RCSI pioneers – our rich heritage of healthcare innovation

  • Education

RCSI has an enviable list of ‘firsts’ in healthcare education and enhancing the patient experience, tracing right back to our foundation in 1784.

Our healthcare pioneers include:

  • Abraham Colles, whose work in 1825 in identifying and treating wrist fractures still bears his name to this day
  • Francis Rynd, inventor of the hypodermic needle in 1845
  • Richard Butcher, who developed the ‘Butcher's saw’ in 1851 for use in orthopaedics
  • R. Bolton McCausland, Fellow of RCSI, who used the first recorded x-ray in Ireland to remove a needle from a woman’s hand at Dr Stevens’ Hospital in 1896.

More recently, RCSI opened Ireland’s first department of international health in 1970; and in 1990, David Bouchier-Hayes, RCSI Professor of Surgery, led a team performing the first laparoscopic cholecystectomy – heralding the era of minimally invasive surgery in Ireland.

This proud tradition of striving to improve healthcare and patient experience lives on today. RCSI launched Ireland’s first Graduate Entry programme in Medicine and Pharmacy, a nurse-prescribing programme and Ireland’s only Physician Associate programme all in the last decade.

The opening of Europe’s most advanced clinical simulation centre in 26 York Street in 2017 is the latest in a long line of innovations from a university that constantly asks ‘what’s next?’ when it comes to innovation in healthcare.

In 2019, we launched Instruments & Innovations, an online publication which showcases 10 medical device innovations and adaptations by figures connected to RCSI. You can view the publication here or watch Dr Ronan Kelly introduce you to some of the devices below.

Watch the footage from RTE of 'Instruments and Innovations'

RCSI is committed to achieving a better and more sustainable future through the UN Sustainable Development Goals.