Meet the team
Meet our experienced Medical Professionalism team at RCSI who are ready to work with you.
Professor Denis Harkin was appointed Chair of Medical Professionalism at RCSI in November 2020. Professor Harkin joins RCSI from the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, where he was Clinical Lead for Vascular Surgery and Assistant Medical Director.
Graduating from Queen’s University Belfast, gaining Fellowship of Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh (FRCSEd) and Ireland (FRCSI), and placing first in European Board Exams, he was awarded RCSI Travelling Fellow to train at the Toronto General Hospital, University of Toronto, and Stanford Medical Centre. His Doctoral research, funded by The Wellcome Trust, established the seminal link between ischaemia-reperfusion, systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and remote organ injury.
As Senior Lecturer in Surgery and Consultant Vascular Surgeon at Queen’s University Belfast and Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast, he has developed an international reputation in research and practice in vascular trauma and complex endovascular aneurysm care. A founding member of the Specialty Advisory Committee for Vascular Surgery, and elected Council of the Vascular Society, he has contributed in UK and Ireland to Curriculum, Training Programmes and Workforce Planning. He is an Examiner for Intercollegiate FRCS Vascular and European Board of Vascular Surgery. He was appointed Assistant Medical Director at Belfast HSC Trust, in 2015.
Professor Harkin’s work will focus on medical professionalism and personal and professional identity formation. Our vision is to advance medical professionalism, to benefit our patients, in research, education and clinical practice.
Dr Áine Ryan is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in Professionalism in Healthcare at RCSI. Áine holds a PhD in Population Health and Heath Service Research from RCSI and is a HRB SPHeRE Programme alumna. She has a Master’s degree in Neuromusculoskeletal Physiotherapy from UCD and a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Professions Education from RCSI.
Áine previously held the role of Director of Professional Development on the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists Board (ISCP) along with being chairperson of the Professional Development Standing Committee of the ISCP. She has over ten years of clinical experience working in two teaching hospitals in Dublin along with private practice.
Áine has held senior roles in Musculoskeletal Outpatients, Rheumatology, Pain Management and Orthopaedic Triage. She has worked as a lecturer in RCSI where she was responsible for teaching, examining and module-coordinating in the BSc Physiotherapy programme. Her current areas of research interest are lifestyle medicine, professionalism and education in healthcare.
To date, Shaista's career has seen the need for a rapidly changing range of skill sets. She began as a clinician and went on to be an academic, but found it hard to connect to students. To hone those skills, Shaista focused on another tide of medical education and now specialises in her role as Professionalism Lecturer at RCSI.
Eric currently coordinates the foundation year module – Professionalism in the Health Sciences – in Dublin, Bahrain and Penang. While technology plays an important role in the delivery of this module, the emphasis is on verbal/written communication skills and introducing students to professionalism in a healthcare context.
Eric has presented his research work at both national and international conferences in the areas of medical education and technology-enhanced learning. More recently, Eric completed an MSc in bereavement and loss and his research in this area is ongoing.
For queries relating to medical professionalism at RCSI, please email us directly and we'll get in touch.