works of medical students. One of the most well known is the studentBMJ (www.studentbmj.com). This is a great journal that publishes all sorts of pieces including personal views and experiences. That being said it is probably the hardest medical student journal to get published in. They usually require you to submit a pitch (a summary of what you want to write about) to the editor, who will then guide you in deciding whether they might be interested in the piece or not. Don’t be discouraged when they don’t reply (or say no) to your pitches, just keeping sending them ideas. Even when they do like your idea, the studentBMJ has a massive backlog, meaning it can take up to 6 months before they reject/accept your article.

Some other newer journals that I would recommend are the International Journal of Medical Students (www.ijms.info) and the Medical Student Research Journal (www.msrj.chm.msu.edu).

3. Actual research… Up until now, we have only discussed writing opinion pieces and experiences…. Which is nice… but not really research. So what is the best way to get involved in research? It would be great if I could just say, “Find something you are passionate about and then contact a researcher in that field”. The reality of the situation is most medical students don’t have a notion what they are interested in! I found myself in the same position when I was applying for my first research job, so I just fired off a CV to every researcher at my university. I got lucky and ended up with an amazing supervisor who was enthusiastic and loved teaching. So I guess if you have no preference in what you are doing research in, find someone who you can relate to

and has time for you and approach them about doing a summer research project with him or her.

I have seen a summer of research make student hate even the thought of ever having to do research again. An easy way of preventing this is a frank discussion with your supervisor before you even begin. Find out what the project it, what your role will be, what your day to day routine might be and what will you get out of it. These are all fair questions and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask them.

4. Letters to the Editor All the journals that we have mentioned so far accept letter to the editor, these are short communications that are usually written in response to an article in a previous issue. Sometimes journals also accept stand-alone letters which are meant to spark conversation or raise awareness of a particular issue (Check out the February edition of the Irish Medical Journal for an example www.imj.ie There are frequently articles published about medical students and medical education that fail to look at things from the perspective of medical students. This is a window of opportunity for students to reply, via a letter to the editor, to share their insight. These are usually referenced and require a little bit more work. I hope that you know have the tools and resources to go out and start sharing your research, opinions and experiences with the rest of the academic community. If you have any questions or are looking for ideas feel free to drop me an email p.gouda1@nuigalway.ie .

Happy writing,

Pishoy Gouda

Conor Palmer 3mb winning poster from the Undergraduate Research Day 201

Academy in focus: Portiuncula and Ballinasloe Omar Mansour Portiuncula Hospital:

This 9-ward, 210-bed hospital is home to both the University of Limerick and National University of Ireland, Galway medical students and staff. Although, we are not always together in during the rotations, we will sometimes be on the same team (UL program is significantly different than ours). In total, each NUIG medical student must go through 6 rotations: GI, Cardiovascular, Care of Elderly, Respiratory, Medicine/Surgery, Perioperative Care/Critical Care. This year, Care of Elderly and Perioperative rotations were moved to the Roscommon hospital. The academy provided the students transportation to the hospital each day. The 2014 Ballinasloe NUIG Medical students had 15 students, one of which was on Erasmus for his rotations. This allowed for small teachings and ward groups of a maximum of 3 students. On a typical day, we would meet the teams at the designated time (usually 9 AM) and ward location to receive the list of patients under the team’s care and review any events during the previous night. We would then round with the team to each ward, reviewing the case with each patient. Each team’s case load is different than the next: some teams only have 6 patients to care for, while others have more than 15. There usually is a teaching set by the medicine or surgical tutors which can include classroom teachings, NUIG video-link lectures, bedside tutorials and/or case presentations. On some occasions, we may take part in surgeries or procedures which are vital to the patient’s care and a great learning point. There are also journal clubs are also scheduled on a weekly basis. Finally, the consultants have out-patient clinics in which you play a vital part and where your 2.5 years of theory get to work and I cannot stress the importance of taking advantage of this opportunity. You will interview and examine the patient as per taught. Then, you will present your findings to the consultant who will make the final recommendations. We have the opportunity to practice the gained knowledge into a real life situation. Finally, students have the opportunity to go alone on wards to take histories and perform examinations both for practical and official purposes.   October 2014.

To do in Ballinasloe

Pitches: The city has several pitches and courts to play on. Opposite the hospital, sits a community with 2 football pitches, several tennis and other courts, and a children’s park. The main arena is located within walking distance of the hospital. Gym: Need for some physical training? Look no further than Kingfisher gym and Carlton Shearwater Hotel Gym & Spa. Both gyms are about a kilometer from the Portiuncula Hospital (15 min walk). The Kingfisher Gym boasts an exercise room with free weights, weight machines, variety or treadmills and cycles. Also included is access to a pool and sauna. Several classes, both in pool and exercise room, are available. The Carlton Gym has much the same but has the spa and restaurant in the same location. Food: Cooking at home? Tesco and Aldi are 15 min away from the hospital and Supervalu just opposite the hospital. Want to go out instead? Not the same variety of choices as in Galway but still open to Chinese, Kabab, and Supermac’s & Papa John’s (and others of course). Sit down dinners are mostly in the hotels around the city. Pubs & Nightclubs: Pubs are the same as in Galway and only 1 or 2 nightclubs are open here Festivals & Fairs: The biggest festival in town is the October Horse Fair. Every year, this fair attracts many thousands of visitors to the town. We have yet to enjoy the opportunity but are looking forward to it in October 2014. Travel: One great advantage of being in Ballinasloe is the bus route from Galway to Dublin. The X20/20 route has 2 stops within the city (one at the hospital and another in downtown). This same route also passes through Athlone which seems to be the place to go in your free time for shopping and other (the city is ~30 min by bus). Other: The town is also known for its equestrian activities, horse and pony riding, and shows.

Academy in  focus:  Mayo  General  Hospital     Clodagh  McDermott   Mayo  General  Hospital  (MGH)  has  been  an  exciting  experience  for  all   us  students.  On  our  first  day,  we  were  welcomed  by  the  Director  of  the   Galway-­‐Mayo  Medical  School,  tutors  and  the  secretary  and  advised  of   the  do’s  and  don’ts  of  placement.       Small  groups  of  no  more  than  6  students  attend  daily  tutorials  and   ward  rounds.  Medical  tutors,  Hospital  Doctors  and  Nursing  staff  are  interested,   enthusiastic  and  keen  to  teach.  While  there  is  lots  to  do  and  learn,  this  is  made  easy  by   the  excellent  teaching  skills  of  the  tutors  and  doctors  in  the  hospital.  They  are  always   available,  approachable  and  helpful  as  well  as  being  up  for  banter!     We’ve  been  provided  with  personal  lockers  and  have  access  to  the  hospital  library  and   their  computers  with  internet  access.  Unfortunately  there  is  no  WIFI  on  the  hospital   grounds  but  this  is  available  in  the  GMIT  (approximately  1  minute  away,  where  our   tutorials/lectures  are  held).   MGHs  canteen  facilities  are  excellent  and  provide  an  ideal  meeting  spot  for  all  students.   As  for  Castlebar,  there  isn’t  a  lot  to  do  when  compared  to  Galway.  There  is  however,  a   cinema,  leisure  facilities,  bowling  alley,  shops,  quaint  cafes  and  enough  pubs  to  keep  one   from  getting  too  dry!     I  have  to  admit,  it’s  the  people  that  make  Mayo  Medical  School  such  a  great  experience.   There’s  a  friendly,  chilled  atmosphere  about  the  place  and  great  camaraderie  between   students  and  staff.  The  hospital  is  a  hive  of  activity  with  medical  students,  nursing   students  and  lots  of  eligible  young  doctors  and  nurses!!!!!!!!!!   Everyone  is  very  supportive;  helping  find  accommodation,  identifying  interesting   patients  suitable  for  history  taking  and  examination  and  even  averting  mini-­‐ catastrophes.   I  am  glad  I  have  come  to  Mayo  General  Hospital.      

