Posted on June 12, 2013

The University of Limerick celebrates the graduation of 141 students from the Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) and Clinical Therapies Department. Among the graduates 88 doctors were conferred with their medical degrees as they became the third graduating class of the Graduate Entry Medical School at the University of Limerick. Fifty-three Clinical Therapies graduands received their awards – 29 from the MSc in Occupational Therapy and 24 from the BSc in Physiotherapy.

Established in 2007, the Graduate Entry Medical School Programme at UL is open to graduates from any discipline and employs practical and interactive approaches to learning.

Among the doctors who graduated at UL today are students with undergraduate degrees varying from physiotherapy, pharmacy to biological engineering and teaching.  The programme is also the only medical education programme in the country founded on the modern pedagogical principle of Problem Based Learning (PBL).  PBL encourages team-working and self-directed enquiry, both skills being vital for their future careers in the fast moving world of medicine.

Speaking at the conferring ceremony Professor Don Barry, UL President, said; “As part of our strategic commitment to our community, the University is closely linked to our local and regional health services.  The recently launched Higgins Report on hospital regionalisation has acknowledged the University as the academic partner of the Mid-West Hospital Group. I’m delighted to have been asked to be a member of the newly formed Hospital Group Board and look forward to the establishment of the Group as an independent Trust in the not too distant future.”

Professor Michael Larvin, Head of the Graduate Entry Medical School, UL said; “The school is thrilled to witness today the graduation of its third and largest cohort to date.  Our students have worked exceptionally hard to cover in 4 years what others accomplish in 5 to 6 years in more traditional medical courses.  They have completed a state-of-the-art course, to which they have contributed their own prior academic achievements, diverse life-experiences, maturity and drive. We expect them to make a major impact on improving patient care after taking up their first posts in Ireland, Canada and the USA next month”.

Professor Alison Perry, Head of the Department of Clinical Therapies said; “Graduates in Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy from Clinical Therapies at UL are attractive to employers worldwide, and many of our past students now work both in Ireland and overseas, across a variety of education and health sectors.  Employers have commented that UL graduates from the Department of Clinical Therapies are well-prepared, are able to adopt new methods and new ways of thinking, and that they are good ‘team members.’ We believe that our plans to enhance inter-disciplinary teaching and learning in our new curriculum will enhance these skills and will promote good team working in our graduates, giving them a competitive advantage in the constantly challenging worlds of healthcare and therapeutics.”

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