To train to be a psychiatrist you must first qualify as a general doctor, which means completion of an undergraduate medical school qualification and then an internship in a hospital. Intern training is for a minimum of 12 months, which encompasses a minimum of 3 months in general surgery plus 3 months in general medicine. The remaining time allows opportunity to train in two medical specialities of which psychiatry is one. A general doctor must register on the ‘General Division’ of the Irish Medical Council’s Register of Medical Specialists.
Once accepted onto the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland training scheme to become a psychiatrist the doctor must register on the ‘Trainee Division’ of the Medical Council. The College of Psychiatrists of Ireland is the only body in Ireland approved to train doctors to become psychiatrists.
To become a specialist doctor in psychiatry takes at least seven years.
Psychiatry training is divided into ‘Basic Specialist Training’ (BST) followed by ‘Higher Specialist Training’ (HST).
Once HST is complete, and certified, the doctor is now a fully qualified specialist in psychiatry and is eligible, and should, register on the Irish Medical Council ‘Specialist Division’. As specialists, they can then apply for consultant posts in health services but even if not in such a post, they are still fully qualified to work as a specialist.