How To; Apply for an Erasmus Semester Caoimhe O’Sullivan 1. You start to apply for an Erasmus placement for semester 3.2, while you’re in semester 2.2.

2. The countries currently matched with NUIG include Germany (Bochum), Switzerland (Lausanne), Sweden, and France (Grenoble, Montpellier). Other than in Sweden, where everything is taught through English, it’s EXTREMELY advisable to speak the language (French/German). Medicine is confusing enough without a significant language barrier added in to the mix!

3. The School of Medicine usually sends out an email during 2.2, asking you to express an interest in the programme.

4. They’ll probably hold a meeting, giving you the basics of what you need to know, how to apply and what you can expect. Some previous Erasmus students might be there to tell you about their experiences.

5. THE MAIN THING TO KNOW IN ADVANCE; if there are more people applying than there are places, they are assigned based on grades. Specifically, your grades in 2MB. So pull up your socks for that year if you think you want to experience medical education abroad!

6. You’ll be told whether or not you received a place after your summer examinations in 2MB, and depending on the country/university you’re heading to, the process from here on may be a little different.

7. Basically, NUIG will have to register you with the host university, but you’ll more than likely have to get in contact with the administration yourself as well.

8. You’ll need those health forms from 1st year filled out, and an in-date passport. You may also need some form of private health/travel insurance depending on the requirements of your host university. There are also a million other nonspecific forms that need filling out, and you’ll need to organise with your host university what modules you’ll do while on placement there. Ideally they’ll match closely with what will be covered by your classmates in NUIG, as you sit your exams back here, but this isn’t always completely possible.

9. To apply for an Erasmus grant, the deadline is usually around October/November, and the International Office here in NUIG can help you with that. What you’re awarded is based on the cost of living in the country of your host university.

10. You’ll also need to sort out where to live while you’re abroad; talking to students who have previously gone on Erasmus is probably the most sensible way to get started on this, as they can tell you where they lived and whether or not they’d recommend it.

11. The process sounds long and tedious, but the most helpful thing is really to talk to older students who have travelled abroad for a semester already - it makes life MUCH easier, and they’ll probably be dying to tell anyone who’ll listen about what an experience it was. The medical school, administrative staff, and the Erasmus Co-ordinator (Dr. Yvonne Finn) here at NUIG are also really helpful, and will put you in contact with the necessary people abroad, as well as previous Erasmus students if necessary.

12. And if you manage all this and catch that plane abroad during 3.2, have a ball - it’ll probably be the experience of a lifetime!

Caoimhe O’Sullivan Be sure to check out our next issue, where we hope to publish the diary of an Erasmus student!!

NUI Galway  Surgical  society   2013  saw  the  foundation  of  NUI  Galway’s  Surgical   Society.  Comprising  of  medical  students  and  doctors   the  society  aims  to  introduce  students  to  surgical   skills  and  specialties.  The  society’s  aim  is  to  equip   students  with  basic  surgical  skills  at  an  early  stage   fostering  their  interest  in  surgery  as  a  potential   career  option.  Our  hope  is  that  every  student  will   graduate  with,  at  the  very  least,  the  ability  to  suture   –  a  vital  surgical  competency.   Ready  and  eager  to  share  our  keen  interest  and   hopefully,  spark  off  new  interests  in  surgery,  we  planned  a  series  of   surgical  workshops,  which  covered  two  basic  skills  –  Simple  Sutures   and  One  Handed  Surgical  Tie.  Through  them,  we  aim  to  introduce  the   preclinical  years  to  the  surgical  field  at  an  early  stage,  to  nurture   budding  surgeons-­‐to-­‐be  while  also  continuing  to  guide  the  clinical   years  towards  key  practical  techniques,  allowing  them  to  hone  and   master  these  essential  skills.   Our  first  workshop  was  held  on  the  18th  of  October  with  demand  far   exceeding  the  15  places  available.  Having  watched  a  brief  demo   video,  students  took  to  their  skin  pads  and  began  to  put  their  skills  to   the  test,  only  after  successful  attempts  to  put  on  their  surgical  gloves   without  getting  fingers  stuck  in  awkward  positions.  Armed  with  their   needle  holder  and  forceps,  the  students  began  to  diligently  close  up   the  “wounds”  before  them.  One  might  wonder,  what  about  the  left-­‐ handers?    Aren’t  we  lucky  to  have  Gerard  Browne  always  there  to   make  sure  left  handers  don’t  feel  left  out!     Under  the  watchful  eyes  of  Dr.  Dara  Devitt  and  Mr  Peter  O’Leary,   students  successfully  closed  the  wounds.  And  not  forgetting  to  take   snapshots  of  their  neatly  placed  stitches  and  Instagram  them  later.   Riding  high  on  the  excitement  and  enthusiasm,  Dr.  Devitt  proceeded   to  demonstrate  how  to  tie  knots  single  handedly.  What  sounded  like   a  string  of  incomprehensible  Greek,  coupled  with  the  occasional   “Heaven”,  “Hell”  and  “Rabbit  Holes”  soon  made  sense  after  repeating   the  steps  over  and  over.  Voices  of  exasperation  quickly  evolved  into   laughter  and  smiles  as  students  learnt  yet  another  valuable  surgical   skill!  Acknowledging  the  overwhelming  demand  for  these  skills,  we   have  since  followed  up  our  pilot  workshop  with  two  further,  equally   successful  events!    

