Clinical Genetics

Clinical Genetics deals with the diagnosis and management of inherited disorders and birth defects. It is an exciting, rapidly evolving specialty at the cutting edge of medicine.


Clinical geneticists must continually take account of new discoveries that alter clinical practice. They have an important role to play in public education and debates about ethical issues arising from new developments in the clinical application of genetic knowledge.

Clinical geneticists generally work in multidisciplinary regional genetic centres in close collaboration with laboratory scientists, clinical co- workers (genetic counsellors) and academic colleagues. Doctors in this specialty need a wide range of clinical skills, as genetic disorders can affect people of all ages and involve all body systems. Communication skills are particularly important, as the clinical geneticist must explain complex concepts and genetic test results to families so that they can make informed decision and choose an appropriate course of action.

Higher Specialist Training (HST)


General entry requirements for HST:

  • You must have completed Basic Specialist Training in the relevant specialty (or an equivalent programme) by the start date for HST. Please note that not all BST programmes offer consideration of equivalence. Download guidelines on BST programme equivalence (PDF, 133KB).
  • You must have achieved a relevant postgraduate qualification such as MRCPI in General Medicine, General Paediatrics or Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Please note: we have reverted to the previous regulations regarding the examination which were in place before COVID-19. That is, all HST candidates must have successfully passed their MRCPI Clinical Examination relevant to their speciality before their HST interview date. There are no exceptions to this requirement.
  • You must be currently or previously registered on one of the divisions of the Irish Medical Council, or provide proof of eligibility for registration.
  • You must have proof of competency in the English language in line with HSE specifications (PDF, 506KB).
  • You must have demonstrated an aptitude for, and an interest in, that specialty.

Places in HST are allocated in the first instance to applicants who, at the time of application, are citizens of Ireland or nationals of another Member State of the European Union, Stamp 4 Visa Holders and UK nationals.