Students Battle it out at Jack Flanagan Intervarsity Medical Schools Competition

Posted on: 06 May 2011

The 4th annual Jack Flanagan Intervarsity Medical Schools competition took place recently at Trinity College Dublin and saw students from five higher education institutes across Ireland compete for the academic prize.  The competition, named after Ireland’s first geriatrician Dr Jack Flanagan, is an intervarsity contest between the penultimate medical years of the colleges involved which this year included TCD, UCD, RCSI, NUIG and UCC.

Dr Jack Flanagan, Ireland’s first geriatrician, was the first Irish doctor to specialise in caring for older people and pioneered modern day geriatric medicine.  The competition, which was hosted by TCD, was organised through the Dublin Ageing Research Network (DARN), one of the largest physician and psychiatry based research collaboration networks in Europe, with sponsorship from Lundbeck, a company specialising in psychiatry. 

The competition took the form of a clinical-pathology conference in which competitors were given a clinical case to review and had one hour to formulate a diagnosis and care plan for the patient.  The case studies challenge students knowledge of the medical and psychological problems associated with ageing.   Each team presented their findings and was questioned by a three member judging panel comprised of UCD’s Dr Diarmuid O’Shea, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at TCD, Brian Lawlor, and Professor of Translational Medicine at NUI Galway, Professor Martin O’Donnell.  Head of Medical Gerontology at TCD and Consultant Geriatrician, Professor Rose Anne Kenny, chaired the event on the night.

The Jack Flanagan Medal in Gerontology for 2011 was awarded to the winning team from NUI Galway.  The award is an academic prize presented by the Professors of Gerontology / Medicine in each university and a cash bursary of €1000.  The four members of the winning team were Larissa Higgins, Tara Tarmey, Teresa O’Dowd and  Tara McDonnell.