I am delighted to have an opportunity to contribute to the mission and development of the School of Medicine.
The mission of the School of Medicine at Trinity is to facilitate and provide healthcare education to the highest international standards; to train clinicians and allied health practitioners who are equipped to fulfil their professional roles in a caring, competent and patient centred manner; to produce individuals who through critical thinking and outstanding professional and ethical standards will become leaders in their field of practice. The School consists of its almost 500 Trinity funded staff, a similar number of healthcare staff from 18 Trinity associated hospitals and healthcare partners with honorary Trinity appointments, our 1,800 strong undergraduate student body from six courses; 500 postgraduate students in taught and research programmes. The School is honoured to be associated with four major Trinity research institutions, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity Translational Medicine Institute (TTMI) and the newly-established Trinity St James’s Cancer Institute, reflecting its research led etho.
The four main development themes of my headship will be:
- To develop faculty and infrastructure to provide a high quality undergraduate and postgraduate experience for our students. In addition to improving the experience for existing students, any increase in student numbers will be matched by increase in resources.
- To attract and develop young academics showing excellence in research and education to support the future of the School. We will support excellent young colleagues to apply for academic training programmes such as the Wellcome – Health Research Board (HRB) Irish Academic Training (ICAT) programme and the HRB SPHeRE (Structured Population and Health-services Research Education) programme.
- To develop structures and policies to support translational clinical research and clinical trials. This builds on work by TTMI; the Wellcome – HRB Clinical Research Facility and Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing. It is a high quality and carefully regulated space that improves patient outcomes in participating hospitals.
- To improve interactions with our hospital and healthcare partners. Significant teaching and research activity is conducted by our honorary clinical colleagues and we need to support and grow this work. We have very strong relationships with our healthcare partners but these need to be reviewed and adapted to fit with a changing academic healthcare environment. The School needs to advise on and adapt to changes in healthcare policy and health services structures such as the Hospital Groups. We need to place research and education as a key driver of healthcare excellence.
The School of Medicine resides within a vibrant Faculty of Health Sciences that includes the Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing and Dentistry. I look forward working closely with Faculty colleagues, and colleagues from related schools and fostering new relationships with other Trinity schools.