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Dr Jim Crowley, National Specialty Director of the Irish Board for Training in Cardiovascular Medicine, delivered a talk in which he referred to the high success rate of Irish exam candidates.
“Ireland actually does very well in the ESC exams, which are of course now mandatory to pass as part of SpR training,” Dr Crowley said at the meeting. “Last year, everybody passed and did exceptionally well — our average results were much better than most other European countries.
“As part of our commitment to the ESC exams, we have to contribute and attend some of the European education and question-setting meetings.”
He added that the Irish cardiology training programme is “ahead of its time” and that he encourages doctors to work in world-class institutions abroad to obtain sub-specialty training. “The environment they are able to work in [abroad] is less restricted by resources.”
He added: “Our track record in terms of Irish doctors going abroad is exceptional. Any feedback we get from trainers abroad is, in general terms, exceptionally positive.”
Meanwhile, Dr Crowley addressed a question from the floor on the potential for establishing formal sub-specialty training programmes in Ireland. “If a sub-speciality training programme is established in Ireland, I think it’s important that it would be clearly different from the first four years of training that they achieve. In other words, it must be clearly identifiable that they would be doing a large volume of work within the sub-specialty and moving away from general cardiology during that time.
“If sub-specialty training were to be set up in Ireland, I would like to see it linked to an institution abroad, perhaps spending one year in Ireland and one year abroad.”