Record numbers to attend Annual Conference

For the first time in RCPI’s history this landmark conference is a fully virtual event which boasts record attendance figures of in excess of 1,200 doctors

Today, October 14, the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland’s begins its three-day Annual Conference – St Luke’s Symposium which runs until October 16. For the first time in RCPI’s history this will be delivered virtually with in excess of 1,200 doctors registered to attend this landmark event in the College’s calendar.

Prof Mary Horgan, President of RCPI, said, “I am very excited about the line-up for this year’s Annual Conference – St Luke’s Symposium, we’re set to welcome a host of renowned national and international speakers who will address the most pressing topics in medicine right now. From the search for a COVID-19 vaccine and new frontiers in medicine, to the training issues in Irish healthcare and the importance of leadership right now, our programme is unmissable.”

Dr Terry McWade, CEO of RCPI said, “Hosting this year’s Annual Conference as a fully virtual event has given us the opportunity to welcome doctors from across Ireland and around the world. The record number of doctors registered to attend shows how vital this event is at the moment and how RCPI continues to lead the way in medical education, despite the restraints of the pandemic.”

Prof Horgan continued, “I look forward to welcoming all our attendees to this very different Annual Conference. While we can’t meet in person I encourage as many attendees as possible to engage with us during each session and via our social media channels. This event will bring together our profession like no other in Ireland and I can’t wait for what promises to be an exciting, thought-provoking and engaging three days.” 

The Annual Conference begins today with the annual Heritage Day, an event that is open to the public and healthcare professionals, presented by the RCPI’s Heritage Centre. With the theme of COVID-19; The Quest for a Vaccine – Hopes, Hesitancy and History – what we have learned from the war on disease Harriet Wheelock, RCPI’s Keeper of Collections, will look at smallpox and the history of vaccination in Ireland. Dr Ida Milne, Specialist in Medical History, and Dr Anne Moore, senior lecturer in biochemistry and cell biology at University College Cork, will examine the lessons we can learn about vaccinations from previous epidemics and pandemics. Finally, Prof Luke O'Neill, Professor of biochemistry in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity College Dublin, will discuss the current prospects for a COVID-19 vaccine.

On October 15 the Advanced Masterclass session will examine new frontiers in medicine. Dr James O’Byrne, Consultant Clinical and Biochemical Geneticist in the Mater Misericordiae University, will delve into the cutting-edge world of genomic medicine. Prof Dubhfeasa Slattery, Consultant Respiratory and General Paediatrician at Children's Health Ireland at Temple Street, will look at professionalism in healthcare. Dr Callum Swift, Emergency Medicine Trainee and Associate Director of Irish Doctors for the Environment, will examine the are of planetary health, while Prof Ewan Forrest, Consultant Hepatologist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow examines Alcohol, Liver Disease and COVID-19 – secondary harm of COVID-19.

On October 16 the day is split into two sessions. In the first the Challenges for Medical Training in the Irish Health Service are under the spotlight. This session includes a debate on generalism vs. specialism, the experience of non-training scheme doctors in Ireland, the challenges for level 3 hospitals and lessons from the international medical graduate training initiative.

For the second session of the day, and the final of the Symposium, we introduce the Future of Medicine: Leaders Forum an event which will look at the area of leadership in medicine and why now, more than ever, this is of crucial importance. Chaired by Prof Mary Horgan, Prof Fergus Shanahan, author of The Language of Illness and Principal Investigator at APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre will begin by looking at communication with patients in an increasingly virtual world. We are then joined by Prof Patrick Wall, Professor of Public Health at University College Dublin, who will examine the area of risk management. Finally, Dr Geraldine McGinty, Associate Professor of Radiology at Weill Cornell Medical College will deliver a lecture entitled Educating and Empowering Physician Leaders.

The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland’s Annual Conference – St Luke’s Symposium began on October 1 in partnership with the Irish Gerontological Society when they presented the ALONE Willie Bermingham Lecture 2020. The WHO’s Dr Mike Ryan was the keynote speaker at this event, delivering a presentation entitled Changing Horizons in Gerontology: United in Solidarity with Older People. The talk delved into the lessons learned from COVID-19 and how care and support for older people can be improved. This lecture is now available to watch back via RCPI’s YouTube channel, click here to view this now.

In addition to the seminar sessions at the Annual Conference there will also be three special virtual Fellowship ceremonies held on the evening of each day which will welcome those who became Fellows in absentia in 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic. These will be broadcast each evening on the RCPI’s YouTube channel.

You will be able to follow updates, feedback and opinions from the Annual Conference via RCPI’s social media channels and at #RCPI2020.

Place are still available at the RCPI’s Annual Conference – St Luke’s Symposium. Click here to find out more and to book now.

Editor’s notes

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The programme for this year’s Annual Conference – St Luke’s Symposium is available to view online by clicking here.

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Louise Finn

Communications Executive

Tel: +353 86 796 5186

For general press enquiries contact Louise in our Communications Department.