Higher Specialist Training in Occupational Medicine

Occupational Medicine doctor on site


Higher Specialist Training (HST) in Occupational Medicine is a four-year programme completed in Specialist Registrar (SpR) posts.

On 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.

Read more about our four-year programme in the curriculum.

Courses and Masterclasses.
Doctor examining x-ray.

Entry Requirements

You must have:

  • A certificate of completion of Basic Specialist Training (BST) in General Internal Medicine or evidence of an equivalent qualification, such as completion of General Practice training with the Irish College of General Practitioners
  • Achieved MRCPI in General Internal Medicine or MICGP or MRCP (UK) or evidence of knowledge, training and experience equivalent to MRCPI

What to Expect

Your HST programme will incorporate the following core elements:

  • At least 18 months in an industrial sector (e.g. heavy and light industry, engineering, electronics, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, chemical, transport)
  • A minimum of one year in the service sector (e.g. healthcare, financial services, insurance, office environment)
  • Work experience in units that offer a broad exposure to essential elements of Occupational Medicine

Over the four years of your HST programme, you will also:

  • Attend at least 800 occupational health clinics, including at least 100 sessions in a health service occupational health department
  • Carry out 20 industrial/worksite visits, covering a wide range of working environments. You will need to identify hazards and their assessment and control, and interact with safety officers, hygienists and environmental safety officers
  • See at least 400 occupational clinical cases each year. Cases should involve audiology, psychosocial, respiratory, dermatological, toxicological, rehabilitation, disability assessment and musculoskeletal conditions
  • Obtain knowledge and experience in other relevant specialties. This experience may be gained through personal reading, attendance at meetings or clinical attachment at outpatient clinics. Your trainer will help you identify which specialties you would benefit from

Your first two years of HST will be spent in full-time SpR posts in Ireland. After that, you can continue to train in full-time posts in Ireland, or you can start a period of full-time research or develop a subspecialty interest.

You can apply for up to 12 months’ credit towards your Certificate of Satisfactory Completion of Specialist Training (CSCST) for research undertaken during HST.

A trainee in Occupational Medicine must have experience in dealing with the impact of health on work, the effect of work on health, prevention of occupational injury and disease and the promotion of health, safety and welfare in the work environment.

Curriculum for Higher Specialist Training in Occupational Medicine

Course and masterclasses.

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

In addition to supervised onsite training, you will attend a number of mandatory courses and study days designed to help you develop professionally and acquire the non-clinical skills and knowledge needed to provide excellent patient care.

You are also required to pass two exams during HST: Licentiate of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (LFOM) and Membership of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (MFOM).

You should aim to sit the LFOM at the end of your second year of HST and you are expected to obtain the MFOM by the end of your third year.

Where are our Graduates now?

Facts About HST in Occupational Medicine

duration four years
Job title/grade of doctor Specialist Registrar (SpR)
Average intake each year 6

* these numbers are current and indicative and not a future predictor
Exams to pass • Licentiate of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (LFOM)
• Membership of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (MFOM)
Mandatory educational courses to be completed as part of HST • Performing Audit (in Year 1) – Run by RCPI
• Mastering Communications (in Year 1) – Run by RCPI
• Ethics I: Professionalism – Run by RCPI
• Ethics II: Law – Run by RCPI
• Ethics III: Research – Run by RCPI
• Ethics IV: Occupational Medicine – Run by RCPI
• Health Research Methods – An Introduction – Run by RCPI
• Building Resilience in a Challenging Working Environment – Run by RCPI
• HST Leadership in Clinical Practice (To be completed in Year 3 or later) – Run by RCPI
• Management issues in occupational medicine – Can be completed outside RCPI
• Basic Life Support (BLS) – Run by multiple agencies
Study days to attend Eight per year
Training body Faculty of Occupational Medicine, RCPI

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