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People, Practices and Populations

4th Year, Clinical Medicine


For the 4th year medical student, the People, Practices and Populations course provides a further opportunity to study the provision of health care in the community and to examine health issues determined outside of the health sector. The course is timetabled over a two-month period, with each student attending small group tutorials in the department, and attachments to two general practices. The general practices used for attachments are located over the whole island of Ireland, to provide as much demographic variety as possible.

At the end of the course the student should be able to:

  • Describe the context of primary care and general practice in the community.
  • Describe the presentation and management of common problems encountered in general practice.
  • Carry out a consultation, which demonstrates appropriate medical interviewing skills, eliciting the patient’s ideas, concerns and expectations, and arrive at a decision that involves the patient.
  • List the major health problems that occur in Ireland and in other countries.
  • Describe the variety of illness seen in general practice.
  • Describe the impact of chronic disease on individuals and their families.
  • Analyse and describe the epidemiology of disease and the impact of socio-economic status on health and illness.
  • Familiarise him/herself with the process of professionalisation.

The timing of the eight week attachment is two weeks of initial seminars with preparatory coursework, then two attachments to two separate general practices, each of two weeks duration, one in the greater Dublin area and one further afield, with a final two weeks back in the classroom. This is the main attachment outside of the acute hospital sector in the clinical years and the focus of learning concentrates on the broad spectrum of conditions that present to general practitioners and how they are managed.   The course also takes a population perspective in relation to health issues.  Students are expected to collect data and analyse and comment on it during this attachment.

Click here for details of the De Renzy prize awarded annually on the basis of examination results achieved in this course.

Last updated 23 November 2016 Mary O'Neill (Email).