Today, a new chapter unfolds at Magee when Ulster University will make history by opening the doors of a newly refurbished building to welcome the very first 70 students to the new School of Medicine.
The first cohort to enter the first graduate entry medical school in Northern Ireland is made up of students with a wide range of related and non-scientific/healthcare backgrounds from politics to investment banking, radiography, management consultancy, optometry, forensic science, nursing and even a previous lecturer in Irish at Magee.
Not only are they from a wide demographic group but geographically they hail from nearby: Derry and Letterkenny; to further afield: Belfast, Dublin, Galway; and even halfway across the world: the Gold Coast, Australia.
This is a group of students who have a disparate range of lived experience and skills, making this an exciting and stimulating entry route into the medical profession.
Professor Louise Dubras, Foundation Dean at the School of Medicine, Ulster University, said, ‘I’m so excited to greet our new students on this momentous day which I have looked forward to for years. I hope that the School, the university and the city itself will encourage a sense of belonging and pride in our region’s future doctors.
‘I am very proud of our new School of Medicine which in itself marks the continued transformation of the Magee campus into a hub for Health and Innovation, as a pre-emptive part of the Derry and Strabane City Deal. Medical schools are sometimes located in a hospital setting but I want our students to learn near the city’s GPs and the population they will go on to care for. The School of Medicine will act as their home, a welcoming place, for the future doctors who are embarking on a challenging yet hugely rewarding journey with us.’