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190 doctors to join Ireland's coronavirus fight after graduating in online ceremony

The doctors are expected to join the health service next month.

Image: Shutterstock/fotoinfot

ALMOST 200 DOCTORS will join Ireland’s health service in the coming weeks after graduating in a ‘virtual’ ceremony this morning.

The 190 medics from NUI Galway graduated in a ceremony broadcast via Facebook, after the university brought forward their final year exams to ensure they could enter the healthcare workforce as soon as possible.

The graduates include students from the university’s Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics courses.

Among those to address them during the ceremony was the Sligo-born Dr Michael Ryan, the man leading the World Health Organisation’s response to containing and treating Covid-19.

Alison Pentony, a medical student at NUI Galway, told RTÉ’s Liveline that Ryan offered the graduates some words of wisdom to help them when they enter the workforce. 

“He’s actually an NUIG alumnus like ourselves, so he was just acknowledging the situation that we’re in and the uncertain circumstances that we’ll be facing into,” she said.

“He said: ‘Just keep going, you’ll have the support you need; it’s going to be a steep learning curve… Treat everyone with kindness, be open to the adversity you’re facing and just try and tackle it.’”

Pentony also said that the speech was “completely unexpected” and that she and her fellow graduates were looking forward to joining the health service in the coming weeks.

“This is what we signed up for,” she added.

“We signed up to be doctors, we signed up to help people. Right now, we’re being called to help people and to play our part even if it’s small.”

The new doctors are hoping to begin working in hospitals as interns from May.

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