Anaesthesia refers to the practice of administering medications either by injection or by inhalation (breathing in) that block the feeling of pain and other sensations, or that produce a deep state of unconsciousness that eliminates all sensations, which allows medical and surgical procedures to be undertaken without causing undue distress or discomfort.

Specialist training in Anaesthesia, including Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, is a minimum six year programme.

The aims of the National Training Programme are:

  • To produce Anaesthetists with adequate expertise for independent specialist practice in a broad range of
    clinical areas to fill the available Consultant posts throughout the country.
  • To optimise training by exposure to a broad and complex caseload. This should occur in Departments where
    high quality clinical care is provided with an emphasis on training rather than purely service provision.
  • To expose trainees to a variety of types of hospitals nationally.
  • To ensure exposure to core sub-specialties in Anaesthesia plus other worthwhile sub-specialty areas
  • To support service provision and in doing so provide the clinical experience necessary to allow trainees
    acquire the skill set to perform as experts in anaesthesia at completion of training.

Training Pathway

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
Training Level Medical School Intern Year Specialist Training Programme
Duration 4-6 years 1 year 6 years
Mandatory Examinations As per curriculum N/A MCAI (to be completed by year 2)FCAI (year 4 or 5)
Entry Process Graduate or direct entry Entry through the HSE Intern Match Entry through competitive interview
Application Date CAO process opens in November Application process opens in October Application process opens in November
Programme Operated by: Undergraduate Universities Intern Networks College of Anaesthetists

Following completion of the programme trainees can apply for a consultant role in Anaesthesia. Trainees also have the opportunity to sub specialise at the later stage of training in either a number of sub specialties including the award of a dual CST in pain medicine or intensive care medicine.

The programme is operated and regulated by the College of Anaesthetists of Ireland (CAI) under the aegis of the Irish Medical Council. CAI is the only body recognised by the Irish Medical Council to provide anaesthesia training.

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