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

Core faculty

Professor Arnold Hill, FRCSI

Programme Sponsor
Head of the RCSI School of Medicine
Professor of Surgery Beaumont Hospital

Professor Arnold Hill

Arnold Hill is Professor and Chair of Surgery in the RCSI. He graduated from UCD and did his basic surgical training in Dublin, and his middle grade surgical training in London.

He did a basic two-year fellowship with Dr John Daly at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center in the US. He returned to Ireland to do his senior registrar training on the National Training Programme in Ireland.

He also did a clinical fellowship in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York prior to taking up his consultant appointment. His clinical interests are in the area of breast cancer and melanoma. His laboratory research interests are in the transcriptional control of breast cancer in particular the role of the coregulatory proteins.

Professor Paul O' Neill, FRCSI

Medical Director (PA Programme)
Professor of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at RCSI

Professor Paul O' Neill

In 2001, James Paul O'Neill graduated from RCSI, winning both the RCSI Council Medal and the Dr Jim Mahon Medal for Medicine. In 2004, he became a Fellow of RCSI. He completed his Doctorate of Medicine and won the Sir Angell James Prize for ENT research in London on thyroid cancer.

In 2006 he studied in the Smurfit Business School at UCD completing an Executive Masters of Business Administration. In 2010 he was awarded his intercollegiate in otolaryngology and also completed a Masters in Medical Education in Queens University Belfast.

In July 2010 he began a surgical fellowship in head and neck surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. It was during his time there that he was introduced to the American Physician Assistant (PA) model and came to appreciate how it might benefit the Irish medical system. In 2015 he was appointed chairman of examinations for the International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies. He has published research papers, book chapters and a textbook with Elsevier publishers on head and neck disease. His second textbook was published in February 2016.

In 2014 he was appointed Professor of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at RCSI.

Professor Ruth Ballweg MPA, PA-C Emeritus, DFAAPA

Visiting Professor

Prof Ruth Ballweg

Professor Emeritus Ruth Ballweg MPA, PA-C is the recipient of the two highest awards in the PA profession, AAPA’s Eugene Stead Award in 2012 and PAEA’s first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. She was Programme Director of the University of Washington’s MEDEX Northwest PA programme from 1985-2014.

Professor Ballweg held a three year presidential term with PAEA, representing the AAPA as a federal Primary Care Health Policy Fellow, and serving as a Commissioner for the NCCPA. She is founding editor for the first textbook developed for PA education, ‘Physician Assistant: A Guide to Clinical Practice’, now in its sixth edition.

Currently the Director of International Affairs for the NCCPA and historian for the PA History Society, her international work includes guidance and support to the PA career in Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Ghana, Laos, and India.

Professor Denni Woodmansee, MS, PA-C

Associate Professor and Programme Director

Denni Woodmansee

Denni Woodmansee joined as Programme Director of the MSc in Physician Associate Studies in April 2018. Prior to joining RCSI, Denni was Director of Physician Assistant Services at Veteran Affairs in Washington DC, where he was responsible for overseeing policy development for 2,500 physician associates (known as physician assistants in the US) at 150 VHA medical centres and over 1,200 outpatient clinics. During his tenure as Director of PA Services, he established 10 PA postgraduate residency programme sites with specialties in primary care, mental health and emergency medicine.

In 2014 Denni was recognised for his service to the development of the PA profession, when he was awarded the American Academy of Physician Assistants’ President’s Award. In 2018, Denni received the Outstanding Service Award from the Secretary, US Department of Veteran Affairs.

Following graduation with a degree in Physician Assistant Studies from the Northeastern University in 1983, Denni worked as Staff PA at Lemual Shattack Hospital, Boston and later at Allergy Associates, New Bedford. He joined Veteran Affairs in 2004 as . Denni completed an MSc in Advanced Physician Assistant Studies – Education and Leadership from the A.T. Still University in 2014.

Dr Pauline Joyce, Ed.D, MSc, FFNMRCSI

Senior Lecturer
Academic Director

Pauline Joyce

Pauline Joyce is a Senior Lecturer at the RCSI. She is also Academic Director for the MSc in Physician Associate Studies. Pauline completed a Doctorate in Education in 2010. She is particularly interested in interprofessional education in healthcare. Her teaching interests include leadership, change, professional issues, and evidence-based practice in healthcare. Her research interests include teamworking, leadership and change, action learning and outcomes-based education. Recent publications have included topics on assessment, curriculum planning and effectiveness of teamworking.

Pauline's professional experience started in the nursing profession and following many years in clinical practice and clinical teaching, moved into full-time teaching at third level in 2000 joining the RCSI. During this time she undertook a Fellowship in Nursing and worked in the Institute of Leadership. She moved to the RCSI School of Medicine in February 2015 to work as Academic Director with a particular focus on setting up a programme for PAs. Her other responsibilities include supervision of Masters and PhD studies and external examining to doctorate level.

Clare Manning, BA, PGD

Programme Co-ordinator

Clare Manning

Clare joined the Physician Associate faculty in February 2016. As programme co-ordinator, Clare provides support to both faculty and students and is responsible for managing new applications.

With almost 20 years’ experience in PR and communications, prior to joining RCSI, she was most recently Communications Manager for Ireland’s National Screening Service which encompasses BreastCheck, CervicalCheck, BowelScreen and Diabetic RetinaScreen. Before this, Clare worked in a number of PR agencies in the private sector.