Professor Gerard Flaherty
Professor Gerard Flaherty grew up, surrounded by trees, in a rural townland near Athenry in County Galway. He graduated from the School of Medicine at National University of Ireland, Galway, in 2000 with a first class honours degree and gold medals in all 8 final year subjects. He gained Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 2002 and Fellowship in 2011. He was appointed as Professor of Medical Education at NUI Galway in 2016. He has completed 3 Masters degrees, including a Masters in International and Travel Health (Sheffield) and Masters in Medical Education (Dundee). His doctoral theses were based on
original research in travel medicine and international health. As Immediate Past Director of the Undergraduate Medical Programme at NUI Galway, Gerard was responsible for design, delivery and assessment of the medical curriculum, as well as recruitment of international students. A former volunteer expedition physician for Croí on charity fundraising treks to high altitude destinations in Africa and Asia, Gerard set up and directed the Masters in Preventive Cardiology at NUI Galway and was co-founder of the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health (NIPC).
He is the current Director of Academic Affairs and Fellowship for the NIPC. Gerard is a Fellow, former examiner and board member of theFaculty of Travel Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. He is also Past President of the Travel Medicine Society of Ireland (2012-2016). He is the Co-Chair of the scientific programme committee for the international CISTM17 travel medicine conference in 2021. He served on the Executive Board of the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) from 2015 to 2019 and was awarded Fellowship of the ISTM in 2017. He is the current Chair of the ISTM Publications Committee and Co-Lead of the ISTM COVID-19 Task Force. He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Educators (UK), Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Royal Geographic Society, and the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health. His research interests include cardiovascular disease prevention, non-communicable travel health risks, high altitude medicine, international travel with pre- existing medical conditions, and medical education. Gerard has over 250 peer-reviewed
publications and research presentations to date, including a textbook, 7 textbook chapters and 20 papers in the field of preventive cardiology. He served on the Executive Committee of AMEE (an international medical education association) from 2017 to 2020. He serves as Section Editor (for non-communicable diseases) with the Journal of Travel Medicine (2019 impact factor 7.089) and he was a former editorial board member of Travel Medicine and
Infectious Disease. He also serves on the editorial board of Medical Teacher.
In his leisure time Gerard loves to walk in forests, bird-watch and travel. He has completed certificates in Ornithology and in Bird Behaviour which enhance his walks in the wild. He volunteers with the wonderful Galway-Claddagh Swan Rescue group. Gerard believes that humans should live in harmony with their natural environment and that wild habitat conservation and support of biodiversity are urgent global priorities for humanity. In 2019, Gerard designed and delivered a novel special study module in Nature and Forest Medicine for first year medical students at NUI Galway. This course had input from passionate colleagues at NUI
Galway, including Caitriona Carlin and Brendan Smith.