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Occupation Details

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Doctor / GP

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require post-graduate qualifications. For example, they may require a masters degree, and some require a Ph.D., or M.D.

Related Experience
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience plus specialist training to be able to do their job.

Job Training
Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. They may also require very specialist skills. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

€32k > 120
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€32 - 120
Related Information:
HSE: 32k - 70k
Payscale: 27k - 120k
Data Source(s):
HSE / Payscale.com

Last Updated: June, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Due to international demand for these skills, job opportunities will continue to arise.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Occupational Category

Doctors, Psychiatrists & Other Medical Practitioners

Also included in this category:

General practitioners; medical practitioners; house officers (hospital); registrars (hospital); consultants (hospital); surgeons; psychiatrists.

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 13%
Male / Female: 55 / 45%
Non-Nationals: 18%
With Third Level: 100%
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At a Glance... header image

A fully qualified medical doctor who specialises in examing, treating and advising sick people in a local GP surgery, or in a hospital setting.

Videos & Interviews header image

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..General Practitioner - from: YouTube Video

The Work header image

A Doctors or General Practitioners apply medical knowledge and skill to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human diseases, disorders and injuries. They talk to patients to find out what symptoms they have, for example, whereabouts they feel pain, and look at notes which tell them which illnesses the patient has had before.  
They try to find out as much as possible about the patient by taking their blood pressure, listening to their heart and taking many other different measurements to try and work out what is wrong with them. A doctor is really like a detective - piecing together lots of evidence in order to make a diagnosis.  
When they know what is wrong with the patient, they decide on the best way to treat them. This may involve giving medicine or operating. Doctors are supported by a team of health care workers, such as nurses.  
The specific work activities of a doctor depend on whether they have chosen to be a general practitioner (GP), surgeon or physician.

General Practioner 

GPs are responsible for the diagnoses and treatment of a wide range of illnesses. They work in the primary care sector and attend to patients either in their surgery or in the patient's home. They examine and talk to their patients, give advice on health issues and, when necessary, refer their patients for tests.

They prescribe medicines, issue certificates an keep case notes documenting the long term health history of a patient. They also educate their patients on healthy living, proper diets and preventative measures to guard against infection.

GPs are usually on an on-call rota, when they may have to go and visit a patient at their home at any time during the day or night. In rural areas, this may involve a lot of driving. GP cooperatives are initiatives to provide out-of-hours cover by different methods in different areas of the country. Cooperatives are managed by members for members in an attempt to reduce the onerous on-call commitment of GPs.

Physicians and Surgeons

Physicians and surgeons diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses. Physicians examine patients; take medical histories; prescribe medications; and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive healthcare. Surgeons operate on patients to treat injuries, such as broken bones; diseases, such as cancerous tumors; and deformities, such as cleft palates.

Many doctors work long and irregular hours and spend time on-call, in case of emergencies. They can also specialise in particular areas such as Pathology, Paediatrics and Cardiology. General Practitioner, Surgeon and Consultants are just some of the areas that a doctor can specialise into.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You will deal with people from all walks of life, so you need to be able to communicate effectively with them, in a language they can understand. You will also need the ability to make rational and objective decisions, often while under a lot of pressure.  
You may well find yourself in situations that demand great emotional detachment and the ability to cope with distressing situations is vital. Practical skills are also important. A steady hand is essential for delicate operations and examination.  
A medical career involves a long, antisocial period of academic and clinical training, which requires considerable physical and mental stamina. Work is very demanding both physically and mentally.

Entry Routesheader image

It takes four to six years of university education and training to become a medical doctor, following which, the newly-qualified doctor spends one year as an intern or house officer in a teaching hospital. Following their intern year a junior doctor then usually enters a specialised training scheme.  

The Training Pathway to become a GP is as follows:

Step 1: Medical School, 4-6 years 

Step 2: Intern Year, 1 year

Step 3: Specialist Training Programme, 4 years

Entry Process

Graduate or direct entry is possible to medicine

Degree courses include subjects such as anatomy, physiology, and the psychology and sociology of health and illness. This academic study is combined with extended periods of clinical practice at local general practices and teaching hospitals.

The General Practice Training Programme is run by the Irish College of General Practitioners.

Last Updated: December, 2015

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Doctor - GP - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Doctor/GP - from: GradIreland
Go..GP Practice Manager - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Hospital Doctor - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Hospital doctor - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Royal College of Physicians of Ireland
Address: Frederick House, 19 South Federick Street Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 8639700
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Irish College of General Practitioners
Address: 4/5 Lincoln Place, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 676 3705
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Public Appointments Service
Address: Chapter House, 26/30 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 858 7400 or Locall: 1890 44 9999
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Irish Medical Organisation
Address: 10 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 676 7273
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Health Service Executive (HSE)
Address: Dr Steevens' Hospital, Steevens Lane, Dublin, 8
Tel: 01 635 2000
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Irish Medical Council
Address: Kingram House, Kingram Place, Dublin, 2
Tel: (01) 498 3100
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

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Medical & Healthcare

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