Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Emergency Medicine Training in Ireland

Emergency Medicine is a field of practice based on the knowledge and skills required for the prevention, diagnosis and management of acute and urgent aspects of illness and injury affecting patients of all age groups with a full spectrum of undifferentiated physical and behavioural disorders.

It further encompasses an understanding of the development of pre-hospital and in-hospital emergency medical systems and the skills necessary for this development.

The National Emergency Medicine Training Programme (NEMTP) is a seven-year programme that takes doctors from internship (or later) through to Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in Emergency Medicine. The programme has two elements – three years of Core Specialist Training in Emergency Medicine (CSTEM) and four years of Advanced training (ASTEM). The programme is seamless in that trainees can progress from CSTEM to ASTEM without the need for additional training or experience. Progression is contingent on satisfactory completion of CSTEM, completion of the Intermediate Fellowship of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (or MRCEM) and success in a formal Assessment of Suitability for Advanced Training (ASAT) process.

While the aim of the programme is that Core trainees deemed suitable for Advanced training will progress, the number of Advanced training (SpR) posts available each year is determined in collaboration with HSE National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP). Where the numbers seeking to progress from Core to Advanced training exceeds the agreed number of SpR posts in any year, competition for the posts will apply.

Currently, there is provision for doctors who have not completed formal CSTEM training in Ireland to apply for ASTEM each year. Trainees in this category will need to present evidence of CSTEM equivalence and meet examination requirements to be considered for shortlisting. These trainees will compete for SpR posts not filled by NEMTP core trainees i.e. where the number of CSTEM year 3 trainees deemed suitable for progression to Advanced training is less than the total number of SpR posts available. NEMTP CSTEM year 3 trainees deemed suitable for Advanced training will get preference for SpR posts over non-training programme applicants.

It is not possible to predict with any degree of certainty the number, if any, of SpR posts that may be available to non-NEMTP doctors in any year. The Irish Committee for Emergency Medicine Training strongly recommends CSTEM as the principal route to ASTEM.