MedFest 2015

MedFest 2015

High lighting Cultural Diversity in Medicine and Psychiatry

Medfest, the medically themed one night film festival, exploring medicine and psychiatry, enjoyed major successes this year taking place in NUIG and UCD in February and for the first time, in UCC in March.

The festival was first brought to Ireland in 2013 by the Trainee Committee of the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland (CPsychI) in collaboration with their Trainee colleagues from the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK, who pioneered MedFest in 2011. The success of MedFest’s debut in UCD in 2013 led to its expansion across Irish Universities.

The theme for MedFest 2015 is Global Medicine and Civilisations. At each event, nine short films were shown, categorised under three headings; Journeys, Culture and Religion, and Recovery. After each section, a panel of experts from various fields such as Psychiatry, Anthropology, Psychotherapy, Social and Preventive Medicine and Sociology led a lively discussion with the audience. The aim of this festival is to increase interest in psychiatry and to inspire medical students through film. Students from each University helped to organise the exciting event with the support of the RCPsych, the CPsychI and their local MedSocs.

The first theme of Journeys touched on the difficulties around mental health and asylum seekers and the trauma inflicted on the person in their physical and mental journeys to begin a new life.

For the second set of films audience members looked at the topic of Culture and Religion in medicine and psychiatry. Panellists at each event discussed the contrast between medical and psychiatric practice amongst cultures and the complexities of understanding different traditions.

The final two films, on the theme of Recovery, concluded the evening on a positive note and showed inspirational stories of hope and the kindness of others.

“We are delighted with the success of Medfest 2015”, said Dr Gearoid Moynihan, Chair of the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland Trainee Committee. “All of the films were very thought-provoking, and the discussions which followed ranged from ethics, autonomy, access to healthcare and attitudes to mental illness and patients globally. Best of all, some of the most valuable contributions from the evenings came from students themselves.”

Dr Moynihan commented that each of the events were well-attended, and thanked the medical student attendees for their interest. “It is heartening to see such interest in Psychiatry, and the Trainee Committee are hopeful that this can be nurtured through further similar events that the Trainee Committee plan to run.” He also expressed thanks to the panellists who had given their time to contribute the evenings. MedFest showcases the great potential for the Arts to contribute to medicine and the Trainee Committee of the CPsychI hopes to be able to continue their collaboration with the RCPsych to expand the model of MedFest further in 2015.

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To view photographs from MedFest 2015, please click here (images broken in the old website. Do you need that page rebuild, as a subpage for this MedFest 2015 page???).