Civic and Community Engagement

The Medical Education Unit is committed to civic and community engagement, facilitating positive change through research, and both community and educational outreach. These activities include partnership with community based organisations to develop educational materials and interventions to improve health in the community, as well as the development of evidence-based policy in healthcare and health professions education.  

Prep-for-Med School day

The School of Medicine at UCC annually hosts the Prep for Med School day for transition year students. Staff from the Medical Education Unit coordinate this offering where students are given the opportunity to experience life as a medical student is really like.  During the morning session, students rotate through specially-designed teaching stations are subsequently brought to Cork University Hospital. Students and teachers also have the opportunity to chat with current students and academic and administrative staff about admission to the medical programme at UCC and the structure of the programme.                                                                                                                           

Further information: Prep for Med School day

Ag Eisteacht

Dr Margaret O’Rourke, Senior Lecturer in Medical Education, works with a Cork-based national charity, Ag Eisteacht, as clinical director, consultant and advisor to the board.  

Ag Eisteacht trains practitioners in healthcare, social care, community and education to recognise the impact of quality relationships on health and wellbeing and to manage boundaries for the important work they do to serve communities. Examples of organisations include work with homeless people, youth groups, family groups, teachers, doctors and nurses. Dr O’Rourke works with others to contribute to the science and evidence base of Ag Eisteacht’s programmes especially for its ABLE (Adopt a relational approach, Build, Listen & Empower) training and continuing professional development (CPD) programmes. All of Ag Eisteacht’s CPD-approved training courses include emerging scientific insights from the fields of Psychology, Infant Mental Health, Childhood Development and interpersonal neurobiology.                                                                                                         

Further information:

Irish Medical Council

Academic staff from the Medical Education Unit play an ongoing role in accreditation of Irish-based and overseas bodies undertaken by the Irish Medical, ensuring high quality undergraduate medical education and training.                                                                                                                                  

Further information: Irish Medical Council - Medical School Accreditation

HSE National Undergraduate Curriculum for Chronic Disease Management and Prevention 

Higher education institutions nationwide have collaborated with the Health Service Executive (HSE) to develop a standardized national curriculum for undergraduate health care professions in chronic disease prevention and self-management. The aim is to prepare health professionals with the skills needed to support patients to achieve lifestyle behaviour change delivered as part of routine clinical care. Staff from the Medical Education Unit are key contributors to the implementation of the this programme within the undergraduate medical curriculum.                                                                 

Further information: 

Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)

Dr Margaret O’Rourke, Senior Lecturer in Medical Education, is a Member of the Health Information and Quality Authority ‘s HIQA Education and Training Committee contributing to formation of evidence-based policy in healthcare and health professions education in mental health and patient safety. 

Community-Academic Research Links initiative (CARL)

Community-Academic Research Links (CARL) is a University initiative which invites non-profit voluntary or community organisations (CSOs) to suggest potential research topics that can be pursued by students on their behalf across a wide range of academic disciplines. The Medical Education Unit has played a key role in facilitating research projects involving undergraduate medical students and community partners involved in the field of healthcare.                                               

Further information: 

HSE Palliative Care Competence Framework

Dr Catherine Sweeney, Senior Lecturer in Medical Education, was a member of the Medicine Specific group for the development of the Palliative Care Competence Framework (2014) under the National Clinical Programmes. The framework supports health care staff in all care settings to self-assess, develop and maintain skills, knowledge and attributes required for the provision of palliative care. 

Further information: Palliative Care Competence Framework

RTE Brainstorm

RTE Brainstorm is where academic and research community contribute to public debate, reflect on what's happening in the world around us and communicate fresh thinking on a broad range of issues.  Dr Patrick Henn and MEU academic staff members Dr Colm O Tuathaigh and Mr Simon Smith conducted research showing the extent to which hearing loss can lead to problems at doctors' clinics and hospital casualty departments and miscommunication between the patient and the healthcare professional. The full RTE Brainstorm article on this research can be found at the following link: Ill communication: How hearing loss creates medical care issues


EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND)

Dr Catherine Sweeney is currently a collaborator on project funded by the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND).  The mySupport study is an international study that aims to adapt, implement and evaluate the Family Carer Decision Support intervention in six countries: United Kingdom (Belfast); Republic of Ireland (Cork County); Netherlands (Leiden); Canada (Hamilton, Montreal); Czech Republic (Prague) and Italy (Turin). The educational intervention has been designed to inform family carers about end-of-life care options for people living with advanced dementia. 

Medical Education Unit

Room 2.59, Brookfield Health Science Complex College Road Cork, T12 AK54