Basic Specialty Training – Medicine

Basic Specialist Training is the first step after intern year towards a career in Medicine.

Basic Specialist Training (BST) in General Internal Medicine is a two-year programme of supervised clinical training in Senior House Officer (SHO) posts. Completion of the intern year is an essential entry requirement.

You will be placed on a rotation and you will know in advance what posts you will be working in over the next two years. Your rotation will incorporate the following core elements:

Your BST programme lasts for 24 months in total, and is made up of eight 3 month rotations.

The criteria for your programme are as follows:
1.   You will rotate through three out of the five following core specialties:

a.   Cardiology
b.   Respiratory
c.   Geriatric Medicine
d.   Endocrinology
e.   Gastroenterology

2.   You will spend a minimum of 6 months outside of the metropolitan area. Metropolitan areas in Ireland include the Dublin Metropolitan Area, Cork Metropolitan Area and Galway Metropolitan Area.

3.   You will spend time in a level 4 hospital and a level 3 or 2 hospital

4.   A core academic programme will be in place at each training site. This will include journal clubs, case based small group teaching, grand rounds and MDT meetings

You will have a named trainer for each post in your programme.

The combination of posts ensures a broad exposure to General Medical Specialties over the two years.

In addition to supervised clinical training in the hospital, you are required to pass the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (MRCPI) examination in General Internal Medicine. You are also required to attend a number of mandatory courses that will help you to develop professionally and acquire the non-clinical skills and knowledge needed to provide excellent patient care. Entry to BST is competitive.

During your time in the BST programme you are required to maintain an up-to-date ePortfolio to record your training, educational and assessment activities as you progress. ePortfolio is used as an official record of satisfactory completion of training at the end of your programme.

Facts about BST in Medicine

Duration Two years
Job title/grade of doctor Senior House Officer (SHO)
Sample rotation breakdown Year 1
Jul – Oct – General Medicine
Oct – Jan – Rheumatology
Jan – Apr – Geriatrics
Apr – Jul – NephrologyYear 2
Jul – Oct – Gastroenterology
Oct – Jan – Infectious Diseases
Jan – Apr – Endocrinology
Apr – Jul – Haematology
Average intake each year 250 – 280
Exams to pass Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (MRCPI) examination
Mandatory educational courses to be completed as part of BST
  • BST Leadership in Clinical Practice
  • Ethics, Prescribing Skills and Blood Transfusion
  • Infection control
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
Training body Irish Committee on Higher Medical Training, RCPI
When to apply December each year

How to Apply

The recruitment and selection process for Basic Specialist Training (BST) opens in December every year. The deadline to submit an application for BST is normally mid January, with interviews for shortlisted candidates taking place in February and March.

Find out more information on the  BST Medicine Training Programme 


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