THE doctors of the future yesterday got a taste of medicine.
More than 300 secondary students took part in the open day at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) on Dublin's St Stephen's Green.
RCSI Dean of Medicine Hannah McGee, who last year became the first woman to take the post, said the open day was crucial to deciding on a medical career.
"Sometimes it's hard for students to decide what they want to do. This open day helps them to make career choices."
Dr Maire Morgan, a lecturer at the Department of Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics, showed students how to check for different blood groups.
"We are trying to do something that is hands-on," she explained at her stand.
At the surgical training stand, students were allowed to carry out the kind of scoping exercise involved in keyhole surgery.
Professor Aidan Bradford, of the Department of Physiology and Medical Physics, showed students how to take a person's blood pressure.
"We teach physiology and one element of that would be looking at the cardiovascular system, which would involve blood pressure," he said.
Leaving Cert student Sarah Madden (17), from Killarney, Co Kerry, said: "Everyone from my family is either a pharmacist or doctor and my granduncle who passed away last year inspired me to go into medicine. It is a vocation rather than a job."
Laura Dunne (17) and Sarah Peppard (17), from Portmarnock Community School in north Dublin, said: "It was really informative. I want to do medicine because I want to help people get better."