Public Health Medicine

Public Health Medicine is about improving and protecting the health of the population, rather than treating individual patients. Public Health physicians have specialist knowledge of health protection, health service development and health improvement, as outlined in the table below.

Public Health Medicine reaches beyond the usual boundaries of the healthcare system. Doctors in this specialty work in national government agencies, local community and voluntary organisations.

Domains of Public Health Medicine

Health Protection Health Service Development Health Improvement
  • Disease and injury prevention
  • Communicable disease control
  • Protection from environmental hazards
  • Emergency planning
  • Health needs assessment
  • Service planning
  • Clinical governance and risk management
  • Efficiency (including value for money)
  • Audit and evaluation
  • Change management
  • Equity
  • Health promotion
  • Reducing inequalities
  • Advocacy and socio-economic issues
  • Education
  • Lifestyles
  • Community development

Training Pathway 

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4
Training Level Medical School Intern Year Basic Specialty Training in Medicine Higher Specialist Training in Public Health Medicine
Duration 4-6 years 1 year 2 years 4 years
Entry Process Graduate or direct entry Entry through the HSE Intern Match Entry based on competitive interview Entry based on competitive interview
Mandatory Examinations As per curriculum N/A MRCPI MFPHMI
Application Date CAO process opens in November Application process opens in October Application process opens in December Application process open in November
Programme Operated by: Undergraduate Universities Intern Networks RCPI RCPI

The Higher Specialist Training Programme in Public Health Medicine is administered by the Faculty of Public Health Medicine, RCPI.

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