Medical work and continuing education in Ireland

Country facts and demographic data

Area: 70,282 km², population: 4.1 million (as of 2008)
11.70 % are older than 65, 67.50 % are between 15 and 64 years old, 20.80 % are younger than 14. The capital is Dublin. The official language is Irish. English is the second official language, but is used by most Irish people in daily speech.

Healthcare system

In Ireland there is a public as well as a private healthcare system. The public system divides the citizens into two categories: people with low income (e.g. welfare recipients or single parents) as well as citizens over 70 count as category 1 and receive a so-called Medical Card. Citizens who decide to get private health insurance can choose between different insurance companies: BUPA Ireland, QUINN Healthcare and Aviva Health. 

Medical education and further training

The study of medicine takes six years. After its completion, students have to work as interns for one year, after which they receive the “full registration”. Once they have completed the internship, medical doctors can apply for training as Senior House Officers (SHO). The SHO training can take between six months and two years, during which trainees specialise in their chosen field. 

Specialist training

Higher medical training programmes take between four to six years.
Irish Committee of Higher Medical Training 


It is required to register with the Irish Medical Council. In accordance with qualification and experience there are different categories for registration, either the full registration or the internship registration. For further information, see

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Ärzte der WeltÄrztekammer für WienCharité International AcademyÖsterreichisches Rotes KreuzSwiss Tropical and Public Health InstituteHilfswerk AustriaÖsterreichische Gesellschaft für Public HealthCentro per la Formazione Permanente e l'Aggiornamento del Personale del Servizio Sanitario