Learn more about our international training initiatives

Supporting well qualified and highly motivated international doctors to train in Ireland

RCPI has a long tradition of supporting the health and wellbeing of the population at home and abroad through its postgraduate medical training programmes.

Today, more than 50% of our 11,000 Licentiates, Members and Fellows practice outside Ireland. Many have also spent time working in other international health services before returning to Ireland with experiences that have helped to improve patient care and enhance standards and quality.

RCPI and its Faculties have strong relationships with sister medical colleges in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and Hong Kong.

We have Chapters in India, Oman, China and the United Arab Emirates that provide an infrastructure for collaboration with medical and government organisations that help us to deliver exams, education and medical training at a local level.

Working with our partners to develop a framework for international training opportunities

As a continuation of this work we have joined with the HSE and other medical training bodies within the Forum of Irish Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies and HSE National Doctors Training and Planning to develop a framework to attract well qualified and highly motivated international doctors to train in Ireland.

There are currently two streams of training developed within this framework, one that fills vacant HSE posts and a second where doctors are fully sponsored for training.

Separately, RCPI, in collaboration with the HSE, funds and leads the EQUALS initiative in Zambia. EQUALS organises the donation of decommissioned Irish medical equipment to hospitals in less developed countries and provides training to improve the quality of services in the hospitals that receive donated equipment.

Developing International Postgraduate Medical Training Programmes in response to increasing demand

There is a long-standing international practice for postgraduate doctors to be sponsored by their host Ministries to undertake all or part of their training abroad. This is particularly well established for doctors in training from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) area going to Canada, United States of America, Northern Europe and the UK.

Recently there has been an increasing demand from International Trainees, Training Bodies and indeed Ministries for access to structured postgraduate training in Ireland to meet their healthcare training needs.

There was also a growing recognition that, as internationally recognised training bodies, the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and its Institutes and Faculties have the competence and capacity to meet this need.

International Clinical Fellowship Programme established in 2013

In 2013 we established the International Clinical Fellowship Programme, followed by the Joint Residency Training Programme in 2016.

To date, 25 medical graduates from Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have completed the International Clinical Fellowship programme.

At this time we have 58 trainees from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on both Programmes who are undertaking part of their medical training in the Irish health service.

Candidates must meet the general entry requirements for training and are selected on merit, following a competitive interview process.

To date, the gender balance of participants is almost 50/50 male and female for our sponsored programmes.

Collaborating with the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan

In conjunction with the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP), the HSE and the Forum of Irish Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies, including RCPI, has developed a Postgraduate Scholarship Programme for doctors in Ireland.

Doctors on this programme work in the Irish Healthcare system and undertake a structured two-year postgraduate training programme in Ireland.

RCPI has been accepting trainees on to this programme since 2014 and 96 doctors have completed this training. Currently there are 65 trainees participating in the programme.

Trainee at College event

Collaborating with the Sudan Medical Specialisation Board

In conjunction with the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP), the HSE and the Forum of Irish Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies, including RCPI, has developed a Postgraduate Scholarship Programme for doctors in Ireland.

Doctors on this programme work in the Irish Healthcare system and undertake a structured two-year postgraduate training programme in Ireland.

RCPI has been accepting trainees on to this programme since 2014 and 96 doctors have completed this training. Currently there are 65 trainees participating in the programme.

Meeting health system needs in Pakistan and Sudan

Trainees from Pakistan and Sudan are selected by their Ministries in specialties where there is an identified need in their public health services so that when they return home they can take up those positions in their public hospitals.

These programmes are similar to those offered in the public health systems in the UK, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

EQUALS Initiative

The EQUALS Initiative, established in 2013, is a joint collaboration between RCPI and the HSE to source and donate good quality equipment which becomes freely available from Irish hospitals to hospitals in Zambia, in response to local need.

To date three 40ft containers of equipment have been shipped to Zambia.

RCPI and the HSE are working together to provide support to drive the development of postgraduate medical training in Zambia in collaboration with the Zambian Ministry of Health.