Associate Professor Suzanne Donnelly

Associate Dean, Programmes & Educational Innovation

Associate Professor Suzanne Donnelly, is UCD Director of Clinical Education and consultant rheumatologist at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital.  In January 2017, she was appointed Associate Dean for Programmes & Educational Innovation. 

A medical graduate of Trinity College, University of Dublin, Dr Donnelly undertook her speciality clinical training in Ireland and Oxford before returning to a consultant rheumatology post in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital Dublin in 2005. She was appointed Director of Clinical Education for the School in 2008.

Dr Donnelly brings more than twenty years medical education experience to the Associate Dean role. Following an initial term as Lecturer in Clinical Medicine in Trinity, Suzanne was appointed Lecturer in Clinical Rheumatology at the University of Oxford (1999-2002), where she received many accolades for teaching. On completion of specialist clinical training, she was appointed consultant rheumatologist in St George’s Hospital & Medical School, London where she participated in the introduction of the UK’s first graduate entry medicine programme.

Suzanne is a proponent of strong links between education research, clinical practice and policy. In 2016, she was awarded an MD for research on empathy and care in medical education. She has collaborated with Prof Gerard Fealy and collegues from UCD Schools of Nursing and Business on research on clinical handover for the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee’s 2015 Clinical Guideline Communication (Clinical Handover) in Acute and Childrens’ Hospital Services.  In 2016, she led national education research for the Medical Council, authoring a report on the educational needs of new entrants to the practice of medicine in Ireland as the foundation for the Council’s Safe Start initiative.

Dr Donnelly has led a number of programme innovations in UCD Medicine, including the highly successful UCD Patient Educator Programme and the Care in Medicine curriculum theme which she co-leads with Professor Brendan Drumm. In 2014, Suzanne was awarded a University Fellowship in Teaching and Academic Devleopment for the study of research-teaching linkages in the delivery of high quality student learning. 

Suzanne represents Ireland on the Standing Committee on Education and Training for EULAR (European League Against Rheumatism )and is an elected Board Member of the Irish Society for Rheumatology. She has previously served as Board Member to the charities Arthritis Ireland, Raynaud’s and Scleroderma Ireland and Lupus Group Ireland, with which she maintains strong ties.

Suzanne has served as external examiner to the Medicine Degree programmes in the University of Dundee and is contributing author to a number of academic textbooks including the Rheumatology Handbook and the highly successful Medicine At a Glance. Suzanne practices rheumatology part time at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, with a special interest in systemic lupus erythematosus, connective tissue disease and the management of pregnancy in patients with rheumatological conditions.