Seeking to  establish  NUI  Galway  Surgical  Society  on  a  national  level,   we  looked  to  the  8th  Annual  Intercollegiate  Case  Competition   organized  by  the  RCSI  Surgical  Society.    On  the  28th  of  January,  the   2014  NUI  Galway  Collegiate  Surgical  Case   Competition  was  held  at  the  CSI.  Shortlisted  medical   students  individually  presented  case  reports  of  their   choice  to  Professor  Michael  Kerin  and  a  panel  of   consultant  surgeons.  The  winner,  Ali  Esfandiari,  will   be  representing  NUI  Galway  with  his  case  report   titled  “Tangled”  at  the  Royal  College  of  Surgeons,   Ireland’s,  Charter  Day  on  the  6th  of  February  2014   in  Dublin.  We  wish  him  the  very  best!       Our  continued  success  is  due  to  the  outstanding  support  that  we  have   received  from  the  surgical  departments  of  Galway  University   Hospital  and  NUI  Galway  and  for  this  support  we  are  incredibly   grateful.  Of  particular  mention  are;  Ms.  Carmel  Malone  NUIG’s  Senior   Lecturer  in  Surgery,  who  has  provided  support  and  guidance  since   the  society’s  earliest  days.  Dr.  Dara  Devitt  (GUH  Intern  Co-­‐ordinator)   who  at  each  skills  session    has  applied  exceptional  levels  of  patience   and  diligence  to  the  task  of  teaching  our  members  and  Ms  Una   Courtney  (Clinical  Nurse  Manager  2  Orthopedic  theatre)  who  has   kindly  liaised  with  the  society  extensively  and  ensured  a  valuable   working  relationship  with  our  nursing  colleagues  at  UCHG.   To  all  those  named  and  unnamed  we  would  like  to  express  our   thanks.     One  final  mention  should  be  given  to  NUIG  Student  Union’s  Explore   initiative  (http://www.su.nuigalway.ie/index.php/explore-­‐home)   which  has  financially  backed  the  Undergraduate  Surgical  Training   Programme  for  the  academic  year  2013/2014.                         We  can  only  hope  2014  will  bring  the  same  level  of  success  as  we   enjoyed  in  2013.  Some  of  our  plans  include:   • Laparoscopic  skills  workshop  

• Basic surgical  skills  2  –  Mattress  suturing  and  insertion  of   chest  drains   • Workshops  on  correct  scrubbing  technique  for  students   recently  commenced  on  clinical  placements   • Trip  away  to  UCC’s  surgical  seminar   • Regional  Surgical  Skills  Competition  (Winner  to  represent   NUIG  in  the  RCSI  on  15th  April  2014  to  be  crowned  with  the   title  of  ‘best  undergraduate  skills  in  Ireland’)     We  have  a  committee  who  work  hard  to  ensure  that  you,  the  students   of  NUIG,  have  your  surgical  needs  and  interests  met.  If  you  want  to   get  involved  contact  a  member  of  the  committee,  like  our  facebook   page  (https://www.facebook.com/NUIGSurgSoc  )  or  send  us  an   email  at  surgicalsoc.nuig@gmail.com  .  Also,  feel  free  to  give  us  any   suggestions  on  surgical  skills  or  any  surgical-­‐related  topics  that  you   would  like  to  learn  more  about  and  we  will  do  our  best  to  facilitate   that!     By:    Tingyi  Koh     Vice  Auditor  NUIG  Surgical  Society  2MB    

Surgical Society  Committee  2013/2014:     Auditor:  Dómhnall  O  Connor  5MB   Vice  Auditor:  Koh  Tingyi  2MB   Secretary:  Keunjae  Ahn  1MB   Treasurer:  Ger  Browne  3MB   PRO:  Louise  Curtis  2MB  and  Darrell  Martin   3MB   Resource  Manager:  Stephanie  Bollard  4MB   Clinical  Advisor:  Yasir  Loai  5MB   OCM:  Sarah  Chiu  4MB    

Masquerade Ball 2013

What a night! The 5th annual Masquerade Ball was held on Saturday October 19 and this was its best year yet. Over 200 young medical students and doctors turned up to the magical Markree Castle in Sligo, for a great night of mystique and dignified debauchery. A four-course meal followed a champagne reception and the crowd was kept on their feet all night to the musical stylings of Queen Bee Sligo and Michele Feeney. The NUI Galway Medical Society, who was voted “most improved society in Ireland and Northern Ireland” at the 2013 annual BICS awards, hosted the night. Over €3,000 was raised in aid of Voluntary Services Abroad. VSA is a charity run by NUIG medical students, who raise money to deliver medical aid to the developing world. All money raised goes towards buying medical equipment and medicines for hospitals in need. The students also volunteer their own skills and experience by working in these hospitals during the summer months. NUIG Medical Society would like to extend a massive thank-you to all who supported, donated and made the night such a huge success. "We are especially grateful to all our generous sponsors in Sligo, without whom we could not have raised so much for VSA. Well done to all MedSoc and VSA committee members for organising the event. Here's hoping to seeing you all at Markree again in 2014 for an even bigger and better night.

Sports and medicine – a balancing act Carl Byrne Sport; a  fond  past  time  of  many,  a  dreaded  fitness  regime  for  some,  and   a  damn  good  work  out  for  all!  Many  of  us  hold  a  sport  close  to  our   hearts,  whether  it  is  a  casual  sunday  game,  a  weekly  fitness  programme,   the  occasional  national  competition,  or  even  travelling  abroad  for  the   fiercely  competitive  amongst  us!  But  the  major  question  for  those   involved  in  sports  when  they  come  to  study  medicine,  ‘where  the  hell   am  I  going  to  get  the  time?’.     Managing  your  training  times  and  dreaded  study  regime  has  been  a  huge  challenge   for  anyone  who  loves  competing,  however  is  there  an  easy  way  to  fit  sports  in?     Time  management:  The  ultimate  lifestyle  survival  technique!  Get  out  a  sheet  of   paper  and  write  out  a  timetable!  Unlike  the  familiar  Da  Vinci  Code  esk  timetables  we   are  all  used  to  for  college  a  short  simple  time  table  can  show  you  the  gaps  in  your   day  when  you  can  best  fit  in  study.  Whether  its  before  you  grab  food  for  the   evening,  or  fitting  in  a  sneaky  run  after  your  day  at  college,  it  is  doable!  Don’t  forget   to  keep  it  simple,  Having  a  schedule  you  can’t  follow  or  remember  will  frustrate  you   more  than  a  first  year  biochem  assignment.  Gryffindor  £  green  5......   ‘oh!  time  for  a  run!’       Make  sure  its  something  you  love!  Ok  you  have  your  plan,  you  have  a   spare  hour  for  a  run,  and...........  the  couch  is  looking  awful  comfy......   Doing  something  you  don’t  enjoy  will  make  lazing  out  more   attractive  than  Scarlet  Johansen’s  lycra  suit.  If  you  don’t  love  it,   you’re  not  going  to  do  it!  Don’t  like  running?  what  about  a  spin   class?  Don’t  like  weights?  what  about  joining  a  club?  Find  an  activity   you  love  and  getting  off  the  couch  is  going  to  be  so  much  easier!     Last  but  not  least.  Don’t  over  do  it  at  the  beginning!  You  have  a  lot  to  fit  into  your   week,  doing  too  much  training  week  one  and  feeling  like  your  legs  have  been   replaced  by  columns  of  jelly  is  going  to  be  off  putting,  especially  if  you  have  only  just   begun!  Keep  it  sensible.  You  know  your  limits,  so  test  yourself,  but  not  so  much  that   you  won’t  do  it  again  the  next  week!       Hopefully  these  small  tips  can  help  break  out  that  Olympic  athlete  in  all  of  us!  But   ‘Wait!’  i  hear  you  say.  It’s  all  well  and  good  on  paper  but  realistically  can  a  med   student  actually  keep  a  sport  up  while  in  college?  For  all  of  you  into  rugby,  the  next     time  you  are  watching  the  rugby  keep  an  eye  out  for  Welsh  International  Jamie     Roberts.  Med  student  extraordinare  Jamie  Roberts.  Jamie  finished  med  school  in   Cardiff  University  last  year,  all  while  maintaining  his  place  on  both  the  Welsh,  Lions,   and  Cardiff  Blues  squads!  Some  med  for  one  med!    

