Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn


Research interests within the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine relate to international and global health, Irish health services and public health.

A list of our current projects can be found below.

View our publications.  

The Irish National Adverse Events Study (INAES-1 and INAES-2)

The Irish National Adverse Events Study (INAES) reviewed 1.574 inpatient admissions to eight acute Irish hospitals during 2009 and calculated that 12% were associated with adverse events (unintended injuries resulting in prolonged hospital stay, disability on discharge or death, and caused by healthcare management). This represents a baseline before the establishment of the National Clinical Programmes and the economic recession.

  • Funder: Research Collaborative in Quality and Patient Safety (HRB, HSE, RCPI)
  • RCSI research team: Natasha Rafter, David Williams (PI), Ronan Conroy, Anne Hickey

INAES-2 proposes to determine an updated rate of adverse events and establish whether implementation of the Clinical Programmes has influenced the overall event frequency. INAES-2 will also be able to compare adverse event rates with those reported in the National Incident Management System. Furthermore, a key goal will be to provide the sector with a data collection tool capable of being used by hospitals and frontline staff to determine local adverse event prevalence rates.

  • Funder: Health Research Board and HSE (Applied Partnerships Award)
  • RCSI research team: Warren Connolly, Natasha Rafter, David Williams, Ronan Conroy, Anne Hickey

Health Workforce

The RCSI Health Workforce Research Group generates research evidence on the migration of health professionals, especially doctors, into and out of Ireland. The findings come from our research on:

  • migration of foreign trained doctors and nurses to Ireland
  • outward migration of doctors from Ireland
  • career preferences of Irish medical graduates, and
  • the international dimensions and systems for monitoring health worker migration

We aim to make our health workforce research findings accessible to all knowledge users:

  • those tasked to make decisions on training, conditions of service and the measures needed to retain health professionals in the countries that have trained them.
  • those doctors, nurses and decision makers who have contributed their time and insights to the research effort; and more broadly
  • health workers worldwide who are the cornerstone of national health systems.

Visit our website for further information on current and past research projects and for our publications.

MedTrack: Ireland's Medical Career Tracking Study

This study aims to design and implement the first longitudinal medical career tracking study to report, analyse and track the career choices and decisions of Irish medical graduates. The project, 2016-19, is tracking and collecting longitudinal data from a cohort of medical graduates, exploring career intentions, specialty choice and costs of undergraduate training.

A short baseline survey of all final med students in Ireland was conducted in 2016-17. A survey of NCHDs on the costs to them of postgraduate training and their migration intentions was conducted in 2017-18; and a follow up survey of interns is being conducted in mid-2018.

Surgical systems research in Africa

SURG-Africa (Scaling up surgery for district and rural populations in Africa), funded by the European Union under Horizon 2020, is a four-year implementation research project to scale up safe accessible surgery for district and rural populations in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia.

This will be achieved through developing a bespoke program of surgical, anaesthesia and nursing supervision for district level hospitals enabling surgeon specialists to be trainers and mentors of district hospital staff. The project will support ministries of health to scale-up district-level safe surgery country-wide. For a more detailed outline and list of partners, see the website.

Some of our recent completed research projects can be found here.