University of Limerick celebrated the graduation of a record 189 medical students this week.
Among the graduates 130 newly qualified doctors were conferred with their medical degrees as they became the 6th and largest graduating class of UL Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) to date. Over 50 Clinical Therapies received awards – 27 from the MSc in Occupational Therapy and 24 from the BSc in Physiotherapy.
Speaking at the conferring ceremony Professor Don Barry, UL President, said, “The University of Limerick provides the largest graduate entry programme for medicine in the country and over the last nine years or so has proven its ability to graduate doctors who understand the scientific basis of medicine, recognise the wider social and environmental contexts in which health and illness exist and are strongly committed to public service. This is the first graduating cohort to have spent their first two years of study in our state-of-the-art medical school building on the Clare side of our campus, which has won both Irish and British architectural awards.”
Established in 2007, the GEMS programme at UL is open to graduates from any discipline and employs practical and interactive approaches to learning. GEMS has achieved its sixth continuous year of 100% employment of its EU graduates in the Irish and UK PGY1 Internship systems, as well as the highest North American matching success rate of all 6 Irish medical schools exceeding 90% first year medical employment for its Canadian graduates sustained over the last five years since non-EU students began to graduate.
The programme is also the only medical education programme in the country founded on the pedagogical principles of Problem Based Learning (PBL). PBL encourages team-working and self-directed enquiry, both skills being vital for their future careers in the fast moving world of medicine.
“Increasingly, health systems are addressing people’s needs at home and in primary care settings, to reduce the need for costly hospital-based services. Building on this trend, our Masters programme is unique as it attracts mature students to the profession of Occupational Therapy. Clinical Therapies’ graduates from UL are equipped to evaluate their practice, extend or refine their skills and knowledge to meet new and emerging challenges in healthcare provision.” added Professor Don Barry.
The four-year Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy is the only academic physiotherapy programme in Ireland outside of Dublin. The programme is accredited by the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists and this year celebrates the 11th year of Physiotherapy Graduates. The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy is the only graduate-entry Occupational Therapy course in the country and is accredited by both the Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland and by CORU, Ireland’s multi-professional health regulator.
All photos by Alan Place (Fusion Shooters).