CPsychI Summer School 2013 The College of Psychiatrists of Ireland ran their 3rd successful Summer School again this year. Organised by the Trainee Committee of the College, it was aimed at medical students and interns interested in a career in psychiatry or who simply want to find out more about the work psychiatrists do. The Psychiatry Summer School was held in Galway for the first time on Wednesday, 21st August. The dynamic one day programme included interactive seminars with consultants, trainees and psychiatry interns, talks from service users and team members and tours of psychiatry facilities, emphasizing cutting edge science and psychiatric sub-specialties. An evening reception was held following the summer school and there was ample opportunity throughout the day to informally meet with current trainees, consultants and other students.

The interesting and stimulating aspects of Psychiatry (that are not covered in a standard undergraduate Psychiatry placement) were highlighted through the day. Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive, and The College of Psychiatrists of Ireland was proud to showcase the multifaceted and varied aspects of Psychiatry. A great day was had by all.

Jigsaw Galway and the YAP Caoimhe O’Sullivan Jigsaw Galway is a free and confidential service supporting the mental health and well-being of those aged 15 – 25 in Galway city and county. It is a partnership between Headstrong, Mental Health Ireland and the HSE, but is also funded by the Western Region Drugs Taskforce. Over the last 3 years, it has experienced a 63% increase in its service use, having served over 3,500 young people since its beginnings in 2008. Many medical students and faculty members will already be aware of the fantastic service that Jigsaw provides for young people in this area, and many of you may have seen that it celebrated its 5th birthday last month. I was originally made aware of Jigsaw in 1stMed, when I was lucky enough to be assigned to a Special Study Module through the NUIG Medical School, called “Mental Health in Young People”. Part of the module involved a trip to Jigsaw, where we were given a short talk about how the service worked and what it aimed to provide. From everything we saw, it was clear that all the staff really cared deeply about providing the best possible support for young people to take care of their mental health, and were very interested in moving the service forward, and ensuring access for all those who could possibly benefit from it. A very interesting aspect discussed was the level to which Jigsaw Galway involves young people in the development and design of the service. This is achieved through the Youth Advisory Panel (YAP), which is comprised of a group of young people from across county Galway who advise Jigsaw on providing and developing support services for young people. They are a core element of Jigsaw Galway and are fundamental to everything they do, from the design of the building to the interviewing of potential staff members. When I saw last summer that Jigsaw were seeking applications for new members of the panel, I applied straight away, and after a short interview with two of the staff members, I was delighted to hear that they wanted me to contribute to the service through becoming a member of the YAP. Our role is simple - to represent our own views, as young people in Galway; to represent Jigsaw within our own community and to make joint decisions on the running of Jigsaw’s services

We meet at least once a month as a group, and also have interim meetings with committees, fundraising events, and for various other reasons. The staff members attend these meetings too, and I honestly cannot say I have ever met people so enthusiastic, open, friendly and dedicated. Each time we meet, I feel that we come away with new skills, knowledge, and a broader outlook on a range of issues. Every member of the panel comes from a different background and point of view, and I think this is what makes the YAPs contribution so successful, as it really does represent young people of Galway city and county. Although our medical curriculum aims to ensure that we are all well-rounded, competent and capable doctors upon graduation, I think it is only through experience that we’ll eventually understand how best to provide healthcare, to promote health (both physical and mental health), and how to make services accessible to those who need them most. The YAP has, more than anything else, helped me to understand the importance of prioritising access to services for those who will benefit from them – and how all aspects of the services provided must be taken into account from the perspective of potential service-users, in order to maximise positive outcomes. The YAP has really helped me to consider mental health in a far wider context than I would have previously done, and has enabled me to become more comfortable discussing how important it is for us all to look after not only our own mental health, but also that of those we care about. 1 in 3 young people experience mental health difficulties – it isn’t something rare, far-away, or uncommon. Both already and in the future, we’re going to experience such difficulties ourselves, amongst those dear to us, and throughout our careers as medical professionals. In conclusion, from everything that I have seen of the service, Jigsaw really is a vital asset to Galway’s young people, and I am very proud to say that in some small way, I can represent the service and all it stands for.

For anyone who would like more information about Jigsaw, log on to www.jigsaw.ie/galway.

Students for  Health  Equality  (SFHE):  An  Update   Laura  Reynolds,    vice-­‐auditor  SFHE   We  we  delighted  to  welcome  a  guest  speaker,  Vanessa  Lacey,  from   the  Transgender  Equality  Network  Ireland  (TENI)  on  25th  November.   She  spoke  movingly  about  the  health  needs  and  challenges  facing  this   unique  cohort  of  patients.  This  is  definitely  something  we  were   interested  in  and  looking  forward  to  as,  I'm  not  sure  about  ye,  but  this   was  an  issue  I'd  never  given  consideration  to  before  and  think  there   were  lots  of  gems  to  be  learned.  Vanessa  was  a  fantastic  speaker  and  a  great   evening  was  had  by  all.   Also  in  November:  SFHE  was  also  excited  to  sit  on  the  steering  committee  to  help   organize  a  conference  hosted  conjointly  with  Irish  Forum  for  Global  Health,  Gender   Advanced  Research  Consortium,  and  Development  Studies  Association  of  Ireland  on   28th  November  at  the  Galway  Bay  Hotel.   Haven’t  heard  of  SFHE?!  Say  wha’?!     SFHE  was  originally  set  up  last  year  by   Manisha  Sachdeva  (third  med)  as  an  Explore-­‐ funded  student  ‘Think  Tank’.  It    has  since   become  a  new  society  in  college.  It  was  set  up   with  the  intention  of  bringing  awareness  to   the  role  health  and  medical  students  have  in   advocating  for  issues  in  social  inequities  and   sustainability  of  the  environment  alongside   faculty  advisor    Dr.  Diarmuid  O’  Donovan.  Its   goal  is  to  draw  students  from  all  backgrounds   to  contribute  to  participating  in  the  grander   processes  that  affect  us  all,  including  but  not  limited  to  climate  change  and  human   rights.  Committee  members  are  from  second  and  third  med  but  we  welcome   students  from  all  disciplines.     Other  events  we’ve  taken  part  in  so  far:     In  April,  took  part  in  the  Making  Time  National  Global  Health  Debate,  hosted  by   the  IFGH,  in  the  Royal  College  of  Physicians,  Dublin.  The  motion  for  the  evening  was   “This  House  believes  medical  aid  should  prioritise  equity  of  access  above  outcome”.      

