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That is according to information presented at the RCSI Surgery and Postgraduate Faculties Board meeting in February, minutes of which have been seen by the Medical Independent (MI) following a Freedom of Information request. The minutes noted that notwithstanding the cancellation, there “had been a lot of interest” in the programme. The HST SEM received formal accreditation from the Medical Council in early 2017. The training programme was signed-off by Minister for Health Simon Harris in March 2017.
A spokesperson for the RCSI told MI that “2017/2018 was the first year that an intake to specialty training in Sports and Exercise Medicine was opened. This specialty and its training programme was recently approved by the Medical Council. However, as with any new programme, it takes time for suitable candidates to become aware of the programme and consider it as a career path. RCSI will work closely with the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine to have an intake into this specialty training pathway for 2018/2019.”
The minutes of the RCSI meeting noted that the intake was cancelled due “to lack of applications. There had been a lot of interest but a number of prospective candidates did not meet the entry criteria or were already committed to fellowships abroad.”
The February minutes stated that the programme would be re-advertised in autumn 2018. The minutes also noted that “a number of young NCHDs” had made enquiries about a career in sports and exercise medicine.
“Some are keen to incorporate sports and exercise medicine as part of their clinical practice in their primary specialty. This is all very encouraging.” According to the RCSI, sport and exercise medicine “is a multidisciplinary clinical and academic specialty of medicine dealing with health promotion for the general population… The sports medicine physician achieves this by encouraging a physically active lifestyle with diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation following injuries or illnesses from participation in physical activities, exercises and sport at all levels.”