Programme Overview

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About the IMG Rural GP programme

The International Medical Graduate (IMG) Rural GP programme is an important component of the multifaceted Irish College of GPs response to the severe GP workforce crisis in Ireland, especially in rural Ireland. This workforce shortage has workload implications for our Irish College of GPs members, with profound implications for patient care and patient safety. The programme is supported by the Irish College of GPs, HSE and GP medical indemnity organisations.

The programme aims to identify, support and integrate a cohort of GPs into the rural Irish GP workforce. It incorporates two years of a self-directed learning and supervised practice. 

IMG GPs will be enabled to work in routine, daytime rural GP practice for two years, with some GP out-of-hours work. The Irish College of GPs and the 'host' GP practice will provide substantial ongoing education supports and the GP practice will provide clinical mentorship.

The programme team:

  • identifies and places suitably qualified, experienced GPs, in accordance with the programme criteria, in rural GP practices
  • facilitates supported and supervised practice
  • provides a four-day introduction programme, which requires mandatory attendance by the GPs
  • signposts the GPs to educational resources for self-directed learning 
  • assists the GP to undertake the ICGP (MICGP) exam, leading to Specialist Registration with the Irish Medical Council
  • encourages the retention of the IMG Rural GP in Irish general practice

Patient Safety

Patient safety is our top priority. The programme will provide a robust education programme, including generous protected study time. This, combined with ongoing clinical mentorship, will help ensure that participants practice safely and learn effectively. The programme will enable successful participants to undertake the MICGP exam, a benchmark of professional competence.

The programme will have ongoing evaluation of both process and outcomes.