Nobel Laureate  Dr  Harald  zur  Hausen,  who  received  a  Nobel  Prize  for  cancer   research,  chaired  the  event  which  involved  four  third-­‐level  teams  from  around   Ireland.  Third  med  students  Laura  Reynolds  and  David  O’Reilly  proudly  represented   Connacht  in  the  debate.    SFHE  also  had  a  booth  set  up  at  the  annual  Health  fair  in  February  and  at  the  TED   Med  event  in  April.     Our  first  event  of  this  semester  took  place  in  September.  We  played  some   interactive  games  that  introduced  themes  such  as  gender  inequality  and  global   health  with  some  free  pizza  and  “fact-­‐wrapped”  goodies  for  good  measure!   SFHE  sent  a  team  to  the  “Hack  for  Help”  Hackathon  in  Dublin  this  October.     SpunOut.ie  partnered  with  Facebook  and  CoderDojo  to  host  this  event  at  the   Facebook  headquarters.  We're  excited  to  announce  that  we  were  the  official   WINNERS  of  the  hackathon!  The  team  developed  an  iOS  app  called  "MoJo"  (My  Own   Journal)  featuring  a  daily  log  that  tracks  mental  health  status  in  youth.  The  team   received  1200  euro  of  Facebook  advertising,  800e  of  which  went  to  SpunOut.ie  and   200e  to  091  Labs  Hackerspace  in  Galway,  and  the  remaining  200e  to  us!  We  are   official  recipients  of  Facebook  funding!                              

"This House proposes that cannabis be legalised for recreational and medicinal use" Results of IMO Medical Student Debate 2013

The IMO medical student debate was held in the RCSI on the 7th December 2013. Two teams went head to head debating the motion ‘This House proposes that cannabis be legalised for recreational and medicinal use’

Proposing the Motion: Gavin Tucker (Trinity), Simon Neary (NUIG) and Elizabeth Ahern Flynn (RCSI)

Opposing the Motion: William Court ney (UCD), Sanskriti Sasikumar (UL) and John Campion (NUIG)

Both teams delivered their arguments with great fluency and content and the judges noted a very high standard overall. The Opposing Team were awarded winning place by the adjudicating panel. Overall outstanding speaker was awarded to Elizabeth Ahern Flynn from RCSI. Ms Ahern Flynn was commended for her quick rebuttal against the opposing team’s claims and her great descriptive imagery to present her argument. Elizabeth was presented with the IMO student debate medal by IMO president Dr Matthew Sadlier.

Medball 2013 The circus rolled in to town on December the 20th, for Med Socs annula 2013 Med Ball. Guests were treated to a champagne reception with all the trimmings of the circus – from candy floss to ticket booths and clown noses. After being entertained by the jugglers it was time for a wonderful meal before dancing the night away to the sound of Big Generator and DJ Byrno. With Photobooth occassions photo booths and Peter Harkin photograpy offering a more sophisticated shoot, there were plenty of opportunity to document the night. The sweet cart even helped to stave off the 1am munchies. College bar and Carbon played host to the next days activities, where another great night was had. Definitely a med ball to remember!

How to survive exam season Conor Murphy As the dreaded exams draw nearer, it’s safe to say that the habits of med students definitely change. Procrastinatory trips to the Bialann can become either more or less frequent, the reading room becomes a hot spot of panicked studying (and microbial activity, yuck.), group study no longer equates to a large number of people sitting around some flashcards in Smokeys, hoping that by some osmotic miracle the information will enter the brains of all present. All supplies of any caffeine-containing drinks in a five-mile radius have long been bought up and devoured in the hopes of staying up that extra hour to finish a criminally horrible biochemistry/molecular medicine/drugs and disease lecture. The inarguable sense of a good night’s sleep somehow becomes unintelligible to us and we start to forget to look after our poor, tired, freezing cold brains. Everyone is, or at least a majority of us are, guilty of having at least one poor study habit. Mine used to be energy drinks the night before an exam. That glorious Red Bull would become the new deity I worshipped come exam-time and although I don’t think I ever gained anything from it except a dodgy tummy, I still kept up this ridiculous habit. One night, I decided I didn’t need to take that trip to the all-to accessible 24hr Tesco for my fix of caffeine sugariness. Instead, I went outside for a quick walk. Nothing ridiculous, mind you, just a quick stroll around the street where I lived and back again. I felt way better than I ever did after downing an energy drink in two huge swigs, I’ll tell you that! I could actually sit and pay attention to what I was reading, refreshed by the cold, fresh air, rather than lost in a pretend buzz of caffeineinduced concentration where I was reading the words but not actually making any sense of them, let alone learning anything from them. As intelligent as we all like to think we are, we are human and many of us succumb to nerves around exam time, which can lead us to make pretty stupid choices (in my first year of college instead of looking over a vital lecture in physics, I decided to watch Scream 4. Smart, right?). We consistently ignore the advice given to us by the powers that be about getting AT LEAST a good six hours’ sleep, eating healthy and exercising to keep ourselves sharp. An old saying comes to mind: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. These tips are clichéd for a reason because they work. So give it a try this month; when that little voice of common sense is telling you to go to bed, listen to it. When it tells you to step away from the energy-drink section of the supermarket, turn around and run! Your body and brain will thank you, not to mention your future self, laying on a beach on the J1 you got to go on because you didn’t crash the night before and oversleep the day of the exam.

Today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic Lisa Flynn In a society filled with waiting lists, hospital trolleys and harassed doctors and nurses, a place where over 1,000 happy patients can be seen and treated over the course of two mornings a year seems too good to be true. Yet that is exactly what the good people of Sláinte Society have managed to do for the last nine years with their annual Teddy Bear Hospital.

The concept is simple. Every year Sláinte Soc send out invitations to primary schools all over Galway, inviting their junior and senior infants to bring their sick teddies to visit the (highly trained) staff at the Bailey Allen Hall. After an initial consultation, it’s off for an X-ray, M.R.I or ultrasound to determine if the initial diagnosis was accurate enough. From broken hearts to seasick dolphins, coughed up lungs to broken bones all injuries and illnesses are accommodated. While some wounds may be challenging enough to warrant surgery, others are deemed fit enough to head straight to the pharmacy where prescriptions for fruit and cuddles are the order of the day. While the teddies have an opportunity to recuperate, their (much relieved) owners have an opportunity to celebrate with bouncy castles, face paint, jugglers, songs and games.

The overall aim of the day is undoubtedly to show children that hospital – and the doctors, nurses, radiographers and pharmacists who work there! – Are not to be feared. Throughout the consultation periods, children were given the opportunity to discuss the times they themselves had been in hospital and how they felt about the day. Anybody who was lucky enough to volunteer over the two days undeniably enjoyed themselves more than the children themselves, while developing the communication skills that will become pretty essential when it comes to studying paediatrics in 4mb (It’s as good an excuse to take a morning away from the library as any!)

