UCD School of Medicine celebrates virtual conferring of 228 graduates

Posted 1 May, 2020

More than 200 students from the UCD School of Medicine have been conferred with medical degrees in a virtual ceremony.

As newly qualified doctors, each of the 228 graduates will now take up an internship within the Irish healthcare system, applying their expertise and skills to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the ongoing restrictions imposed by the coronavirus, this is the first time in University College Dublin's 165-year history that the physical conferring ceremony for medical undergraduates and graduates has not taken place.

Twenty-two nationalities were represented amongst those graduating, and the event was streamed live to the students and their families.

Addressing the graduates, UCD President Professor Andrew J Deeks said that they were becoming doctors at a time of “extraordinary challenge”.

“Becoming a healthcare professional in a hospital or community practice, at home or abroad, you will have an impact on those around you, and never more so than than in the current pandemic.

“Though your work, because of what you have trained to become, you will have the opportunity to make a real difference in society.”

Opening the conferring ceremony, Professor Michael Keane, Dean of Medicine and Head of the UCD School of Medicine, congratulated the graduates on their academic achievements, and said he was glad to welcome them into the medical profession and to the global community of doctors who have trained at UCD.

Minister for Health Simon Harris, TD said: “You are a class of 228 dedicated, talented and committed students who all have personal stories of how you came to be here today, especially our international students who crossed continents to study in UCD.

“I know you feel a certain sadness that your families cannot join properly in these celebrations but we are all truly delighted that you are now doctors and that the majority of you will continue your training here in Ireland.

“For this we welcome you to our health service. I also guarantee every one of you a once in a lifetime opportunity to start the most rewarding and worthwhile of careers when you join us in the national and international battle against COVID-19 and make yourself available to provide care when it is needed most” continued Minister Harris.

Also speaking at the virtual conferring ceremony was UCD alumnus Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at Department of Health, who said: “[Your] graduation as doctors is of course impacted by the virus we have in our community which will become a reality in your work.

“Sometimes medicine, while it has given us huge advances, can still find it difficult to find answers to the challenges we face.

“So humility in the medical profession is always paramount, which with COVID-19, is achieved not just by working on your own as a profession but through public health and collective action in protecting society from the transmission of this virus where as yet there is no immunity, no drugs and no vaccine.”

To watch the virtual conferring ceremony, please visit: www.ucd.ie/medicine/conferring/

By: Staff Writers, UCD University Relations (with materials from the UCD School of Medicine)