Mary Ward Essay Competition for Traffic Medicine

Mary Ward - RCPI

About the Mary Ward Essay Competition

The Mary Ward Essay Competition for Traffic Medicine aims to raise awareness of Traffic Medicine among medical and allied health students.

The competition is supported 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 the Republic of Ireland.

2022 Mary Ward Essay Competiton for Traffic Medicine

The call for entries for this year’s prize is now open! 

Prize Details

  • First Prize is €500 with runner up prizes of €200 and €100.
  • The first prize winner has the opportuinity to present their findings the Traffic Medicine Research Day on Thursday 5 May 2022. 
  • All winning essays will be published on the National Office for Traffic Medicine website.

Entry Details

  •  Entries should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words in length.
  • Applicants must be a medical or allied health student on a full-time course in the Republic of Ireland.
  • Essays should be on a subject pertinent to Medical Fitness to Drive. 
  • Marks are awarded for overall presentation, structure, strength of argument, completeness of supporting literature and conclusions and relevance to doctors, allied health professional and medical and allied health students.
  • Essays should be submitted in wither MS Word or PDF format and must incluse a submission coversheet (available to download here) to directortrafficmedicine@rcpi.ie.
  • The closing date for entries is 11:59 pm on 28 January 2022.

The competition information poster can be found here Questions related to the competition should be directed to directortrafficmedicine@rcpi.ie.

Previous Winners 

2021

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".

2020 

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.'

2019 

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

2017

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)

Contact us

National Office for Traffic Medicine

Tel: +353 (0)1 8639788

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.