Definition of Eligible General Practice Experience

Definition of General Practice

The European definition of the Discipline and Speciality of General Practice/Family Medicine (2002) states "General Practice is an academic and scientific discipline and a clinical speciality with its own educational content, research and evidence base and clinical activity, orientated to primary care"


The European Definition

"General Practitioners/family doctors are specialist physicians trained in the principles of the discipline. They are personal doctors, primarily responsible for the provision of comprehensive and continuing care to every individual seeking medical care irrespective of age, sex and illness. They care for individuals in the context of their family, their community and their culture, always respecting the autonomy of their patients. They recognise they will also have a professional responsibility to their community. In negotiating management plans with their patients they integrate physical, psychological, social, cultural and existential factors, utilising the knowledge and trust engendered by repeated contacts. General Practitioners/family physicians exercise their professional role by promoting health, preventing disease and providing cure, care, or palliation. This is done either directly or through the services of others according to the health needs and resources available within the community they serve, assisting patients where necessary in accessing these services. They must take the responsibility for developing and maintaining their skills, personal balance and values as a basis for effective and safe health care."

In order for experience to be considered as "general practice" experience, it must fulfil the above criteria.


Definition of "full time general practice" for application purposes

This is defined as working greater than or equal to eight sessions per week in general practice for a minimum of 75% of a calendar year. This is equivalent to 312 sessions per year. A maximum of 312 sessions will be credited in any one calendar year.


Definition of "part time general practice" for application purposes

This is defined as working greater than or equal to three sessions (achieved on a minimum of two days) but less than 8 sessions per week spent in general practice.

Note: One session is equal to 3.5 hours. (3 hours of patient contact plus 30 minutes administration)


Locum Posts

Locum general practice posts MUST be a minimum of THREE months duration in the same location to be eligible for inclusion.


Specialist Posts

Specialist posts are posts that do NOT fulfil the definition of general practice work as they do not expose the candidate to the full range of problems encountered in Irish general practice. Such experience may only account for a maximum of 25% of the total required General Practice experience.

The following are considered to be specialised posts (list is not exhaustive):

  • Doctor in a Well-Woman clinic
  • Medical officer to a sporting club
  • Out of hours General Practice co-operative work
  • Doctor in the Prison Service
  • Doctor in a Specialist Clinic 

If you are unsure as to whether your current post falls within the definition of General Practice Work, please check with the ICGP prior to application.

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