Dublin Ageing Research Network (DARN)
Dublin Ageing Research Network (DARN) a physician and psychiatry based research collaboration comprising of geriatricians and old age psychiatrists based in Dublin’s medical schools. Since its inception in 2006, DARN meetings have taken place on a regular basis and are hosted on a rotation basis between the various Dublin hospitals with each meeting including a range of topics relating to the advocacy, education and information sharing around ageing.
The aim of the organisation is to:
- Advocate for geriatric medicine and gerontology as a career choice for health professionals
- Promote awareness around ageing and older person issues
- Promote best practice in teaching
- Encourage innovative research
- Share research outcomes and new findings
- Create supportive environments for the recruitment of participants and the delivery of age related research and clinical work
- Enable best practice around training and education for geriatric medicine
- Promote inter – university sharing of structured programmes
- Develop a vigorous network of researchers, academics and clinicians in the arena of geriatric medicine
The Jack Flanagan Medal
As part of the ‘best practice in teaching’ remit of DARN, the Jack Flanagan Medal competition was developed in 2009. This competition originated as an intervarsity contest between the penultimate year students of Dublin medical schools and has since expanded to include Galway and Cork medical schools. Student teams from each of the medical schools are challenged on their knowledge of the medical and psychiatric problems associated with ageing - The competition takes the form of a clinical-pathological conference where competitors are given a case to review and have 45 minutes to formulate a care plan and diagnosis for the patient. Each team presents their findings in a 10 minute PowerPoint presentation and is questioned by a three member-judging panel from the three universities. The competitors are judged on their knowledge of the medical and psychiatric problems associated with ageing.
The winners are awarded the ‘Jack Flanagan Medal in Gerontology’, which is an academic prize awarded by the Professors of Gerontology/ Medicine, as well as a cash bursary. This competition is named after Ireland’s first geriatrician, Dr Jack Flanagan who was the first doctor in Ireland to specialise in modern day geriatric medicine.