First cohort of trainees to graduate from the South West Specialist Training Programme in General Practice this July

South West Specialist Training Programme July will see the first cohort of trainees graduate from the South West Specialist Training Programme in General Practice; one of 14 programmes run nationwide by the Irish College of General Practitioners. 

There has long been an aspiration to establish an independent training scheme for general practice in the South West region.  This is because of the geography and demography of this area - the presence of a dynamic teaching General Hospital to act as a hub and a cohesive G.P Trainer group to promote and to support such an initiative. These factors coupled with the state-of-the-art teaching facilities at the IT, Tralee ensured the appropriate requirements for the successful running of the programme. The Institute of Technology, Tralee is the only IOT nationally to host the GP training programme.

With the agreed philosophy of the Department of Health and Children and Irish College of General Practitioners to expand G.P. training places, a programme for G.P. training was established in the South West in 2007.  There are currently 8 trainees in year 1 and 6 trainees in each of the years 2, 3 and 4 representing a total of 26 trainees attending the programme in Kerry.

In addressing the 2007 entrants to the programme, Dr. Bertie Daly acknowledged the input of the IT Tralee in the set-up and running of the programme. â¿¿The establishment of this scheme was greatly facilitated by the Institute of Technology, Tralee.  The links with the Institute of Technology gave us a firm support in infrastructure and educational philosophy in our quest to develop a highly effective general practice training programme.⿝

Dr. Oliver Murphy, Acting President of IT Tralee acknowledged the excellent work of all those involved in the initiative and wished the final year trainees well in their future endeavours. He stated â¿¿this project is an excellent example of the utilisation of public infrastructure across government departments.  The scheme would never have been established in Tralee without the vision and dynamic leadership of the GP Trainer Group and the presence of a teaching hospital in Tralee.  We have an excellent working relationship with all involved in this scheme, particularly with Dr. John Casey, Dr. Bertie Daly and Ita Kirwan and I would like to acknowledge their work and commitment in successful delivering this training programme to the county.⿝

After the first cohort of students graduate, the South West will continue to benefit from the GP training scheme as a number of the graduates are intending to assume GP positions in various practices throughout the region.