RCSI welcomed its new cohort of students to the College. 540 students began their courses in Medicine, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy and will get to know their way around the College, while also being introduced to the academic and administrative staff.

This year’s undergraduate intake of 441 Medicine students, 67 Pharmacy students and 32 Physiotherapy students come from Ireland and a host of other countries across Europe, North America, Australia, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

The Heads of RCSI’s three Undergraduate schools, Professor Arnold Hill (School of Medicine), Professor Paul Gallagher (School of Pharmacy) and Professor Marie Guidon (School of Physiotherapy) welcomed their respective new students to RCSI this morning with an opening address which kicked off Orientation Week.

Further speeches were delivered by Philip Curtis, Associate Director of Admissions and Student Services, Dr Orna Tighe, Vice Dean for Student Support and Development and Ronan Tobin, Head of Student Engagement and Development. The students were provided with an overview of the extensive range of academic and non-academic supports that are available to all students in the College. The Students’ Union also briefed the new incoming students about the range of social activities that they have organised as part of Fresher’s Week and introduced the Clubs and Societies which play such an important part in the life of an RCSI student.

The 2017 Buddy Programme also got underway with second and third year Pharmacy, Physiotherapy and Medicine students volunteering to act as ‘buddies’ for the new students this year. The Buddies provide an invaluable resource in the form of friendly, knowledgeable and experienced students, who welcome the new students to RCSI for the first time and provide them with first-hand knowledge about the College, the courses, extra-curricular activities and student life in Dublin.

Later today Professor John Hyland, President of RCSI, will host a reception which is an opportunity for our new student’s families to join in the excitement of the beginning of their life as an RCSI student. The President will provide an overview of the College and its wider activates. This will be followed by a presentation from Professor Clive Lee, Head of Anatomy, who will provide a unique perspective on RCSI and some of its distinguished graduates. Students and their families will also have the opportunity to meet with academic and non-academic staff at the President’s Reception.

On Tuesday, 5 September, the White Coat Ceremony will take place in No. 26 York Street. The White Coat Ceremony is undertaken in the first week in College as a common ceremony for all Medicine, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy students and Physician Associates – to mark their new role as student health professionals. Students are invited by Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, to make a commitment to professionalism that mirrors the graduates’ declaration recited at their conferring day, and that signals the responsibilities they must begin to undertake as trainee health professionals from the start of their programmes.

The symbolism of having all disciplines start together recognises their common pathway in developing professional competence – and the importance of teamwork in healthcare delivery. The ceremony will be live streamed on the RCSI website from 5pm to enable families and friends who are unable to attend the event can watch proceedings from anywhere in the world.

As well as orientation, it is also Freshers’ Week for the students. There are a wide variety of social events organised including sign-up day for Clubs and Societies on Wednesday, 6 September; the Freshers’ Festival on Thursday, 7 September in the RCSI sports grounds in Dardistown and a ballad session on Friday, 9 September to close the week.