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Strike Out Boldly: New exhibition opens at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

A fascinating collection of stories and artefacts exploring the experiences of Irish doctors overseas

Strike Out Boldly is a new exhibition commemorating 150 years of Irish medical services overseas. It has been jointly curated by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and Dr Kieran Fitzpatrick, National University of Ireland Galway.

The exhibition, a collection of stories and artefacts with contributions from a number of our Members and Fellows and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, explores the ordinary and extraordinary experiences of Irish doctors overseas, and how they played a part on the international stage.

Professor Mary Horgan, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland formally opened the exhibition on 10 May 2019. She said, “It is so important for us to celebrate the immense contribution of Irish medics internationally. It also gives us a chance to reflect on the impact that a country as small as Ireland has had on the world in medicine and healthcare, a tradition that has continued to present day. In order to inform our future, we must remember our past.”

We are delighted to have collaborated with our colleagues in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the National University of Ireland Galway on this wonderful piece of work, which is also symbol of the important link between medicine and the arts and humanities.

Professor Mary Horgan

President, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

Exploring the role of Irish medics on a global stage

Between 1800 and 1950 thousands of Irish medics left Ireland for employment around the world in colonial or military service, enticed by regular pay, defined career path or the possibility of travel and adventure. Some would return to Ireland, using their newly acquired wealth and experience to set up in private practice, while others would spend their professional lives in service overseas.

Ms Harriet Wheelock, Keeper of Collections at RCPI Heritage Centre expressed gratitude to all those who contributed to the exhibition, "We are really excited to be launching this exhibition exploring the role of Irish medics on a global stage, and are extremely grateful to all the family members who have generously shared their stories and artefacts with us.

“It is the experiences of the individuals featured in the exhibition which really brings it to life. While we have only covered a handful of the many Irish medics who worked overseas, we hope the exhibition will act as a starting point to discover more stories and adventures, highlighting the contribution of Irish doctors and nurses to global medicine.”

Everyone is welcome to come and view the exhibition!

The exhibition is now open at the Heritage Centre, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, No. 6 Kildare Street. Members of the public are welcome to drop in and have a look.

The Heritage Centre is open Monday to Friday, 10:00 - 16:00.

No pre-booking required however groups of ten or more people should contact us beforehand - see contact details below.

Harriet Wheelock

Keeper of Collections

Tel: +353 1 669 8817

Harriet is Keeper of Collection and manages the RCPI Heritage Centre. Contact Harriet with any questions about the Heritage Centre, its collection and to make an appointment to visit.