Inaugural Dr John Freedman Prize in Clinical Skills Awarded

Posted on: 19 December 2013

The inaugural presentation of the Dr John Freedman Prize in Clinical Skills recently took place at the School of Medicine. The prize was awarded to Sinead Keohane, a 3rd year medical student.

Dr John “Jack” Freedman (1915-2011), M.B. (1935), left a bequest to establish a prize to be awarded annually to a 3rd year medical student who excelled at the clinical skills of observation, eliciting a good history, and listening. Encouraging excellence in course work, the prize is awarded at the discretion of the examiners.
The ceremony, which was attended by friends and family of Dr Freedman, medical students and faculty members, included presentations by Dr Joe Harbison, Associate Professor in Medical Gerontology, on the historical aspects of the clinical examination and by Dr Mathew Phillips on the modern-day and future of clinical examinations.
Presenting the prize to Sinead Keohane Dr Derek Freedman said, “My father was a very proud Trinity graduate and never took off his Trinity tie! He retained his love for the University through his life and took great pleasure in visiting campus, even in later life”.

By introducing the John Freedman Prize, Professor Martina Hennessy, Director of Teaching and Learning at the School of Medicine, said, “I am delighted that Dr Jack Freedman and his son Dr Derek Freedman, who is here today, have placed such great emphasis on this aspect of training recognising how critical it is for the doctor and patient and for the health of their long-term relationship. Dr Jack Freedman served his patients with total dedication and throughout his career was seeing patients who could not afford consultation fees. If we manage to live our lives with half as much integrity as Dr Jack Freedman, then we will have done excellent work.”

Dr Jack Freedman loved his days in Trinity for the academic study of medicine, the sport, and the camaraderie; and this carried on to his time at the Royal City of Dublin Hospital, Baggot Street. Above all he valued the clinical skill of observation and history taking. He practised as a General Practitioner in Crumlin, where he continued to see patients until the age of 87. His clinical prowess was legendary and he had the innate communication skills to look at and listen to his patients.