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Basic Specialist Training

General Internal Medicine




The First Step Towards Specialisation

Basic Specialist Training (BST) is a hospital-based training programme completed in Senior House Officer (SHO) posts. It prepares you for Higher Specialist Training (HST), which is the final stage of training.

Completion of the intern year is an essential entry requirement.

BST is structured so that you rotate to a different post every three or six months, letting you experience different subspecialties and clinical teams. All posts approved for BST in Ireland are full-time and salaried.

In addition to supervised clinical training in the hospital, you will need to complete exams and courses designed to help you to develop professionally and acquire the skills and knowledge needed to provide excellent patient care.


About BST in General Internal Medicine

A more general training programme, Basic Specialist Training (BST) in General Internal Medicine is your gateway to 23 specialties.

BST in General Internal Medicine is broader and more general in nature, offering you the chance to experience lots of different subspecialties. It provides an excellent foundation for further training in 23 specialties and is a great choice if you want to keep your options open.

Completion of BST in General Internal Medicine is an essential entry requirement for Higher Specialist Training in:

  • Cardiology
  • Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Clinical Genetics
  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology and Diabetes Mellitus
  • Gastroenterology
  • Genitourinary Medicine
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medical Oncology
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Palliative Medicine
  • Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Respiratory Medicine
  • Rheumatology

Completion of BST in General Internal Medicine will also help you meet the entry requirements for Higher Specialist Training in:

  • Chemical Pathology
  • Clinical Microbiology
  • Haematology
  • Immunology
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Public Health Medicine
  • Radiology.

It will also provide valuable experience in acute medicine for those who want to undertake training in General Practice.


What to Expect

Basic Specialist Training in General Internal Medicine is a two-year programme completed in Senior House Officer (SHO) posts.

You will rotate to a different SHO post every three months. You will spend at least 12 months in posts involving acute unselected medical ‘take’ (general medical on-call) and you will rotate through at least three out of the following five core specialties:

  • Cardiology
  • Respiratory Medicine
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology

A minimum of six months will be spent outside your main metropolitan area and you will spend time in a Level 4 (large tertiary) hospital and a Level 3 (general) or Level 2 hospital (local hospital with selected/GP-referred medical patients). You must also pass the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (MRCPI) in General Medicine and complete a number of mandatory courses


Nine Hubs to Choose From

There are nine training hubs in BST in General Internal Medicine, which you will rank in order of preference during the application process.

We recommend that you include all nine hubs in your application, as you can rank them in order of preference later on.


Sample Rotation

Two-year rotation

Year 1 Year 2
July – September: Acute Medical Unit July – September: Geriatric Medicine
October – December: Neurology October – December: Cardiology
January - March: Respiratory Medicine January – March: Gastroenterology
April – June: Endocrinology  April – June: Rheumatology



Mandatory Exams and Courses

In addition to supervised clinical training, you must pass the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (MRCPI) examination in General Medicine and attend a number of mandatory courses, detailed in the links below.


Contact Us

We have a dedicated administrative team to support Trainees in Basic Specialist Training. They are happy to deal with any questions you have about BST.  Contact the team on


Institute of Medicine

The Institute of Medicine is accredited by the Medical Council of Ireland and is proud to meet the strict standards required to deliver postgraduate specialist training in 18 clinical medicine specialties in Ireland.

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