Clinical years in University College Dublin begin during the second semester of the third year of medical education. During the clinical phase, students are not only required to attend regular lectures held throughout the semester, but also to attend seminars, patient educator sessions, simulations, small group tutorials and clinical bedside learning.

Medical students are a part of the medical team

During placement, you’re essentially part of a team of doctors: consultants, registrars, Senior House Officers, interns, and yourself, the medical student. While studying from lectures and books, being alongside doctors means you learn more about bedside manners, the hospital environment and as well as the ins and outs of being a doctor. The best teachers, however, are not the doctors but the patients themselves, as being able to work through a patient’s story and examining them brings what we learn in books to life.

In order to maximise every student’s learning opportunity, students are divided into small groups, pairs, or even on their own to a team of doctors in different specialties. This means that each student receives focused teaching from doctors as well as the opportunity to fully experience and learn more about that specialty.

From busy main hospitals to smaller peripheral ones

UCD also assigns students to different hospitals around Dublin and outside of Dublin. This lets you experience different hospital environments, from busy main hospitals to smaller peripheral ones. As students at UCD, we are also very privileged to be able to rotate in highly-specialised tertiary centres, as these are mainly located in Dublin. For example, the national paediatric and maternity hospitals are located in Dublin where the country’s experts and best technology are based, which means that for our paediatric and obstetrics rotations, we may get to meet the most unique and specialised patient cases.

The main UCD-affiliated hospitals are Mater and St Vincent’s in Dublin, both of which are in the list of biggest hospitals in Ireland. In addition, if attached to a hospital outside Dublin, accommodation is fully sponsored by UCD. We may also be assigned to a variety of general practices across the country.