Medicine is a unique course in that students study a broad range of subjects with the overarching objective of understanding the science and practice of healing. In today’s world, medicine and the practice of healthcare are constantly evolving as new knowledge and therapies emerge to maintain and restore health through the prevention and treatment of illness. Each day brings a new patient with new challenges.
The medical programme at Trinity is a challenging but highly rewarding experience. A student wishing to study medicine requires an enquiring mind, the capacity to acquire and maintain high levels of knowledge, the ability to develop effective communication skills in order to respond to the health needs of individuals, families and communities and an interest in improving healthcare at all levels.
Founded in 1711, the School of Medicine at Trinity has played a central role in the golden age of Irish medicine and is ranked in the top 100 universities in the world for Medicine (QS World University Rankings 2019).
Students of medicine at Trinity will follow a five-year programme. Following graduation you are required to spend one year as an Intern in an approved post before becoming a fully registered medical practitioner.
As a doctor, you will have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to making a decision about your career. In Ireland, many graduates wait until their year as an intern is complete before committing to one area over another. Some then enter general practice, while many more continue their training as a general physician or surgeon, or in a related specialist field. Alternatively, you might, as others have done, prefer to work in an area such as hospital management, or make research your priority by opting for a career in academic medicine.
Students study the biomedical sciences to create an understanding of the knowledge underlying medicine and begin clinical science in the first term through the Family Case Study. Teaching is a combination of problem based learning in the first year, small group teaching (12-14 students), lectures and practical demonstrations.
Self-directed learning and use of e-learning are encouraged throughout the course. The majority of the teaching in first and second year takes place at the School of Medicine, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute at the main University campus, with the remainder in the hospital setting. Third year combines the taught course programme and an extensive hospital placement programme in order to advance and integrate clinical skills.
On successful completion of the third year, you may be permitted to take a year out from the medical course to undertake a moderatorship in science in an approved subject. This is subject to the availability of places and the agreement of the head of department concerned. An intercalated M.Sc. in Biomedical Sciences is also available to medical students who successfully gain a 1st or 2:1 in year 3 modules. The M.Sc. is a one-year full-time programme.
During these two years the student becomes an integrated member of each team to which he/she is attached and is expected to participate fully in all aspects of that team’s activities. This expectation will inevitably involve some early morning and late evening work. The majority of hospital attachments take place in St. James’s Hospital and Tallaght Hospital, Dublin; however, some training also takes place in regional hospitals around Ireland, in hospitals dedicated to particular areas of medicine and in general practices associated with the School.
Further detailed information in relation to the curriculum is available at: www.tcd.ie/medicine/ug-med
Trinity’s two main general teaching hospitals, St. James’s Hospital and Tallaght Hospital, are up-to-date tertiary level hospitals. They have several specialist units. Specialist affiliated hospitals include: Blackrock Clinic, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Hermitage Medical Clinic, Naas General Hospital, National Rehabilitation Hospital, Noble’s Hospital, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital (Crumlin), Our Lady’s Hospice and Care Services (Harold’s Cross and Blackrock), Peamount Hospital, Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital and St. Patrick’s University Hospital.
The assessment structure is wide and varied and includes in-course assessment of practical and clinical skills, as well as case studies, research projects, formal written and oral examinations and objective structured clinical examinations. Formative assessment and reflective practice are also used to promote the personal development of the student and inform teaching and learning.
The School of Medicine has a strong international network and students have the opportunity to gain experience overseas as part of the electives programme. Students are required to complete clinical electives totalling 12 weeks by the final medical year and these can be undertaken in a hospital, clinic or research laboratory of the student’s choice at home or abroad.
On completion of the medical degree course a doctor must successfully complete training for one year as a resident medical officer/intern in a recognised post before being eligible for full registration with the Irish Medical Council. A national application and matching process is in place for Intern posts in Ireland. This is currently managed by the HSE. Graduates undertaking internship/residency outside of the Republic of Ireland will be required to register and meet the eligibility criteria of the relevant governing body in that jurisdiction.