Higher Specialist Training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Obstetrics and Gynecology.


Higher Specialist Training (HST) in Obstetrics and Gynaecology is a five-year programme completed in Specialist Registrar (SpR) posts.

On satisfactory completion of HST, you will receive a Certificate of Satisfactory Completion of Specialist Training (CSCST) which allows you to enter the Specialist Division of the Register with the Medical Council.

This means you can apply for consultant posts.

Many doctors spend some time working abroad and building up their portfolio of research, audits and publications before becoming a consultant.

However, you will have met the core requirement for consultant appointment, which is registration on the Specialist Division of the Register with the Medical Council.

To find out what HST in Obstetrics and Gynaecology involves download the curriculum.

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Entry Requirements

You must have:

  • A certificate of completion of Basic Specialist Training (BST) in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Achieved MRCPI in Obstetrics and Gynaecology or MRCOG or evidence of an equivalent qualification
  • At least 36 months’ experience in Obstetrics and Gynaecology

What to Expect

Your earlier years of HST will be focused on gaining general exposure to Obstetrics and Gynaecology under appropriate supervision. More hands-on experience will come as your confidence grows and you will be encouraged to take on a greater degree of responsibility and independence.

Your HST programme will incorporate the following core elements:

  • Exposure to Obstetrics and Gynaecology practice in a variety of settings, including standalone maternity hospitals and academic teaching hospitals, both voluntary and HSE
  • Exposure to Gynaecology in a variety of hospital settings

Your first three years of HST will be spent in full-time clinical SpR Regional Hub posts in Ireland. These hubs are largely regional based.  Allocations to hubs will be randnomly allocated to trainees who are successful at interview.

You must complete the first three years on the programme in your allocated hub.  If at any time you take leave in the first three year from the programme, you will continue on your planned rotations and return to the rotations missed in the same clinical site or similiar site in the same hub.  Allocations are at the discretion of the National Specialty Directors who are the ultimate decision makers for allocations.

For further details please see the HST Obstetrics & Gynaecology Handbook.

After completing three years in your clinical training, you can apply for up to 12 months’ credit towards your Certificate of Satisfactory Completion of Specialist Training (CSCST) for a research or clinical post out of programme, should you wish to undertake this type of post. Once your OPCE application is approved you will be asked to meet certain criteria to be awarded your 12 months’ credit. Criteria information is found in the HST Handbook.

During the final two years of SpR posts, if you do not go on OCPE, you will be asked to rank your choices of clinical Hospital sites suitable for you. Allocations are at the discretion of the National Speciality Directors and who are the ultimate decisions makers for allocations.

We will endeavour to be as flexible as possible, within the confines of your training requirements in O&G, to allow you to develop a special or subspecialty interest.

You can choose one of the following special interest modules in your fourth or fifth year of HST:

  • Gynaecology
  • Maternal Medicine
  • Urogynaecology/urodynamics
  • Labour ward

Finally, you will be required to complete your final six months of training on the HST Scheme in a full-time clinical post in Ireland.

For further policies and information please refer to the HST Obstetrics and Gynaecology Handbook.

What Do I Need to Do in Addition to Clinical Training?

In addition to supervised clinical training in the hospital, you will attend a number of mandatory courses and study days,

These are designed to help you develop professionally and acquire the non-clinical skills and knowledge needed to provide excellent patient care.

Where are our Graduates now?

Facts About HST in Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Duration Five years
Job title/grade of doctor Specialist Registrar (SpR)
Average intake each year 15

* these numbers are current and indicative and not a future predictor
Exams to pass None
Mandatory educational courses to be completed as part of HST • Minimal Access Skills for Obstetrics and Gynaecology (To be completed in first year of HST) – Run by RCPI
• Ethics I: Professionalism – Run by RCPI
• Ethics II: Law – Run by RCPI
• Ethics III: Research – Run by RCPI
• Ethics IV: Obstetrics & Gynaecology – Run by RCPI
• Mastering Communications – Run by RCPI
• Performing Audit – Run by RCPI
• Health Research Methods – An Introduction – Run by RCPI
• Leadership in Clinical Practice (To be completed in third year of HST or later) – Run by RCPI
Study days to attend Four per year
Training body Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, RCPI

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