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Public Health Medicine: What you need to know

The Medical Council recognises 57 medical specialties for the purposes of specialist registration in Ireland. This article explains the specialty of Public Health Medicine.


What is Public Health Medicine?

Public Health Medicine is about improving and protecting the health of the population, as a whole. Public Health doctors have specialist knowledge of health protection, health service development and health improvement. Doctors in this specialty work in national government agencies, local communities and voluntary organisations. Public Health doctors are also trained to manage and advise governments on outbreaks of disease, for example air, food or water borne illnesses.


The Faculty of Public Health Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland is responsible for training, education and standards of practice in Public Health Medicine in Ireland. The current training pathway involves six years of post-internship training (two years at basic specialist training level and four years at higher specialist training level).


Successful completion of the national training programme, leading to the award of a Certificate of Satisfactory Completion of Specialist Training, will enable doctors to register as specialists in Public Health Medicine on the Medical Council’s Register.