Course Title TCD/HSE Specialist Training Programme
Qualification Vocational Training
Duration Four years


The TCD/HSE Specialist Training Programme in General Practice provides 4-year vocational training for medical postgraduates.

Specialist training in general practice is a mandatory requirement to practice as a GP in Ireland. The TCD/HSE General Practice Training Programme is one of 11 schemes in the Republic of Ireland providing such specialist training.

Full details of these schemes is obtainable from the Irish College of General Practitioners which is responsible for the central administration of the Specialist Registrar scheme.

The Eastern Regional General Practice Training Programme (ERGPTP) was set up in 1975 with an annual intake of 4 trainees, who were vocationally trained for a career in general practice following registration as medical practitioners.

Since its inception more than 30 years ago, the ERGPTP has had over 250 graduates and the annual intake has now expanded to 12 trainees who undergo training over a 4-year period. The programme is integrated with and based at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care and is a joint Health Service Executive/Trinity College venture.

The current programme consists of 4-month rotations in the following specialties for the first 2 years of training:

Year 1 and 2

  • Psychiatry (1)
  • Medicine of the Elderly
  • Emergency Medicine
  • General Medicine
  • Palliative Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics
  • Psychiatry (2)

For the final two years of the programme, the trainees spend 2 years in teaching practice posts under the supervision of two different GP trainers. Hospital rotations are based in 14 locations around Dublin and 25 training practices are associated with the programme. The hospital and general practice training posts are augmented by weekly half-day release programmes for trainees in their first two years and by weekly full-day release programmes in the final two years. In the final year of the programme the Registrars undertake research projects, based in the general practice setting. All trainees entering the scheme must accept postings to any of the Programme's hospitals or training practices.

If you have any queries don't hesitate to call + 353 1 896 3460.

Name Title Email
Dr. Jim McShane Director
Dr. Aisling Ní Shuilleabháin Assistant Director
Dr. Darach O'Ciardha Assistant Director
Dr Frank O'Leary Assistant Director  
Dr. Brendan O’Shea Assistant Director
Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Kennedy Assistant Director  
Dr. Catherine Darker Assistant Director
Ms. Audrey Murray Administrator

The Process Timeline
Available places on training programmes advertised in national and medical media 1st week in January each year
Online application available to candidates 1st week in January each year
Closing date for receipt of completed applications in Irish College of General Practitioners Mid to last week in January each year
Written notification of interview dates for candidates Interviews take place in all schemes, late February - mid March
First round offers posted to candidates Mid-Late March
Closing date for acceptance of first round offers Late March
Second and third round offers and acceptances End March - Mid April
Commence Training Beginning of July

N.B. these are guidelines only - specific dates available from the ICGP website.


  • TCD/HSE Specialist Training Programme in General Practice, Celebrating our 30th Anniversary (September 2005)
  • Structure of General Practice in Ireland 1982 - 2005 (May 2006)
  • A National Census of Irish General Practice Training Programme Graduates 1997 - 2003 (September 2008)
  • Proceedings of Colloquium in honour of Dr Michael Flynn, October 2009 (May 2010)
  • A National Survey of Chronic Disease Management in Irish General Practice (June 2011)
  • A National Survey of GP Trainees 2012 (December 2012)