DNE Intern Network

Intern training has developed from a predominantly 'apprenticeship' model to a structured, properly resourced, training programme for medical graduates. There is no doubt that the implementation of the reform of the intern year has greatly improved the structure of intern training and education. It has brought a high level of transparency to the recruitment of interns and has allowed graduates to experience the realities of clinical practice in a wider range of specialities.

Historically, there was no formal curriculum for intern training, with training being based on the traditional method of apprenticeship. Over recent years, intern tutors in various hospitals have developed formal teaching programmes for interns. The reform led to a formalised intern curriculum based on the Medical Council’s 'Eight Domains of Good Professional Practice' and is centred on patient safety and quality of patient care.

The RCSI/Dublin North East (DNE) Intern Network, has adapted this curriculum to suit its interns. It has modified the content and delivery each year based on intern feedback and evaluation of the programme.

In the last six years, the DNE Intern Network has put over 600 interns through the professional and personal competencies necessary for fulfilling a career in medical practice. In DNE, the curriculum focuses on personal and professional development with emphasis on self-care and wellbeing, medico-legal training, patient safety, technical and non-technical skills.

On successful completion of the intern year, an intern is awarded a ‘Certificate of Experience’ by the Irish Medical Council. Further information on their role within the intern year can be found on the Irish Medical Council website.

Within four hospitals – Beaumont Hospital, Connolly Hospital, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda and University Hospital Waterford – the DNE Network has a total of 141 posts. All posts within the network are primarily based in one hospital.

One paediatric medicine post in Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, one post in general practice in Mercer's Medical Centre and two orthopaedic surgery posts in Cappagh Hospital are also available. Each of these posts is linked to a rotation through Beaumont Hospital. In addition to these and the medical and surgical specialities, rotations include posts in emergency medicine, anaesthetics, psychiatry and gynaecology.

  • Beaumont Hospital: 73 posts (incl 2 Cappagh, 1 Temple Street, 1 Mercer's Medical Centre)
  • Connolly Hospital: 24 posts
  • UH Waterford: 20 posts
  • OLOLH Drogheda: 24 posts

Application for medical internship in Ireland is organised centrally through the HSE, Health Business Services. Stage 1 of the application process opens in October with Stage 2 traditionally opening in February each year.

There are six intern networks in Ireland which are matched to each of the six Irish medical schools. There are a total of 733 intern posts in Ireland with each intern post matched to an intern network. The intern post matching process takes place in June of each year by the Health Business Services. Further information on the application process can be found on the HSE website.

Academic track intern posts

Academic track intern posts were first introduced into all intern networks in 2017. There are 24 academic intern posts nationally, four per network. Within Dublin North East (DNE), our academic posts are located in Beaumont Hospital. Academic interns spend one rotation (12 weeks) working on a project in the areas of clinical, health management or medical education research.

Whilst completing this rotation the academic intern has one-day clinical commitment per week, which can be arranged in a specialty that complements there area of research. The recruitment process for academic track is a separate campaign to traditional intern posts and can be found on the HSE website.

Within the DNE Network, there are five mandatory training days held during the year. There are also multiple optional courses that interns are encouraged to complete.

Mandatory training days

  • Applied Legal and Risk Management (Alarm) – Delivered by Dr Olwyn McWeeney
  • Stress Management and dealing with burnout – Delivered by Dr Eva Doherty
  • Managing Conflict in the workplace – Delivered by Dr Eva Doherty
  • Infection Control & Line Sepsis – Delivered by Prof. Hilary Humphries
  • Medication Safety – Delivered by Prof. David Williams and Diane Mullins (Senior Clinical Pharmacist)


A subscription to the BMJ learning online programme will be given to each intern in the network. Interns are required to complete a list of mandatory interactive modules (tutorials and MCQs). The aim of the programme is to aid self-directed learning and get interns started in recording Continuous Professional Development (CPD), which will be required throughout their careers.

Weekly teaching

Consultant delivered mandatory intern teaching takes place once a week in all DNE hospitals.

Optional courses

  • Early Warning Score
  • Advanced Practical Skills
  • Interview Skills and Preparing your CV
  • Mastering your risk
  • TEAM
  • Train the Trainer

Intern-led Teaching

All interns are encouraged to develop their teaching portfolios by participating in the ‘Intern-led Teaching Programme’ for all SC2 (final RCSI Medicine students), on their hospital attachments. This programme encourages interns who are interested in teaching and offers medical students a peer-led teaching experience.

The programme entails interns completing the Train the Trainer course and partaking in the formal medical school curriculum and informal bedside teaching sessions. Each year the intern coordinator also recognises an intern tutor from each of the DNE-affiliated hospitals for their excellence and an award is presented to them at intern induction.

Within the DNE Network, interns can compete for one of the following prestigious postgraduate medals.

  • Beaumont Hospital: Lyons Medal in Medicine and McDonnell Medal in Surgery
  • Connolly Hospital: Parnell Keeling Award
  • UH Waterford: Gordon Watson Medal
  • OLOLH Drogheda: Mary Mother Martin Medal

The winner of the 'Intern of the Year Award' is selected by their co-interns, to recognise an intern who has demonstrated excellence in their professional practice and contribution to the intern group.