Professor Brendan Browne opens the world of medicine to North Belfast teenagers
Posted on: 20 December 2019
A project led by Trinity professor Brendan Browne to introduce teenagers from disadvantaged areas of Belfast to the medical world has just completed a successful eight-week run.
The scheme brought together 40 young people from Ardoyne and the Shankill Road as part of the R-City junior programme, an organisation that works with young people in North Belfast.
It was devised by Dr Browne, an assistant professor in conflict resolution working in Trinity’s Belfast campus; Dr Emma Keelan, a practising doctor; R-City and the British Medical Association.
The programme was made up of facilitated workshops in which professionals from the medical world volunteered their time to teach young people life-saving skills.
Workshops were held on triage, CPR, stroke response and resuscitation and the young participants also got to chat to medical staff about their jobs and the types of careers offered within the health services.
The aim of the scheme, according to Dr Browne, was to highlight the many opportunities that exist for young people in certain parts of the city who may be less likely to pursue a career in the medical professions.
Our aim was to create opportunities through designing an eight-week medical programme that would bring together young people in an area of Belfast that has experienced its fair share of conflict and ‘post conflict’ issues in Belfast, the Ardoyne and Shankill. We worked with R-City because of their commitment to their pioneering work in bringing together young people from across the sectarian divide.
Dr Browne added that the project highlighted the crucial role that academics ought to play when seeking to meaningfully work on issues of community engagement.
Theories of conflict resolution and reconciliation are of course crucial, but getting out and working with communities through projects such as this eight-week medical programme, are equally, if not more important if we are to truly help to build a meaningful and lasting peace.
Moreover, linking with practicing physicians and many other medical professionals was our way of highlighting the many opportunities that exist for young people in certain parts of the city who may be less likely to pursue a career in the medical professions.