The success of the event is undoubtedly down to the hard work of the committee in the months leading up to the event. Fundraising is always a major challenge, as the society has never charged schools for their attendance at the event (Obamacare for the masses). Thankfully the dedication of fundraising officers, the organisation of a charity night in Electric and some very generous sponsors paid off! Due in no small part to the hard work of the 2013/2014 committee, it seems clear that Teddy Bear Hospital (and Sláinte Society overall) deserve that reputation it has earned. There can be no doubt that the next years 10th annual Teddy Bear Hospital will be the best one yet.

  2013/2014  committe   Photos  courtesy  of  Eibhlín  Seoighthe

Career in Focus: GP

Dr. Peter Hayes

Camera Shy!

What made  you  decide  to  be  a  GP?   I  felt  that  patients  can  for  the  most  part  be  cared  for  within  their  own  communities  in  a   primary  care  setting,  and  that  was  an  attraction  for  me.  I  also  believe  in  the  doctor-­‐ patient  relationship  being  the  pinnacle  of  successful  health  care  and  being  built  over   many  years.  This  I  feel  leads  to  greater  patient  satisfaction  and  outcomes.  It  is  a  career   choice  that  allows  training  usually  within  your  home  region  (Provided  you  apply  and  are   successful  on  competitive  interview  for  the  training  scheme).  The  necessity  to  move   home  yearly  for  different  layers  of  specialty  training  did  not  appeal  to  me.     What  other  career  paths  did  you  consider?     I  liked  internal  medicine.  I  incorporate  this  into  my  daily  practice  to  some  degree.  I  also   worked  as  a  registrar  in  Geriatric/Stroke  Medicine  and  this  is  still  a  big  interest  to  me.  I   do  not  like  to  be  boxed  into  a  speciality  as  I  have  dual  training  in  both  internal  medicine   and  GP.  I  may  in  time,  work  in  a  hospital  again  for  a  set  period,  but  I  will  work   predominately  as  a  GP/Medical  Educator.     How  did  you  go  about  becoming  a  GP?   I  did  my  intern  year  in  the  Mater  in  Dublin  and  Limerick  University  Hospital.  I  then   spent  a  year  in  Melbourne  working  in  AE,  but  came  back  for  a  few  weeks  mid-­‐year  to   interview  for  the  GP  scheme.  I  then  spent  2  years  rotating  through  the  medical,   Obstetric,  Psychiatric  and  Paediatric  specialities  on  the  GP  scheme.  I  spent  a  year  in   General  /Respiratory  medicine  and  Haematology  specialities  during  this  period.  I  then   spent  two  years  as  a  GP  registrar,  in  a  rural  practice  in  Miltown  Malbay  Co  Clare  with   Billy  O  Connell  and  a  city  based  practice  in  Kings  Island  in  the  heart  of  Limerick  City   with  Richard  Murray.  I  learned  the  tools  of  the  trade  here  really.  Over  the  last  number  of   years  I  have  largely  worked  in  GP  and  Education  but  also  worked  in  Stroke  medicine.     Describe  an  average  day/what  would  an  average  day  entail?   Start  at  8.50AM  and  see  6-­‐8  patients  /  coffee  5  mins/  see  a  further  6-­‐8  patients/  lunch   40  mins/house  call  20-­‐30  minutes/  afternoon  session  see  a  further  12-­‐16   patients/finish  6  PM.  The  cases  can  be  anything  in  any  of  the  text  books  and  the   complaints/issues  to  be  dealt  with,  usually  come  in  threes  or  fours.  I  am  also  a  social   worker,  state  welfare  officer  and  a  public  notary  for  legal  purposes.  

The day  can  be  simple  with  uncomplicated  cases  or  on  a  bad  day:  a  heart  attack  in  the   surgery,  an  acutely  ill  patient  of  unknown  cause,  a  psychiatric  emergency  house  call  and   a  very  sick  baby.  I  cannot  tell.  I’m  certain  though  with  me,  it’s  either  a  very  simple  day  or   a  very  complex  day,  there  seems  to  be  no  in  between.     What  is  your  favourite  thing  about  being  a  GP?   The  patients  are  great  fun  largely.  You  get  all  the  news!  There  is  limited  GP  on  call  work   also,  maybe  one  evening  or  night  a  month     And  what  do  you  find  most  difficult  about  being  a  GP?     There  is  limited  access  to  X-­‐Rays  or  basic  imaging  and  this  leads  to  my  clinical  calls   being  based  on  blood  work  and  my  own  clinical  judgement.  It  can  take  a  few  weeks  to   get  an  X-­‐Ray  report.  Ultrasound  is  not  a  tool  I  can  order  publically.  The  cases  can  be   complex  and  there  is  always  an  uncertainty  in  GP  work,  whether  you  are  correct.   Speciality  referral  where  the  diagnosis  is  unclear  or  the  symptoms  not  text  book,  can   have  a  waiting  time  too.       What  do  you  consider  to  be  the  characteristic  required  to  make  a  good     GP?   ‘Patience  and  patients’.  You  have  to  like  people  and  if  uncertainty  at  times  freaks  you  out   a  little,  maybe  this  is  not  the  one  for  you.       If  you  could  describe  the  job  in  3  words,  what  would  they  be?   Stories...illness..wellness  

Eat. Pray.  Love  (NUIG  version):  A  guide  for  international  student!   Chloe  Wang,  International  Representative  

Galway -­‐  The  city  takes  its  name  from  the  river  Gaillimh  (River   Corrib)  that  formed  the  western  boundary  of  the  earliest   settlement,  which  was  called  Dún  Bhun  na  Gaillimhe.   Gaillimh  means  "stony"  as  in  "stony  river.  The  city  also  bears  the   nickname  "The  City  of  the  Tribes"  (Cathair  na  dTreabh)  because   of  fourteen  tribes  of  merchant  families  that  led  the  city  for  a   period  of  time.  The  merchants  would  have  seen  themselves  as   Irish  gentry  and  loyal  to  the  King.  They  later  adopted  the  term  as  a  badge  of  honour   and  pride  in  defiance  of  the  town's  Cromwellian  occupier.     Eat:     There  are  tons  of  lovely  restaurants  and  cafes  for  the  food  lovers  out  there.  Just  to  name  a   few  would  be  Kai  Café,  Ard  Bia,  Cupan  Tae,  Corrib  Tea  Rooms,  Java’s  and  a  whole  lot  more.   There’s  a  wide  range  of  selection  from  Moroccan  food  to  Thai  food.  A  picnic  by  the  Spanish   Arch  on  a  nice  summer  day  is  one  of  the  best  experiences  I’ve  had.   Accommodations:   Galway  is  generally  a  very  walk-­‐able  city.  Places  aren’t  too  far  from  each  other.  However,   you  might  want  to  look  at  places  around  Shantalla/Lower  Newcastle  for  convenience  sake.   Please  don’t  fret  if  you  can’t  find  a  place  before  you  arrive.  My  housemates  came  a  few  days   in  advance  to  go  house  hunting  as  one  of  the  policies  in  most  real  estate  companies  here  is   for  you  to  personally  view  the  house.  There  is  plenty  of  “Bed  and  Breakfast”  for  a  temporary   roof  over  your  head.  That’s  what  we  did  before  we  got  a  proper  place.     Miscellaneous:   Other  than  that,  look  up  the  prearrival  guide  from  NUIG.  It’s  very  extensive  and  ALL  you   need  to  know  is  in  there.  They  have  done  a  fantastic  job  with  it.  As  for  your  Garda   applications,  you’ll  need  to  request  for  a  bank  statement  at  least  a  week  before  your   appointments  as  the  statements  are  only  released  and  mailed  to  you  from  Dublin   Headquarters.   On  a  side  note,  weather  here  can  be  unpredictable.  So  bring  or  buy  a  STURDY   umbrella/raincoat.  You’ll  need  it.  Enjoy  Galway!  It’s  definitely  a  beautiful  place  to  be!  On  a   serious  note,  Irish  people  are  the  nicest  bunch  you’ll  ever  meet.  Be  excited  for  your  new   adventures  ahead.  It  will  definitely  leave  a  footprint  in  your  lives.    

