OVER 100 doctors have been conferred with their medical degrees, as they became the fifth graduating class of the Graduate Entry Medical School at the University of Limerick.
UL celebrated the graduation of 156 students this week from the medical school (GEMS) and clinical therapies department, including 106 doctors.
Fifty clinical therapies graduands received their awards - 24 from the Masters of Science in occupational therapy and 26 from the Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy, the tenth graduating class of the physiotherapy programme at UL
Among the doctors who graduated at UL are students with undergraduate degrees varying from zoology, business, law, languages and sociology.
The programme is also the only medical education programme in the country founded on the modern pedagogical principles of problem based learning.
Professor Don Barry, UL president, paid tribute to all those who work in health services at the conferring ceremony this Tuesday.
“I’d like to acknowledge the support of the healthcare community – the many practices, clinics and hospitals, their consultants, doctors, nurses, therapists, managers and all of the healthcare professionals who gave so willingly of their time to engage our students and allow them their first glimpses into their future careers,” he said.
“I would like to pay particular tribute to the Health Service Executive and to express my appreciation for the support that we have received from its staff at local, regional and national levels.
“We are looking forward to the opening next September of the Clinical Education and Research building, a shared facility to be located on the University Hospital Limerick campus which will enhance the delivery of our healthcare programmes but also support the post-graduate education services required by the University Hospital Limerick community,” he said.
“Today 50 graduates from clinical therapies will cross the stage to receive their degrees. These qualifications represent many years of study, thousands of hours in work placements and gruelling assessments.
“Twenty-six students have completed the four-year Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy - the only physiotherapy academic programme in Ireland situated outside of Dublin. Twenty-four students have also graduated from the Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy, the only graduate entry Occupational Therapy course in the country.
“Increasingly, health systems are trying to address health needs in the community and primary care settings to reduce the need for costly hospital-based services.
“Building on this trend, our Masters course is unique as it assists modern healthcare practitioners to evaluate their practice and extend, or refocus, their skills and knowledge to meet the new challenges of healthcare provision,” added Professor Don Barry. Established in 2007, the Graduate Entry Medical School Programme at UL is open to graduates from any discipline.