Higher Specialist Training in Pharmaceutical Medicine in Ireland

Higher Specialist Training (HST) provides structured, supervised training at Specialist Registrar (SpR) level. On satisfactory completion of training, the trainee is awarded a Certificate of Satisfactory Completion of Specialist Training (CSCST) which entitles him/her to enter the Specialist Division of the Register with the Medical Council in Ireland. In 2005, Ms Mary Harney, then Minister for Health, formally approved the recognition of Pharmaceutical Medicine as a medical specialty in Ireland. Since then, the educational subcommittee of the APPI has been working with the RCPI [successive Deans of Higher Medical Training and the postgraduate specialist medical training division] to establish a HST programme for pharmaceutical physicians in Ireland.  

To date, the members of the educational committee have achieved entry to the Specialist Division of the Medical Register in the specialty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, using the direct entry route (Category E in the Medical Council application system). This required provision of substantial documentation to prove competence in all areas of pharmaceutical medicine, using the UK Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine curriculum as a benchmark. The evaluation process was undertaken by the RCPI on behalf of the Medical Council of Ireland, and included external expert review.

In addition, the education committee has finalised a draft proposal for the establishment of a HST programme for pharmaceutical medicine, in association with the RCPI, which contains speciality-specific training modules as well as the generic competences required for all HST programmes. This process involved protracted discussions and many meetings with personnel from the postgraduate specialist medical training division of RCPI in order to provide information on the specialty, and to explain how it differed from other specialties already run by the College. These documents are currently awaiting review by the current dean of HMT and the ICHMT (Irish Committee for Higher Medical Training).

Below is the RCPI's press release regarding the recent approval of the HST programme for Pharmaceutical Medicine: