Towards the end of my undergraduate studies at Duke University, I decided that I wanted to pursue my medical education outside of the United States. I have family in Western Europe, and I wanted to travel and explore a new culture. I heard about Trinity College from an advisor at Duke, and I decided to visit Dublin that summer. I had never been to Ireland before, but I immediately fell in love with the country and the atmosphere of the campus. I learned about Atlantic Bridge and I decided I was going to apply that fall. I received my acceptance in the spring, and I committed the same week.
The studies are a lot of work, but they are very rewarding. At Trinity, the modules are taught through lectures, laboratory practicals, and small group problem-based learning. Especially in first year, it was helpful to see the same material in different settings as there is so much subject matter to cover. Trinity does an excellent job highlighting the importance of interacting with patients – you cannot learn to be a doctor by only going to lectures. Pairs of medical students visit parents and their baby as early as first semester of first year. A whole module is devoted to clinical skills in second year, and from the beginning of third year onwards most time is spent at the hospitals. Since Trinity offers a 5-year medical program, students get to spend an entire extra year rotating units in the hospital. I believe this is an advantage and it was one of the determining factors in choosing Trinity over other schools, as it gives me the possibility to explore more medical specialties.
Additionally, there’s a wide variety of extracurricular opportunities both inside and outside of the school of medicine. I signed up to be a research editor for the Trinity Student Medical Journal last year, and I’m working as a biochemistry tutor this year. I have also had the opportunity to go on various hikes along the Irish coast, I have traveled to other European countries, and I’m hoping to learn how to play golf next semester. I am getting a top notch medical education at an institution that has been around longer than the United States, while being able to travel and explore places I never knew I would. Even when finals come around and all I can think about is studying, I still remind myself how lucky I am to be in medical school in Dublin.