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The Mary Ward Essay Prize for Traffic Medicine aims to raise awareness of Traffic Medicine among medical and allied health students.
The prize is sponsored by the Road Safety Authority and commemorates Mary Ward, the victim of the first fatal automobile accident in history in Birr, Co Offaly in 1869.
The essay competition is open annually to all medical and allied health students on a full-time course in a medical school in the Republic of Ireland.
Marks are awarded for overall presentation, structure, strength of argument, completeness of supporting literature, conclusions and relevance to doctors, allied health professional, and medical and allied health students.
The value of the Prize is €500 with runner up prizes of €200 and €100.
This year’s competition was our most successful to date, with 30 high quality entries from students from NUIG, RCSI,TCD,UCD, UCC and UL.
In order to showcase their work, we have arranged two online Mary Ward Symposia where the entrants will deliver a short presentation of their work, with time allowed for a Q & A session.
The Symposia will take place on Tuesday 20 April and Thursday 22 April from 17:30-19:30.
The 20 April session will feature presentations on topics including stroke, epilepsy, cardiology, traumatic brain injury, glaucoma and driver distraction.
The 22 April session will be focused on topics such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, psychiatric disorders, Covid-19 and e-scooters.
Agendas for both evenings including a Zoom link for the event can be found below.
We received 30 high-quality entries for this year’s competition on a wide variety of topics related to health and driving.
A full list of entrants and prizewinners is available here.
You can read the prizewinning entries below:
Joint first prize
Jane Fagan (School of Medicine, UCD), “Epilepsy and Traffic Medicine: Are current driving restrictions for people with epilepsy discriminatory?”.
Connor Kearns (School of Medicine, RCSI), “Adapt or perish: the driving experience in patients with rheumatoid arthritis”.
Joint second prize
Aoife Donohue (School of Medicine, UCD), “Exploring the potential role of simulated driving in assessing fitness to drive after stroke”.
Caoilfhionn Jordan (School of Medicine, UCD), “Concussion and Driving: Call for a New Framework to Assist Return to Driving”.
Joint third prize
Alannah Dolan (School of Medicine, UCD), “Driving: A modifiable risk factor that accelerates the journey towards poor health”.
Helena Scanlan (School of Medicine, TCD), “The intersection of traffic medicine and bipolar disorder - a patient-centred approach".
Réiltín Tynan from the School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway won the 1st prize in 2020 for an essay entitled 'The morning after the night before: Night-shift and the danger it poses to Irish road users.'
Kathryn Haley from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland won the 2nd prize in 2020 for an essay entitled 'Multiple Sclerosis and Traffic Medicine: Examining MS as a Cause for Concern in Irish Road Safety.'
Julia Ryan from the School of Medicine, Trinity College, Dublin won the 3rd prize in 2020 for an essay entitled 'Possibilities for Healthcare Professional Involvement in Older Adults Transitioning into Driver Retirement and Maintaining Health and Wellbeing.'
Edward Ahern, from the School of Medicine, University College Cork won 1st prize in 2019 for an essay entitled 'Cataracts and Traffic Medicine A Common Road Safety Issue Which we Fail to See'.
Olwyn Feely from the School of Medicine, Trinity College, Dublin won 2nd prize for an essay entitled 'Medical fitness to drive and our ageing population should we abolish medical testing in older drivers'.
Chai Shang Yuin from the School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway won a commendation for an essay entitled 'Lagging Behind – The Emerging Influence of Jet Lag on Road Safety'.
Take a look at the 2019 winning essays below:
1st prize: 'Cataracts and Traffic Medicine A Common Road Safety Issue Which we Fail to See' by Edward Ahern (UCC)
2nd prize: 'Medical fitness to drive and our ageing population should we abolish medical testing in older drivers' by Olwyn Feely (TCD)
Commendation: 'Lagging Behind – The Emerging Influence of Jet Lag on Road Safety' by Chai Shang Yuin
Luke Wallis, 4th year student from the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland won 1st prize in 2017. Luke won €500 and presented his findings at the National Office for Traffic Medicine Research study day on Health, Mobility and Road Safety Research on 14 March 2017 in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.
Take a look at 2017 winning essays below.
1st prize: Motor vehicle safety and pregnant women by Luke Wallis (RCSI)
2nd prize: Obstructive sleep apnoea and driving safety - implications for reduction in road traffic accidents by Michael Fitzsimons (UL)
Joint 3rd prize: Medical fitness to drive: Steering the conversation towards obesity? by Niamh Boyle (UCD) Medical fitness to drive - The impact of benzodiazepines by Eithne Nic an Riogh (UCD)
At the National Office for Traffic Medicine, everything we do is aimed at making driving as safe as possible for all road users. Our office was jointly established by RCPI and the Road Safety Authority of Ireland in 2011, bringing the specialty of Traffic Medicine to Ireland for the first time.