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HSE Dublin Mid-Leinster (UCD) Specialist Training Scheme in General Practice

24 September 2020
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Tel: 01 7166626


Where are we?

HSE Dublin Mid-Leinster (UCD) GP Specialist Training Scheme, Room C219, Health Science Complex, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4.
Tel: 01 7166626 
Fax: 01 7166584
Mobile: 087 983 4234

Click here for a map of UCD.

Click here for a map of the hospital and training practices.

Vision of the Scheme

"Learn to Practice"

To provide a learning environment that facilitates the training of competent GP's capable of meeting the needs of the community through lifelong learning, while attending to their own personal and professional development.


The East Coast GP Training Scheme was founded in UCD, Belfield, in 2002 with the first intake of trainee in July 2003. The Scheme was initially a 5-year scheme, but reverted to 4-year programme in line with all other programmes in Ireland in 2006, along with a name change to HSE Dublin Mid-Leinster Specialist Training in General Practice, but still based in UCD . The Scheme has grown in size and stature in the intervening years and in 2020 had an intake of 15 trainees annually, with a high retention rate of GPs in the area post-graduation. We have also facilitated a number of trainees with Prior Recognition of Learning (RPL) with a 3-year scheme. The Scheme is fully accredited with the ICGP National Programme in General Practice Specialist Training.

Scheme structure

The Scheme is a four-year programme in General Practice Training which is split into two different componentsThere are currently 24 hospital placements and all of the scheme placements have been marked on the attached map.

1. Hospital placements: Years 1 & 2

Year 1: Full year in Psychiatry, General Medicine & Emergency Medicine

Year 2: Full year in Medicine for Elderly, Paediatrics, Palliative Care, Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

Trainees rotate through 4-month Hospital posts in 6 of the following disciplines:

  • General Medicine (Tallaght Hospital x1, Mullingar Regional Hospital x2, Our Lady of Lourdes, Drogheda x1 and Loughlinstown Hospital x1)
  • Medicine for the Elderly (Royal Hospital Donnybrook x1, St Michaels Dun Laoghaire x1, St Vincent's University Hospital x2 and Clontarf Hospital x1)
  • Psychiatry (Cluain Mhuire Blackrock x2, St Vincent's University Hospital x2 and Newcastle Hospital, Greystones x1.)
  • Paediatrics (Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children Crumlin x4, Temple Street Children's Hospital x1)
  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology (Holles Street x1, Rotunda Hospital x1 and Coombe Womens x1)
  • Emergency Medicine (St James Hospital x1, Connolly Memorial Hospital x1 and St Vincent's Hospital x2)
  • Palliative Care (Blackrock Hospice x1 and Wicklow Hospice x1)

All of these posts are accredited training posts by the scheme and are regularly visited for re-accreditation purposes. Trainees attend Day Release in UCD on Tuesday afternoons while in the training posts in the first 2 years.

2. General practice placements: Years 3 & 4

Year 3: Full year in training practice with full day Tuesday at day release 
Year 4: Full year in training practice with full day Tuesday at day release

There are currently 25 GP Trainers involved in training with the scheme. The demographics cover the full remit of GP Practice experiences in order to gain a rounded training in GP which includes a healthy mix of male and female trainers, group and single-handed practices, rural and urban practices, variety of out-of-hours exposure and special interest fields.

Trainees can expect to experience community practice in two of the following areas during their training:

  • Dublin – Skerries, Sutton, Swords, Glasnevin, Finglas, Blanchardstown, City Centre, Rathmines, Dundrum, Rathfarnham, Dun Laoghaire, Sallynoggin.
  • Wicklow – Greystones, Bray, Newtownmountkennedy, Ashford, Arklow, Tinahely
  • Meath – Ashbourne
  • Kildare – Leixlip
  • Wexford - Gorey

Day Release Programme

Day release meetings are held on scheduled Tuesdays in UCD, Belfield which brings the full GP trainee group together for educational sessions in a small group setting and in a learner-centred environment. The Curriculum is driven by the trainee learning needs based on the ICGP Curriculum 2019 and sessions are facilitated by the Programme Directing team with occasional external expert resources.

The programme provides learning experiences to allow:

  • The opportunity to develop competence in general practice.
  • An environment that facilitates personal and professional development.
  • A multi-disciplinary programme directing team.
  • A collaborative environment that facilitates adult learning.
  • Integration within the primary care team and the wider community.

 A variety of teaching approaches are employed including:

  • Small-group learning
  • Shared-experience learning
  • Collaborative learning
  • Plenary sessions with all trainees participating
  • Problem-based learning
  • Role Play

Day release meetings are facilitated by:

  • The programme directing team
  • Trainees
  • Visiting specialists (as required)
  • Off-site learning opportunities

Trainees are encouraged to complete all modules of MICGP at the appropriate steps in training and upon completion of the scheme they should be eligible for inclusion on the Specialist Register for General Practice with the Irish Medical Council.

Scheme highlights

  • Self-Care Module
  • Women's Health Module leading to Certificate in Contraception
  • Practice Management Module
  • Strong emphasis on Audit throughout first three years
  • Research Module in Year 4 with Annual Research Colloquium
  • Education Through the Arts Module (ETTA)
  • Psychology and Self-Development Module
  • Conjoint Trainee/Trainer meetings


The programme is funded by the Health Service Executive.

Who are we?

Dr Daragh O'Neill, Programme Director

Dr. O'Neill is a vocationally trained GP, graduating from the Midlands Training Scheme in 1999. He is a GP principal in a modern urban practice in Drogheda, Co Louth. He is Associate Clinical Professor of General Practice, Forensic and Legal Medicine in UCD and has been a GP trainer with the North-East Training Scheme since 2002 and has been involved with undergraduate Teaching since 2001 with both UCD & RCSI. He was appointed Programme Director of the UCD GP Scheme in 2010 and he has a particular interest in education in the community setting and has a Higher Diploma in HPE, leadership and succession, LARC, and family planning.

Dr Anne Mulrooney, Assistant Programme Director

Dr Mulrooney is a graduate of NUI Galway. After completing the South-East Training Scheme, she began working as an assistant GP in the North East. She has completed a Masters in Medical Education in Dundee, Scotland. In 2010, Dr. Mulrooney opened a GP practice in Naas, where she is a GP trainer with the Midlands Training Scheme.

Ms Maria Leahy, Assistant Programme Director

Ms Leahy trained in nursing and midwifery in the UK. She was a clinical midwifery manager in Guy's Hospital and a community midwifery manager in South East London. Ms Leahy has been involved in GP training in Ireland since 1998. She has a Masters in Marketing and a Masters in Medical Education.

Dr Réamonn O'Donnchadha, Assistant Programme Director

Dr O Donnachadha is a Jungian psychotherapist, a university teacher, an author, and a poet.

Dr Alan Barry, Assistant Programme Director

Dr Barry, a graduate of UCD, completed the UCD/HSE Mid Leinster General Practice Training Programme in 2009. He is a GP principal practicing in Ballyfermot, Dublin. He completed a Masters in Medical Education through Queen's University Belfast in 2011. Dr Barry has a keen interest in sport, particularly hurling and golf.

Programme Administrator:

Ms Méabh Ni Cléírígh


 UCD GP Training Prospectus 2020 (UCD_GP_Training_Prospectus_2020.pdf | 318 KB)


 UCD Recruitment 2021 (UCD_Recruitment_2021.pdf | 419 KB)