88th Biological Society Meeting focuses on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

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‘The Ways COVID-19 Has Influenced Our Lives and United Medical Forces’ was the theme of the addresses at the 88th Biological Society Inaugural Meeting, which took place virtually on Friday, 29 January 2021.

The Biological Society (BioSoc) is the oldest student society in RCSI, and the event was organised by students from the Biological Society Committee with assistance from the RCSI Student Services team.

The full recording of the meeting can be viewed here:

At the meeting, exiting Faculty President of the Biological Society, Professor Camilla Carroll, passed the chain of office to the new Faculty President of the 2020-21 academic year, Professor Rory McConn Walsh.

Speaking on the evening, Professor McConn Walsh, Consultant Otolaryngologist and Faculty President of the Biological Society, said: “The pandemic has affected all aspects of our lives, and the annual Biological Society Meeting was no exception. I am proud of our students’ hard work to recreate this annual event virtually for the first time.

“Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, RCSI continues to be a world leader in the delivery of medical education; the implementation of the medical curriculum ensures that our students are empowered to be the future leaders in the delivery of safe, effective healthcare to the patients we treat.”

The Widdess Lecture, ‘How Our Medical School has Adapted to Covid. Implications for the Future of Medical Education’, was delivered by Professor Arnold Hill, Head of the School of Medicine at RCSI, Professor and Chair of Surgery at RCSI, National Advisor for Surgical Oncology for the National Cancer Control Programme and President of the Surgical Research Society. The lecture focused on how medical education has had to adapt to the unique challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic introduced.

Following Professor Hill’s lecture, guest speakers provided insights to different aspects of the pandemic. Professor Samuel McConkey, Deputy Dean and Head of the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine at RCSI, spoke on the COVID-19 vaccination programme. Dr Eoghan De Barra, Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Beaumont Hospital and Senior Lecturer at RCSI, delivered his address: “Discussing the COVID-19 Pandemic”. Dr Eoin Cleere, an intern at Beaumont Hospital and alumnus of RCSI Class of 2020, gave insights into his experience as an intern during the pandemic.

A number of medals were presented to students and recent graduates at the meeting.

Full list of medal winners:

  • RCSI Council Medal (Senior Case Competition): Leona Ward
  • Dr Arthur Stephen ffrench-O’Carroll Medal: Hailey Mulvaney
  • Harold Browne Anatomy Medal (Anatomy Quiz): Cian Milofsky, Ciara Casey, Natalija Lakic
  • Harold Browne Anatomy Medal Runners Up: Marin Roman, Clement Fung, Rahi Shah
  • Mary Leader Medal in Pathology: Devika Dahiya, Mohammad Almulla, Lamees Al Alshaikh
  • Mary Leader Medal in Pathology Runners Up: Mohammed Aleid, Hashim Hashim, Kassandra Gressmann