Saturday 24 February 2018

Just the tonic Roisin joins in medical first

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Roisin Osborne and John O'Flynn were short of points in their Leaving Certificate to get their top college choice of medicine -- but it hasn't stopped them becoming doctors.

They are among a new breed of second-chance medicine students who will be bringing more to the job than what years in medical school have taught them. Roisin, from Sandycove, Co Dublin, and John, from Inniscarra, Co Cork, were among the first graduate-entry medicine students to be conferred at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) yesterday.

Having missed out on medicine in 2002, Roisin studied Spanish and Economics, at Trinity College, Dublin. Although not her first choice, the 26-year-old said: "They were subjects I was really interested in."

Also in 2002, when John (26) found himself short 15 points for medicine, he plumped for chemical engineering, at University College, Cork (UCC).

In their final year, both students saw the RCSI advertisement for the four-year graduate entry programme and applied. "I was so lucky; it saved me two years," said John.

The programme was launched in September 2006 and is now running in four colleges: University of Limerick, UCD and UCC as well as RCSI.

It was introduced with a view to taking the heat out of the Leaving Certificate points race and broadening the base of students doing medicine.

The programme has attracted students from diverse academic backgrounds such as the expected biological, physical and allied health sciences, but also maths and actuarial science, law, English literature, philosophy, French, geography and history.

Roisin and John agree that entering a graduate programme with college experience and other degrees behind them has been a definite plus. "I felt it helped to have a few years under my belt," said Roisin.

Irish Independent

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