Conferring of Medical Degree and First Months of Internship

Conferring of Medical Degree and First Months of Internship

by Sr.  Margaret Anne Meyer MMM                                 U.S.A.                                                   08.06.2024

The first of July, 1964, came around pretty quickly, following a retreat of eight days in Killiney and a short vacation.  The whereabouts of the vacation I do not remember, just the joyful thanksgiving that Medical School was completed and we were about to embark on our intern year in the International Missionary Training Hospital called IMTH and now Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.

What was it going to be like? It was a tremendous feeling of exhilaration and also fear as I donned my crisply starched white coat. God was with me in Medical School and hopefully God would be with me in this new adventure. I will never forget the kindness of our MMM nurses who helped me so gracefully while still keeping me in charge. I remember seeing my first Asthma Patient with extreme difficulty in breathing. I seemed to freeze, and Sr. Maureen O’Connor deftly gave me a syringe of Aminophylline saying she had seen this work before. In a flash it all came back as I was taught, but the Asthma patients whom I had seen as a Medical Student were all recovering after receiving this injection in the Casualty Department the night before.

I was placed in the Medical Department under Doctor Costello. He was an excellent physician and taught me very much. He would correct me with his sorrowful eyes that I had missed the challenge of medicine by choosing a different way. Unfortunately, he was not available at all times, and the sixth-floor nurse, Miss Seery, helped me to solve a lot of medical problems. At that time, we had no Medical Registrar and no cardiac unit. These were the days before bypass surgery. It sounds awful now but a patient with a myocardial infarction would be given sedation and bedrest and sometime later an ECG would be taken. Most of them survived.

Soon the 14th of July came around and this was to be our conferring day. We three had gone to Rosemount the day before to prepare. I had put my hair up in pin curls for the six years of medical school but Sister Gemma Collins, a medical student, said she knew how to use rollers and would be happy to put them in for me. She really did an excellent job and I never saw myself looking so good. In fact, after the conferring ceremony which took place in Earlsfort Terrace, the Irish Independent newspaper took pictures of some of the female medical students including he three of us, for the Social and Personal Column. We all did look nice holding our newly acquired degrees in Medicine Surgery and Obstetrics It was an exceedingly joyful day for us in gratitude to God for getting us through with flying colors. Sister Maura Lynch’s family took Marha and me to a hotel near Grafton Street for a delicious dinner. It really was very enjoyable to be with Maura’s parents and her six brothers and two sisters. They made us feel part of their family and rejoiced in us as in their own daughter.

Our parents did not come for the conferring. They will be coming in a few months for our final Profession of Vows. It was difficult to travel twice from the USA.

That evening, the plan was to travel to Bettystown to meet with Sr. Immaculata and Sister Magdalene O Rourke who would come from the Nuncio in Phoenix Park to take us back to Drogheda. The Sisters had brought us a treat of caviar and other goodies to eat. Again, we had great rejoicing and as a final tribute for the day we all went out to sing the Magnificat on the sandy shore of the Irish Sea to thank Our Blessed Mother for all her help and intercession, before returning to Drogheda. Finally, we felt more complete to continue to learn how to be a Doctor through prayer and continued contact with patients and nurses. And that is another story.