For COVID-19 information, updates & support, visit our Clinical Hub »

Western Training Scheme

24 September 2020
print version

Western Training Scheme

Tel: 091 544 253/521 519
Fax: 091 521 519

Programme Director: Dr Genevieve McGuire (Mobile: 087 4175133)
Assistant Programme Directors: Dr Anne Marie Regan, Dr Pat Durcan (Mobile: 087 2566331), Dr Eamonn O'Shea, Dr John McCormack, Dr Maureen Kelly


The aim of the Western Training Scheme in General Practice is to prepare doctors for a life in general practice in Ireland. To this end, the programme offers four years of a series of appropriate posts in hospital and general practice, with a weekly release programme during term time so that on completion graduates are equipped to embark on a career in general practice. They are also entitled to sit the membership examination of the Irish College of General Practitioners and ultimately gain entry to the specialist register of General Practitioners of the Medical Council of Ireland which in turn gives an entitlement to enter into all state contracts, i.e. GMS (Medical Card Scheme) in general practice, in Ireland and across the EU.

The principles underlying every aspect of the programme are those of adult learning. The day release course is learner-centred, problem-based and self-resourced in a small group setting.


The Western Training Scheme in General Practice offers four years structured training with an intake of 18 trainees per year. New entrants take up post on the second Monday of July each year, commencing with two years of hospital posts comprising four or six month rotations in Emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, psychiatry, paediatrics, medicine and geriatrics. The remaining 24 months are spent in general practice in 2 different GP training practices. Each trainee will have an opportunity to spend some portion of training outside Galway city. Training practices are paired to ensure that each trainee gains a varied experience in General Practice in the region.

Release course

Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon Zoom meetings are currently run so that all hospital based trainees follow the ICGP curriculum in 3 mixed experience small groups and engage in case discussion drawn from their own workload. GP based trainees based in general practice have a morning programme which covers consultation skills, research skills, ENT, ophthalmology, dermatology, therapeutics and practice management and their afternoons are given over to practice management topics and case discussion. The release course also incorporates a family planning theoretical module for certification purposes. The fourth year Day Release Programme focuses on identifying and addressing the individual and group learning needs of participants through the use of personal learning plans.

For further information, please contact Aoife, Programme Administrator, at GP Training Office, Nurses Home, University College Hospital, Galway, Tel: 087 0517228

ICGP GP Trainee Recruitment Application & Information Session

Representatives of the Western Training Scheme in General Practice will hold a Zoom information evening in Galway on 21st October 2020 at 6pm.