MEDCEST –  An  Emerging  Epidemic,  with  a  worrying  prevalence  in   the  West  of  Ireland.     It  has  come  to  the  attention  of  the  relevant  authorities  in  recent  times,  that  a  new  and   transmissible  variant  of  Medcest  has  been  identified  and  isolated  in  patients  in  the   Republic  of  Ireland.   Outbreaks  have  occurred  in  all  medical  schools  nationwide,  with  particularly   widespread  epidemics  in  the  medical  school  in  NUIG.  Naturally,  health  care  workers  are   becoming  concerned,  not  only  because  relatively  little  is  known  about  the  aetiology  of   Medcest,  but  also  because  it  appears  to  be  resistant  to  most  treatments  currently  on  the   market  (eg.  Lovedopa,  Chlorpromanticazine,  and  Lovenox).     Aetiology  of  the  disease  is  believed  to  be  complicated,  with  poorly  understood    and   wide-­‐ranging  influencing  factors,  some  of  which  are  described  below.  However,  it  is   important  to  note  that  these  factors,  while  proven  to  be  associative,  have  not  been   found  to  be  causative  –  ie.  Association  is  NOT  causation.1   Firstly,  all  outbreaks  have  occurred  amongst  medical  students,  there  have  been  NO   recorded  cases  to  date  occurring  amongst  non-­‐medical  students  in  any  geographical   location.   The  disease  appears  to  be  highly  contagious,  and  always  occurs  in  pairs  of  patients,   although  higher  numbers  of  simultaneously  affected  patients  have  been  recorded,   usually  precipitated  by  events  commonly  referred  to  as  “threesomes”or  “three-­‐way-­‐ shifts”  by  the  general  public2.  It  is  as  yet  unclear  as  to  whether  some  microbiological   entity  in  the  environment  affects  the  students  involved  in  an  outbreak,  therefore  causing   them  to  immediately  display  certain  signs  recognisable  to  the  medical  profession.  Some   possible  organisms  include  L.  confusus,  L.  salivarius,  R.  slithyformis.     Although  EBV  is  associated  with  Medcest,  it  is  believed  that  it  is  more  of  an   opportunistic  infection  in  this  setting.  “Cooties”  have  also  reportedly  been  associated   with  the  condition,  although  these  cases  have  yet  to  be  histopathologically  confirmed   (see  attached  Immunohistopathology  slides).   Medcest  appears  to  have  a  seasonal  outbreak  pattern  (again  see  graphs),  with  the   highest  numbers  of  outbreaks  occurring  immediately  in  the  post-­‐examination  period   towards  the  end  of  each  semester.  It  has  been  hypothesised  that  medical  students  suffer   weak  immune  systems  and  general  health  around  this  time,  and  also  a  lack  of  interaction   with  the  general  population.  In  particular,  the  very  close  contact  with  their  contemporary                                                                                                                             1  On  this  note,  it  should  also  be  useful  to  recognise  that  antibiotic  prescription  is  NOT  a  form  of  self-­‐

expression. And  that  doctors  may  occasionally  be  called  upon  to  treat  sick  people,  some  of  whom   have  disease.  Oh,  and  that  magic  is  a  dominant  hereditary  trait  with  variable  penetrance.   2  For  instance,  3  patients  suffered  from  simultaneous  medcest  during  the  NUIG  medical  ball  of  2011   –  patients  names  have  been  omitted  for  confidentiality  reasons,  although  photographic  evidence  of   the  outbreak  was  captured  and  may  be  printed  in  future  issues  of  this  publication  

medical students  and  lack  of  contact  with  the  “real  world”is  believed  to  be  a  key  factor  in   Medcest  spread  –  it  appears  to  exert  neuro-­‐psychological    effects  upon  med  students,   possibly  leading  them  to  delusional  beliefs  regarding  the  attractiveness  and  mating   suitability  of  their  fellow  med  students.   It  is  also  widely  held  that  alcohol  plays  a  pivotal  role  in  the  medcest  contagion  –   due  to  its  well-­‐recognised  effects  on  the  CNS.   Finally,  the  “exam-­‐beard”  phenomenon  is  believed  to  have  some  sort  of   pheromone-­‐inducing  effect  on  medical  students,  disproportionate  to  the  effect  on  the   general  population.  This  may  be  due  to  male  medical  students’  “exam-­‐beard”  reaching   lengths  that  their  equivalents  studying  arts  etc  could  never  hope  for  –  ie.  Level  of   attractiveness  is  proportional  to  the  length  of  the  stubble.  Alternatively,  these  male  med   students  may  appear  less  like  their  usual  selves  while  sporting  such  facial  hair,  thereby   leading  to  confusion  as  to  their  identity,  causing  female  students  to  display  all  the   symptoms  of  Medcest.   Symptoms  of  the  disease  are  wide-­‐ranging  and  can  in  some  cases  be  quite   shocking,  even  to  medical  professionals,  although  this  does  depend  on  the  pairs  of   patients  affected  –  both  their  personalities  and  physical  attributes.  A  list  of  recorded   symptoms  follows:   1) Delusion  –  the  student  believes  that  one  of  their  fellow  medical  students  would   be  their  optimum  life  partner/  love  of  their  life/  pookie  bear/  they  would  have   beautiful  babies  together.  Almost  inevitably,  these  delusional  beliefs  are  transient   and  have  vanished  by  the  following  morning,  although  they  have  been  known  to   be  very  powerful  at  the  time,  and  tend  to  lead  to  further  symptoms,  such  as;   2) Blepharospasm  (excessive  blinking/  “batting  of  eyelashes”)  –   most  commonly  seen  in  female  medical  students,  excessive  blinking  can  occur  at   rates  of  higher  than  300  per  second.     3) “Tonsilar  Tennis”  –  a  symptom  quite  unique  to  the  condition,  seen   widely  and  which  may  induce  nausea  in  bystanders.  It  is  associated  with  increased   risk  of  EBV,  along  with  a  number  of  other  infectious  diseases.   4) Palpitations   5) Cardiac  arrest  has  also  been  recorded  in  patients  whose   delusional  state  corrects  “mid-­‐medcest”  –  the  shock  of  what  the  disease  is   causing  them  to  do  appears  to  induce  severe  atrial  fibrillation,  and  in  some  cases,   may  lead  to  death  if  not  defibrillated  rapidly  enough.   The  role  of  the  medical  profession  is  controversial  in  treatment  and  management   of  the  disease.  It  has  been  argued  that  by  increasing  contact  with  medical  students,  there   is  an  increased  risk  of  higher  medcest  incidence  amongst  qualified  doctors  also.   Removal  of  the  limbic  system  may  be  successful  in  treating  any  emotionally-­‐based   needs  behind  disease  symptoms.  Electric  shock  therapy  has  also  been  suggested.   However,  it  has  been  proposed  that  the  symptoms  of  Medcest  may,  partially  at  least,  be   learned  behaviours.  In  this  instance,  the  author  recommends  that  television  shows  such  

