THE gruelling life of junior doctors may force many young medicine graduates to move overseas.
More than 460 young doctors and nurses who graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and UCD will be pounding the corridors of hospitals around the country for their internship year.
However, many could then leave to pursue their careers abroad.
"I wouldn't like to, but it's definitely a possibility," said 23-year-old Vivienne Sullivan, from Clonmel, Co Tipperary, as she graduated from RCSI with 225 of her classmates. "If I can't earn enough money to keep me going or if there are not enough job opportunities, I'll have to go."
Some of the new graduates are already planning to emigrate to Australia and the United States.
Another RCSI graduate, Art Malone (27), from Blackrock, Dublin, said he wanted to specialise in psychiatry, and while he hoped to be able to stay in Ireland, he believed many of his classmates will emigrate.
"It's partly for experience and partly that the working environment for young doctors in Ireland is not very favourable," he said.
In Belfield, 242 medicine and nursing students graduated from UCD wearing the university's new graduation robes in blue and saffron – the university's sporting colours – for the first time.
Another first was that while mortar boards had been the preserve of women graduates, men got to wear them too – on condition that they did not throw them up in the air.