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Showing posts from 2024

James Joyce's (short lived) medical aspirations!

  It’s Bloomsday this Sunday, celebrating the day on which Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) takes place.   RCSI has many Joycean connections, probably the most prominent of which is the appearance in Dubliners (1914) of the clock over the front door of 123 St Stephen’s Green (‘He went as far as the clock of the College of Surgeons: it was on the stroke of ten’).   RCSI Professor and President (and bon viveur ) Charles Cameron is one of the real-life people named in Ulysses itself (‘The annual dinner you know.   Boiled shirt affair.   The lord mayor was there… and sir Charles Cameron’). But did you know that Joyce had originally aspired to a career in medicine?   In April 1902, he enrolled at the Catholic University Medical School in Cecilia Street (now the Temple Bar home of Urban Outfitters).   At the time this School opened, it was unlicensed and unchartered, meaning its students were on the road to receiving essentially worthless qualifications.   But in 1856, RCSI solved the problem by of

Remembering Douglas Wellington Montgomery (1913-1974, FRCSI, PRCSI 1968-70)

This week marks the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings that took place along the Normandy coast during World War II. The historic operation saw the Allied Forces mount a large-scale invasion of occupied France that ultimately tipped the course of World War II in the Allies favour.   Douglas W. Montgomery , a Fellow and Past President of RCSI and member of the Royal Army Medical Corps was one of those whom landed on that historic day. Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Douglas W. Montgomery received an Irish education and graduated with an MB from Trinity College Dublin in 1940. He was awarded the Haughton Medal and awards for clinical medicine and surgery at St Patrick Dun’s Hospital, as well as the Bennett Medal and Surgical Prize. He went on to receive his Fellowship from RCSI. On 6 June 1944 while serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps, Montgomery took part in the D-Day landing. He was to be the first allied surgeon on the beach. Shortly after landing and having travelled for about

RCSI Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery Cataloguing Project Blog: International Nurses’ Day

In March 2024, I joined RCSI Library as project archivist to appraise and catalogue a couple of discreet archive collections within their Heritage collections. The first collection I am tackling is RCSI's Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, as they are celebrating their 50 th anniversary this coming October. My progress and some findings on this particular collection will be the subject of my first RCSI Heritage Collections blog.   The RCSI Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery was founded in 1974 and is one of the longest-serving providers of nurse education in Ireland. It provides registered nurses and midwives with education and training at the highest standard to support the maintenance of their professional development and competence. The Faculty of Nursing consists of a Dean and twelve members who constitute the Board of the Faculty and it is bound by the constitutions of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the Council of the College. In addition, there is also full time a

A Letter Found

When we received an email starting “I’m a graduate (Class of '88) and Fellow (1993) of the college with a side interest in History!”, and signed Houriya, it was one of those lovely surprises we like to find in our inbox !  Dr Houriya Kazim had come across this student letter dated March 29th, 1946, on RCSI Student Union paper. It was in an online auction and its provenance was unknown. She bought it and reached out to RCSI Heritage Collections to offer it as a donation and arranged a friendly visit, along with her daughter, to hand deliver the find.  We don’t know about you, but we are all quite taken with the writing manner and the contents. Would De Valera be flattered by the impression he made at the College Dance?  Mentions of the Compassionate Guild (scroll to end for more!), the ballet and a new hat... Dr Kazim was taken with the whole style of the letter and the glimpse offered into the wonderful world of this 1940s (female?) student. We are, of course, intrigued to know m

Heritage Highlights by Theme: Showcasing eclectic & lesser-seen pieces from the collections

For those passing by the Anatomy room in 123 St. Stephen's Green, you may notice the table-top display cases are home to some short-term displays. We are using broad themes to link and highlight all kinds of Heritage Collections. While themes may re-run in the future, the objects will change, so take a closer look. Head & Heart RCSI/MI/1040 Phrenology head We have no provenance or date recorded for this item, but this curiosity was recently studied by a cohort of students in the Heritage Collections Student Choice Module. Phrenology is considered a Victorian endeavour to link personality traits with scalp shape. In today’s world it is debunked and seen as problematic. One major point of contention is the belief that head shape can provide insights into underlying brain function. Other widely held criticisms of this pseudoscience relate to biases associated with eugenics, racism, classism and sexism.  RCSI/PAMP/370Bkk 'Clinical lectures on diseases of the heart’, delivered a

Student Guest Blog: Exploring Gender Diversity at RCSI

Diversity at RCSI through the Decades (1970-2015)   By Vidhi Patel Final Med Student   The Project   Last summer , I had the privilege of working with RCSI Heritage Collections as part of the Research Summer School. My research project was to look at gender distribution among RCSI students and staff over a given period of time (1970 – 2015 ).   Gathering the Data   Now, more than ever, more women are entering the medical field. However, studies have shown that just because there are more women doctors, that doesn’ t mean that there are more women doctors in leadership positions. A broad review of the US medical landscape in 2019-2020 found that despite women comprising 48% of medical graduates, they held only 20% of department chair positions and a mere 18% of deanships, with even lower representation for minority women . 1 My research project focuse d on analyzing gender diversity trends within RCSI ’s undergraduate medical student body from 1970 to 2015, as well as assessing gender