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Medical student electives/observerships and international medical graduates

  • 09-04-2021 10:57pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1 sonicm

    I'm a medical student currently in my 4th year in Bulgaria. I want to come back to Ireland, and I would like to gain experience and prepare myself. Can anyone tell me how opportunities for students to take part in any observerships or electives are?

    I also heard that international medical graduates aren't allowed to intern in Ireland and start from SHO. Is there any way to get an internship in Ireland? If not, how do I make sure I'm ready for SHO?



  • Registered Users Posts: 167 ✭✭ RoamingDoc

    For observerships, you'll have to contact individual hospitals or medical schools and see what arrangements they can make. These are getting very difficult to arrange as you won't have the necessary garda clearance, occ health clearance etc. that medical students affiliated with current hospitals have so there will be difficulties. However, students in Irish medical schools routinely arrange electives abroad so it can be done. The Covid situation will make this variable though - a lot of current students aren't on the wards at the moment or have very controlled education settings so this will be difficult to arrange.

    You're not going to be able to get a spot on the Irish intern programme. By virtue of graduating from Bulgaria and doing the full programme there, you'll have what's termed a "Certificate of Experience" and will not be eligible for an internship here. There's little that can be done to address this (you'll have the base knowledge but not the experience) apart from just telling everyone you work with about your situation. Provided everyone knows what you can and can't handle - you should be ok. I worked with someone who graduated from Hungary a long time ago and the only issue I had was that he never informed us what his previous experience was so I overestimated what his competence was. As a registrar, it's my job to look out for the junior members of the team as well as the patients. That can't be done without the full story.

    It's best to apply for posts in ward and clinic based specialties. Essentially, you need to have a consistent team to help you get the hang of things.
    Don't do call until you've been around for a while. You're coming in as an SHO so those who don't know you will assume you know what's going on and the interns will be depending on you.