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In true GEM style, GEM2 very much ups the ante from GEM1. Here’s some general pointers:
GEM2 comprises 3 semesters. Semester 1 is the standard September to November with end of semester exams in the RDS.
In semester 2, you will have two sets of exams (March and May). 
You’re probably used to it by now, but the modules are very dense- leave it all to the end AT YOUR PERIL.
Also, GEM2 students do not get a midterm break so when you return after Christmas it’s a marathon right up until June!


Prepare to hit the ground running!

Semester 1

GI/ GU Illness: 


  • Diseases of the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, kidneys etc etc. Also STDs. (Warning: The photos can never be unseen.) Just like it’s predecessor Cardiorespiratory Disease, GI/GU Illness will introduce you to the wild and wonderful ways that things can go wrong in the gastrointestinal and genitourinary systems.

USEFUL TEXTS: Robbins Pathology, Pathoma videos (available on the GEM Dropbox)


  • 10% presentation on a specified disease (given to teams 1 week prior to presentation). Each member must present, each must answer questions. This was daunting but generally people do very well.

  • 90% - 2 hour exit exam. 50 MCQs. Four essay questions: two pathology (20%), two microbiology (25%).



  • As in GEM1, the PBL sessions associated with the therapeutics module was really useful and complements this nicely.

  • Don’t eat before the STD lecture.


GI/ GU Structure:


  • Anatomy. Lots of anatomy. 

USEFUL TEXTS: Anatomy book of your choice. Moore & Dalley Clinically Oriented Anatomy is great. Also Netter’s Flashcards are great for revision.


  • 20% Spotter exam. This takes place in the anatomy lab where 20 stations are set up. Students are given 30 seconds to identify the structure at which point they must move to the next station. Students are allowed 1 minute at the end of the exam to revisit stations.

  • 80% exit exam: The exam consists of a one-hour, negatively marked true-false MCQ.


TIPS: Try your best to keep on top of this from the start because it moves along pretty quickly.



GI & Renal Physiology:

The wonderful physiological mechanisms underlying gastrointestinal and renal systems. 


USEFUL TEXTS: Vanders Physiology


  • 30% CAL assignments: Using histological slides online, students must snapshot up to three images and use these to answer a short essay question.

    • 15% GI physiology assignment.

    • 15% Renal physiology assignment.

  • 70% exit exam: Best of 5 MCQ. No negative marking.



  • The MCQ exam is derived entirely from the lecture notes. FYI.

  • This module can seem harmless. Like a kitten or a bunny. It is definitely not a kitten or a bunny.

  • Put the effort into the CAL assignments- rumour has it these saved quite a few people and got them over the line following the un-bunny-like final exam.

Endocrinology in Health & Disease:


  • This module combines the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the endocrine system. 


USEFUL TEXTS: Robbins Pathology


  • 20% - Short answer assignment: Answer 2 from choice of 4.

  • 80% - Exit exam. MCQ, EMQ and essay questions.



  • Attend the evening seminars that Dr. Neff organises- although it’s annoying that they’re on late in the evening, they give a lot of context to the material you’re learning.

  • This module also has various lecturers, with varying style/density of slides.



Haematology & Immunosuppression:


  • This covers the immune system, and what happens when things go wrong: pathology of blood, bone marrow and lymph node, immunosuppression, tropical diseases etc. 

  • This lecture is also attended by Stage 3 UEM students.



  • Essential Haematology (Hoffbrand, Pettit & Moss).



  • 100% exit exam. 100 MCQs/ EMQs. (NO NEGATIVE MARKING WOOOOO.)



  • Try to find sample MCQs online or past papers.



Basic Principles of Trauma (ELECTIVE OPTION 1):



  • Basics of management and triage, thoracic and abdominal injuries, shock, head trauma, spinal trauma, facial trauma, imaging etc.



  • ABC’s of Trauma is recommended but essentially all information relevant to the exam will be given in the lectures.



  • 20% essay assignment: On a trauma-related topic of your choice.

  • 80% exit exam consists of a one-hour, negatively marked true-false MCQ (100Qs).



  • The best advice that can be given to anyone completely this module is to ATTEND LECTURES. The slides posted online are sparse at best. Much of the information that appears on the exam is only given out in the lectures. 

Semester 2

Just to spice things up and keep you kids on your toes (with the exception of Disability studies and Oncology), the passing mark is 50% for exams now. #lovinglife



Understanding Disability for Healthcare Students: 


  • This module is patient-based and focuses on the experience of disability from the patients perspective. Guest lecturers attend each week covering various disabilities with emphasis on daily living with disability. Also covers issues such as disability equality and access to resources and opportunities. 

  • The module also includes group visits to the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire which take place each week (as in, you will visit once during the semester). Here students are invited to meet patients and take medical histories. These cases are then (anonymously) presented as part of the module assessment (worth 20%).



  • Lecture notes.



  • 20% 10minute presentation. 2 students present the patient case (one student covers the patient case, one student covers an area of interest related to the case). Remaining students in the group must answer questions from a panel of lecturers/ consultants.

  • 80% 2hour exit exam: Two essay questions (choice of 4) and 50 MCQs.


Neurology in Health & Disease:



*Takes a deep breath*
Imagine MBLD has an older, scarier sibling... Neurology in Health & Disease comprises...Neuroanatomy... Neurophysiology... Neuropharmacology... Neuromicrobiology...and Neuropathology. Each of these components could arguably form independent modules in their own right, but there’s no time for that in GEM so BOOM! ONE MONSTER NEURO MODULE, containing approximately 60 lectures.



Check these out at the library and see which one works for you.

  • Holy Bible- pray for forgiveness for whatever you did that made you deserve this misery.

  • Lipincotts Review: Neuroscience

  • Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain (Bear Connors Paradiso)


  • 10% portfolio (If you’re a fan of vague assessment guidelines, you’ll love this one).

  • 90% exit exam. 3 hours. 50 MCQs + 3 essays (including one topic which appeared on the Portfolio.)


  • This module is worth 10 credits. FYI.

  • The CALs are relatively useful, especially for getting your head around the neurophysiology component.

  • The portfolio features 10 topics and its guaranteed that one of these will appear on the final exam- it’s worth your while getting familiar with these topics so that, if worst comes to worst, you’ll at least have one essay question to answer.

  • Don’t neglect anatomy in your preparation for MCQs.

Reproductive Medicine, Psychological Medicine and Child Health:


AKA “Repro-Child-Psych”.

  • Three subjects rolled into one delightful module. This module dips your toe into the worlds of OB/GYN, Paeds and Psychiatry.

  • Three on-site visits to the National Maternity Hospital, Holles St or the Coombe Hospital where you partake in skills workshops.


  • Lecture notes mostly.


  • Reproductive Medicine: (33% of overall grade). 100 true-false MCQs. Negatively marked.

  • Child Health: (33% of overall grade). 8 short answer/ short essay Q’s. 50 MCQs. Negatively marked.

  • Psychological Medicine (34% of overall grade): 

    • 3 online MCQs relating to workshops. (Worth 2-3% each)

    • 1 final online exam, 1 hour duration in computer labs involving videos and answering questions related to these. 

    • Group project requiring students to design a poster/ leaflet/ website to aid understanding of psychosis. 


  • Keep track of assignments and workshops. There’s a lot of them.

  • Bring lunch on hospital seminar days- there’s only an hour between the end of your lectures and the start of hospital seminars.

Otolaryngology/ Ophthalmology: 



Anatomy and pathology of the eyes, ears, nose and throat.


  • UCD ENT handbook, available on Blackboard. This is invaluable, especially for the viva exam.

  • Disease of the Ear, Nose, Throat (Clarke)

  • Ophthalmology (James & Bron)




  • Otolaryngology: 

    • 25% MCQ (negatively marked). 

    • 25% viva- 10 minute exam during which students are quizzed by ENT consultants on any aspect of the course. 


  • Ophthalmology:

    • 25% MCQ (negatively marked).

    • 25% OSCE- Students must complete a visual fields test on a patient, must be able to draw out the visual fields pathways, and check for Relative Afferent Pupillary Defect (RAPD). 



Don’t bother blowing €300 on the ophthalmoscope (contrary to the million emails you’ll receive) unless you’re flush with cash and have nothing better to spend it on. We used these once. ONCE. 

NOTE: The pass mark for all of these components is 50%. Each of the four components must be passed individually 

Professional Clinical Practice:


This module combines Palliative care with lectures regarding ethics and other aspects of professional practice. 

USEFUL TEXTS: Lecture notes.



TIPS: Do not be fooled by the waffley exterior. Attend lectures and take notes of discussions. Lecture notes are fairly sparse for some topics but the exam covered many topics.

Oncology & Immunopathology

This module covers neoplastic pathology i.e. cancers of the breast, skin, bone, soft tissue, childhood cancers, etc... and the drugs/ interventions used to treat them. There are also lectures covering autoimmune diseases, organ transplant (and rejection).


  • Lecture notes!


  • 10% BMJ online certificates. 

  • 90% exit exam


  • There’s plenty of guest lecturers for this module so the style of lecture notes varies widely- some will be dream-like and full of information. Others will comprise pictures, or won’t exist.

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