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Medical Corps members serving in Syria and Lebanon over Christmas

However, a spokesperson for the Defence Forces did not provide exact figures for the number of Medical Corps members who are currently serving in these deployments.

“There are over 190 personnel serving as part of the Medical Corps of Óglaigh na hÉireann in [a] wide variety of roles,” the spokesperson told the Medical independent.

“Many of these personnel are currently deployed overseas with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) [in Syria] and will continue to be deployed over the Christmas period.”

When asked the exact number of Medical Corps members currently serving abroad on mission, the spokesperson said: “We don’t normally go into the exact breakdowns of the specialist appointments in each mission, just an overall number for the group.”

The Defence Forces Medical Corps are currently accepting applications from suitably qualified medical doctors to become Medical Officers. It also recruits two doctors per annum into the military medicine training programme.

“For further information on a career in the Medical Corps, log on to www.military.ie,” advised its spokesperson.

The five-year military medicine specialty training programme began in July 2017 and results in dual specialist qualification in military medicine and general practice.

Military medicine training is aligned with the Trinity College Dublin/HSE Specialist Training Programme in General Practice.

According to the Defence Forces’ website “a medical officer is a specialist officer who practices medicine within the Defence Forces both at home and overseas. Medical practice focuses on health protection and education, primary care and environmental medicine.

“The role comes with very real physical and mental challenges. In addition to your medical role as an officer you will be expected to lead and manage the personnel of the Medical Corps.”

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