as “Grey’s  Anatomy”  be  immediately  cancelled  internationally,  as  a  matter  of  vital  public   and  global  health  importance.     In  an  effort  to  both  decrease  Medcest  in  NUIG,  and  to  further  understand  this   terrible  affliction,  further  coverage  of  the  disease  with  in-­‐depth  case  reports  may  be   included  in  following  issues  of  this  publication.   Dr  O’  Mantic,   February  2014  

Appendices: Correlation  between  Non-­‐Med  Interaction,  Incidence  of  Cooties,  and  Incidence  of  Medcest   over  time:  

12 Interaction  with  Non-­‐ Med  Students  

10 8  



Incidence of  Cooties  

4 2   0   First  semester  

Post-­‐First Semester   Exams  

Second Semester  

Post Second   Semester   Exams    

LM  Slide,  with  possible  evidence  of  “cooties”

Dear Dr  O’  Mantic…..   Hello  my  darlings,  and  welcome  to  the  Valentines  issue  of  the  Medsoc  newsletter.   I’d  like  to  extend  a  warm  (and  cuddly)  welcome  to  our  new  editor,  Ms.  Lisa  Flynn….  No  doubt   you’ll  all  get  to  know  her  very  well  over  the  next  few  months  ;)     Due  to  my  profound  and  wide-­‐ranging  expertise  on  all  areas  of  lurrrrrve,  I  have  been  asked  to  be   the  presiding  medical  expert  for  this  publication,  a  role  I  am  more  than  happy  to  fulfil.  As   president  of  the  “Heal  with  Love  Association”,  I  feel  that  my  presence  will  be  beneficial  to  both   medical  students  and  faculty  members  alike.   So,  the  following  are  a  few  of  the  problems  which  I  have  received  over  the  past  month.  Should   any  of  you  wish  to  submit  a  problem  for  the  next  issue,  please  contact  dromantic14@gmail.com.    

Dear Dr. O’ Mantic, I have a thing for men in power. At the moment I have my eye on a Canadian who likes to make educational videos in his spare time (when he’s not running the Medical Society). I have them on repeat on my computer. Should I tell him I want to have his babies? #hungryforpower

W ell #hungryforpower, This really is a bit of a stickler. I understand your lust for authority, and dayum we’ve all been head over heels with a Medsoc auditor at some point. But in this case I really think you should leave well enough alone and just continue to drool over his YouTube escapades. Realistically, he’s going to head back to Canadia next year, and if you really want a committed relationship, I feel that this might be an issue in your magical future together. However, if you feel he really is the one for you, why don’t you offer to be a “patient” for one or two of his videos… … .? ;) A bit of practical anatomy is never a bad idea! Love,

Dr O’ Mantic Dear Dr. O’ Mantic, I've been crushing on this guy in the reading room since pre-med. I'm now in 4th med. How can I get him to notice me before I graduate next year? #HopelesslyInLuv W ell #HopelesslyInLove, You’ve had 4 years. Sorry to break it to you honey, but if it hasn’t happened by now, it’s never going to. Move on. I hear there’s plenty of cute first meds around this year. Some of them are even over eighteen… … . Love, Dr. O’ Mantic  

Dear Dr. O’ Mantic, I’m currently a final Med. You’d think that fact alone would ensure I have amazing tales when it comes to all the lady med-students, but unfortunately, I’m just an unlucky guy. You see, I have the misfortune to be in the same year as the bearded twins, also known as Mr J. Campion and Mr C. Harrington…. All the girls from 2nd med upwards (even I’m not desperate enough to hit on the pre-meds) have been crushing on them so badly for the last few years, that I never even get a look in. And my Mum always says I’d be a great catch cos I’m such a handsome fella, so I just don’t understand. What can I do to rectify this situation other than committing murder? #TheBeardlessMan W ell my beardless darling, I think the answer here is obvious? If in doubt, grow a beard. I believe this situation is known as the “mid-med crisis”. The solution is ALW AYS to invest in some good old-fashioned facial hair. And since you’re classmates with the bearded twins, what’s to stop you becoming the bearded triplets? Stop holding yourself back Beardless, you’re the only one preventing you from becoming the best you that you can be! P.S if you have either of the bearded twins’ significant digits, feel free to pass them on, along with photos of your new facial accessory! I look forward to hearing from you soon, Dr. O’ Man

But Wait!!!  There’s  more  !!!  Upcoming  events   Medfest;   Thursday  the  6th  of  February,   Small  Lecture  Theatre,  CSI.       Medfest  is  an  international   medically  themed  film   festival  that  was  established   by  Psychiatry  Trainees   affiliated  to  the  RCPsych   (PTCUK).  NUIG  MedSoc  are   delighted  to  be  hosting   Medfest  in  Galway  for  the   first  time  this  year.The  event   will  be  followed  by  FREE  WINE  AND  PIZZA!   A  selection  of  short  films,  clips  and  animations  will  be  shown   and  discussed  by  a  the  panel  and    audience.   Visit  http://www.medfest.co.uk/  or  our  facebook  event   https://www.facebook.com/events/404037369731323/  for   more  details!   Blood  Pressure  clinic  in  aid  of  Galway  Autism   Partnership!!   Friday  7th  of  Febrauary,  Eyre   Square  Shopping  centre   Practice  your  clinical  skills  and   raise  money  for  a  worthy   cause!  Shifts  available  from   9am  –  5pm,  see  our  facebook   page  for  more  details.  

8 Gold  medals  for  dummies:   Monday  the  10th  of  February,  Large  lecture  Theather,  CSI   Med  Soc  are  hosting  an  interactive  Q&A  OCSE  preparation  night  hosted  by   Gerard  Flaherty.  He  is  willing  to  answer  any  questions  and  address  any   concerns  people  may  have!   We  know  many  of  the  years  have  OSCEs  this  semester  and  hopefully  this  will  be   helpful!       Any  year  from  premed  to  final  med  are  welcome  to  attend!     https://www.facebook.com/events/367834296665120/  

Promoting good  mental  health  in  secondary  schools  across  the  nation!     March  the  12th!      More  information  coming  soon  


MEDICAL INTERVARSITIES  –  APRIL  5TH!!!!   More  information  coming  soon!      

TED  MED  2014  –  Returning  this    November!!!  Stay  tuned     ore  details!   for  m  

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