Public Health

Training Pathway

There are four steps in the training pathway to become a specialist in Public Health Medicine:

Step 1 – Medical School

Step 2 – Intern Year

Step 3 – Basic Specialty Training in Medicine or equivalent

Step 4 – Higher Specialty Training in Public Health Medicine

Higher Specialty Training

Following basic specialty training doctors may choose to continue training at higher specialist training level. Doctors must decide the specialty they wish to pursue.

The information below outlines important information about training in the specialty of Public Health Medicine.

Entry Requirements

There is no Basic Specialist Training programme in Public Health Medicine. If you want to train in this specialty you first need to meet the entry requirements for Higher Specialist Training in Public Health Medicine:

Completed Basic Specialist Training (or an equivalent programme) in one of the following specialties:

  • Anaesthesists
  • General Internal Medicine
  • Histopathology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Paediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • Surgery (Core Surgical Training)
  • Or have spent at least two years post-internship in hospital posts that have been approved for training by the relevant authority
  • Or have completed at least two years on an accredited training programme in General Practice
  • Or are registered on the General Practice specialist division with the Medical Council of Ireland

Additional desirable experience

Although they are not essential entry requirements, the following qualifications and experience will be viewed favourably during the interview process for Higher Specialist Training in Public Health Medicine.

  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Experience in Public Health Medicine or Infectious Diseases
  • Part 1 of the Membership of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine Ireland (MFPHMI) examination or Part A of the MFPH (UK) examination or equivalent examination

Duration & Organisation of Training

Higher Specialist Training in Public Health Medicine is a four-year programme of structured, supervised clinical training in Specialist Registrar (SpR) posts.

The experience gained by rotating through different training locations is an essential part of HST. For this reason, you will rotate at least once during HST and you will spend at least six months in the Department of Health and Children.

Specialists in Public Health Medicine operate a 24-hour Public Health Out Of Hours Service. This service provides national cover for the International Health Regulations (IHR), an Irish government commitment to the World Health Organisation and its Member States. The service also provides out of hours guidance on infectious disease control and outbreak management, for example in a crèche, hospital or nursing home. To prepare for out of hours specialist cover, you will be required to participate in a health protection working hours on-call rota during HST.

You are also required to pass the Membership of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (MFPHMI) examination.


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