Six new doctors blaze trail over GP training
SIX newly qualified doctors are set to make educational history as the first GPs to have completed their training at an institute of technology.
The group of six, due to graduate in July, are well on their way to becoming family doctors working in their communities.
All have graduated with medical degrees from various universities but chose to complete their general practice training at the Tralee Institute of Technology -- the only IT to be able to offer the traineeship to young doctors.
The group, who are all from Cork and Kerry, are in the final stages of the four-year programme which aims to address the shortage of doctors working in general practice in Ireland.
Up until now, medical graduates who wanted to specialise in general practice took part in one of the 14 programmes run nationwide by the Irish College of General Practitioners.
"The whole purpose was to facilitate the supply of GPs in the south west," said administrator of the programme, Ita Kirwan. "There is a shortage of doctors nationally but particularly in the south west.
"But we could not have set up this programme without having a teaching hospital in the region and the trainees completed two years working in Kerry General Hospital and two years in a training practice where the doctors had applied to become trainers."