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General and Emergency Surgery


Training pathway

The training pathway to becoming a general and emergency surgeon in Ireland commences at Core Surgical Training (ST1) and completes at Specialty Training (ST8).

Within these eight years of training, you will undergo two years of CST in ST1 and ST2 – core training is undertaken by all surgical trainees, irrespective of their future specialty aspiration, and aims to introduce all trainees to the principles of surgery in general and give them the knowledge, skills and attitudes required in preparation for Specialty Training (ST3 - ST8).

Throughout these initial two years, you will be assessed via the Competency Assessment and Performance Appraisal (CAPA) process.

ST3 is entry-level into (higher) Specialty Training which completes at ST8. This is based on on-going CAPA, successful completion of the Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (MRCS) exam and a specialty interview (ST3 - ST8).

The proposed structure of this programme from ST3 onwards is as follows:

  • ST3 and ST4 – predominantly in a general and emergency surgery service.
  • ST5 and ST6 –  will provide the necessary exposure and training to the sub-specialty experience required by a general surgeon.
  • ST7 and ST8 – will predominantly focus on preparation for the general and emergency surgery posts across the hospital groups. There may also be an option to develop a proportional sub-specialty interest and if desirable, to consider a post-CCST fellowship.

Trainees will have the same entitlement to apply for OOPT or other time out to pursue activities such as research or a higher degree.  It is expected that a Trainee will develop a sub-specialist interest proportional to their planned area of practice.

All Specialty Training programmes have a defined curriculum that you will need to complete. Bi-annual assessments, training courses, wet labs and modalities, such as the Intercollegiate Surgical Training Programme (ISCP), are used to track progression throughout ST3 - ST8. You will need to complete the curriculum and Fellowship Exam of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in order to achieve a Certificate of Completion of Surgical Training (CCST) at the end of training which deems you eligible for registration with the Irish Medical Council.