The University of Limerick celebrated the graduation of 156 students today from the Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) and Clinical Therapies Department. Among the graduates 106 doctors were conferred with their medical degrees as they became the 5th graduating class of the Graduate Entry Medical School at the University of Limerick. 50 Clinical Therapies graduands received their awards – 24 from the MSc in Occupational Therapy and 26 from the BSc in Physiotherapy, the 10th graduating class of the Physiotherapy programme at UL
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 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 (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, paid tribute to the Health Service Executive, “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. 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.
The four-year Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy is the only academic physiotherapy programme in Ireland outside of Dublin. The programme is accredited by the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists and this year celebrates the 10th year of Physiotherapy Graduates. The Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy is the only graduate-entry Occupational Therapy course in the country and is accredited by both the Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland and by CORU, Ireland’s multi-professional health regulator.
“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 grueling assessments. 26 students have completed the four-year Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy – the only physiotherapy academic programme in Ireland situated outside of Dublin. 24 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,” said Professor Don Barry.