Ireland – Doctors

Ireland flag and shamrockThe Republic of Ireland with its ca. 4.5 million inhabitants is a major destination country for foreign doctors. Ca. 35 % of the 16 392 doctors registered with the country’s Medical Council in June 2012 graduated from a medical school abroad. Most of them are of non-EU origin and from Eastern Europe, such as Romania, Poland and Hungary.

There are six medical schools in Ireland offering 4 to 6-year programmes: University College Dublin; University College Cork; University of Limerick; National University of Ireland, Galway; Trinity College Dublin; Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

In order to practise medicine in Ireland, inclusion in the Register of Medical Practitioners maintained by the Medical Council as oversight body is mandatory. The register comprises four main Divisions:

  • Trainee Specialist Division Internship registration is appropriate for graduates of most Irish and EEA medical schools, who wish to commence their internship training, and trainee specialist registration for doctors completing their medical specialist training in Ireland.
  • Specialist Division – Specialist registration is appropriate for medical practitioners who have completed specialist training recognised by the Medical Council. There are 52 medical specialties in Ireland. Increasing registrations in the past years reflect a clear trend of growing specialisation.
  • General Division General registration is appropriate for non-specialist doctors. Most non-EU doctors coming to work in Ireland are registered here.
  • Visiting EEA Practitioners Division for eligible EU/EEA/Swiss citizens wishing to practise medicine in Ireland on a temporary and/or occasional basis.

For the purpose of registration EU/EEA/Swiss nationals benefit from automatic recognition of their basic and/or specialty medical training under EU Directive 2005/36/EC. Third country nationals face special requirements (e.g. certificate of experience, Pre-Registration Examination System “PRES”). More information is available from the Medical Council of Ireland.

Sufficient English language skills are of course practically mandatory, whereas Irish language skills (Irish is the “national language” according to the Constitution!) may be beneficial.

Further info: