Intern training provides a combination of education, training and clinical responsibility, enabling interns to develop the professional and personal competencies that result in good patient care and provide a foundation for lifelong learning. Interns in Ireland work as part of clinical teams and also work in an on-call capacity. Work consists of regular time plus overtime.
Internship is organised by 6 Intern Networks associated with the six medical schools in Ireland. Intern training posts are structured so that all rotations are undertaken within the same Intern Training Network but not necessarily the same Hospital.
Each Intern Training Network is led by an Intern Network Coordinator who is a consultant doctor with educational experience. The Intern Network Coordinator is responsible for organizing and overseeing intern training within their network and ensuring the provision of appropriate, agreed educational programmes for interns. The Intern Network Coordinators collaborate collectively through the Intern Networks Executive and with the HSE on a national basis to ensure consistency across the Networks.
Intern Network Coordinators are expected to meet the requirements as set by the Medical Council of Ireland in relation to intern training and sign-off, in order to satisfy the Council’s criteria for granting a Certificate of Experience.
Intern Training Networks
Regardless of which network you are in, during your internship you will gain a minimum of 3 months experience in General Medicine, minimum 3 months experience in General Surgery and between 3 and 4 months in one or more of the following specialities:
- Emergency Medicine
- General Practice
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
There is also an option to pursue the Academic Track Internship. This has been designed to give interns the opportunity to undertake a three-month project in clinical research, medical education or healthcare leadership and management.
There are 8 academic track posts nationally with 6 academic interns rotating through the post (24 Academic Track Interns in total, per year). Academic Track interns undertake additional activities during one of their four internship rotations and achieve a substantial project during their intern year. They gain real-life academic/management experience in addition to their clinical experience.
An intern on the academic track programme gains the same clinical experience as an intern undertaking the traditional internship programme and receives the same Certificate of Experience from the Medical Council of Ireland. However, they will also:
Project areas available
Have protected time during the working week to undertake a research project/participate in medical education/become involved in a quality improvement project at their hospital.
Be assigned an academic supervisor in addition to their clinical supervisors. The academic supervisor will provide guidance and support in carrying out their project.
Have access to research seminars and workshops, and additional training and education. There will be a bursary available to cover research costs (e.g. bench fees).
Be required to achieve the same competencies as all other interns, and to complete the same mandatory elements of intern training as all other interns in addition to their academic goals.
The Intern year is designed to be a challenging and rewarding year, providing graduates with a supervised and supportive learning environment that will provide them with the basis for future practice as a doctor in their chosen field. “Interns need to achieve sign-off from all of their consultant trainers to be deemed eligible to complete the year.”
Each Intern must be registered with the Medical Council of Ireland and following the successful completion of their Intern year the doctor will be awarded a “Certificate of Experience”. Once you have this certificate you are eligible to apply for registration on the trainee specialist division or the general division of the Medical Council and therefore proceed with your medical career in Ireland.
The “Certificate of Experience” is required to register with most other competent authorities in other countries. It would also be important to check with each country with regard to their registration procedures.
During Internship all interns will have access to a suite of supports to enhance their training experience including the Training Support Scheme and the Clinical Course and Exam Refund Scheme
Application & Eligibility
The HSE runs a single annual intern recruitment campaign.
The recruitment campaign opens each year in October for posts in July the following year. Internship is open to those who are required to complete it in order to gain the “Certificate of Experience”.
Applicants need to provide their centile (based on the final or overall exams) to the National Recruitment Services by the Dean of your Medical School (usually before May of the intake year). And must have graduated on or after 1st April of the previous year that the applications are open and on or before June of the year internship is due to commence (dates are updated every year – e.g. candidates had to be graduated between 1st April 2021 and on or before 15th June 2023 for the internship commencing on 10th July 2023).
How to apply
To apply for an internship, you must be a graduate of, or final year student at, a medical school in Ireland or specific other EEA countries. Applications from RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus students are also accepted.
Learn more about intern year: www.hse.ie/eng/staff/leadership-education-development/met/medical-intern-unit/intern-year/
All educational funding supports for NCHDs including interns are available in the Offerings pages see link below
Training Supports Scheme (TSS) & Clinical Course & Exam Refund Scheme (CCERS)
See Educational Funding Supports for NCHDs