Press Release

Minister Devins addresses the Inaugural Annual Scientific Meeting of the Irish Network of Medical Educators

Dr Jimmy Devins, T.D., Minister for Disability and Mental Health Services, today (7 February, 2008) addressed the inaugural Annual Scientific Meeting of the Irish Network of Medical Educators (INMED) which took place in the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin. INMED’s aim is to enhance medical education in Ireland by bringing together individuals and organisations with an interest in and responsibilities in medical healthcare education.

Speaking at the inaugural meeting, Minister Devins said, “Irish doctors have enjoyed a longstanding reputation for excellence and it is imperative that that reputation for quality is maintained and that the education and training system develops to meet the demands of the future in line with best international standards.”

Minister Devins also addressed the issue of reform of medical education and training in Ireland which will give many more students the chance to study medicine.

The comprehensive changes include

• A new graduate entry programme to medicine which was introduced in 2007 for candidates who have obtained a minimum 2.1 result in their first honours bachelor degree (NFG Level 8) or equivalent, and

•The introduction of a new selection process for entry to undergraduate medicine. From 2009 this will be open to all students who achieve a threshold level of 480 points in their Leaving Certificate examination, meet matriculation requirements and are successful in a medical school admission test.

Minister Devins said that the reforms in undergraduate medicine will “enable students to study medicine without having to strive for perfect maximum points.”

It is expected that the number of EU/Irish places on medical courses in Ireland will increase from 420 to 725 by 2010. The Minister said that while the Government has committed the resources to these changes they could not have been achieved without the collaboration and commitment of the various higher education institutions.

In his concluding remarks Minister Devins said “together, we have been strategic in our thinking and the progress positions us well to meet Ireland’s future needs. I want to set you a bigger challenge, however. Work together and make Ireland’s medical education programme the global leader in all specialisations.

In setting out a vision for higher education, I want to see more of the co-operation and shared thinking that is helping us achieve results in medical education. I am conscious that in your discussions today and tomorrow, this theme underlines the programme. I wish you well and look forward to your findings”