UCD MMUH Deanery

The UCD-Mater deanery offers trainees the opportunity to work on the north of the River Liffey in Dublin’s inner city and adjoining areas or in the south east of Ireland or a mixture of both. Some trainees opt to do all of their training in the south east. Others prefer to base themselves in the capital. The Dublin training centres and affiliated clinical sites are in or very close to the city centre. Trainees in every deanery must gain a combination of urban and rural experience so those trainees who opt to base themselves in Dublin must do one post outside the city. This can provide a chance to explore a hitherto unknown part of the country, such as Kilkenny, Ireland’s finest medieval city or Waterford, voted best place to live in Ireland, Irish Times 2021, and may even lead to a wish to return later in one’s career.

Other deaneries have training sites in Dublin. Those in the UCD Mater Deanery are mainly in the city centre or within a couple of kilometres of the centre so can be readily accessed by public transport or on foot or bicycle. The area is diverse, lively and historically, culturally and architecturally rich.

Prior to commencement of basic specialist training, the vice dean discusses location preference for foundation year with trainees. The two six-month posts in foundation year are in general adult psychiatry and are both in the same training centre. Where possible, trainee preference is accommodated. If there is competition for a particular training site, the score at the interview for basic specialist training will determine allocation.

Training Centres / Sub-Specialities

Key Features

Basic specialist training involves acquiring the clinical skills essential to the work of a psychiatrist. Competition for higher specialist training and consultant posts involves demonstrating competency in clinical skills, research, audit, teaching, management and psychotherapy. The training experiences and opportunities that the UCD Mater Deanery provides allow the learning outcomes for basic specialist training to be met and the training portfolio to be completed and trainees are well placed to be successful at interview for higher specialist training and later for consultant posts.

  • All the training centres have academic programmes. Trainees are active participants and present cases and journal papers.
  • Audits are an integral part of the training experience and trainees present their audit findings at local audit meetings. Trainees are advised to conduct audits during foundation year as they are in the same training centre for a year and this allows an audit cycle to be completed.
  • The main training sites are all affiliated with universities (UCD or RCSI or both). Basic specialist trainees supervise medical students on clinical placement and have the opportunity to deliver tutorials and participate in the organisation of medical student exams.
  • Balint or reflective practice groups take place in the training centres.
  • Trainees have the opportunity to be members of committees and annually to apply for the role of lead NCHD in mental health. https://www.hse.ie/eng/staff/leadership-education-development/met/leadnchd/leadnchdresources/lead-nchd-job-description-2021.pdf
  • The deanery has consultant trainers with established records in research. Trainees are supported in completing research projects. The deanery research day provides an opportunity to learn about research fundamentals, meet trainers from other sites and to present research (poster or oral presentation) and compete for a prize. Presentation of research at the spring and winter College of Psychiatrists of Ireland meetings is also promoted.
  • Trainees are usually supervised by psychologists but occasionally by consultants with psychotherapy training to carry out a psychotherapy case.
  • Exam practice sessions (OSCE and CFME) are held with trainees in advance of the clinical exams. Mock interviews are organised for trainees at the end of basic specialist training, in advance of the higher specialist training interview.
  • Attendance at mental health tribunals (and review boards and court in the National Forensic Service) is routine, if trainees wish to avail of this experience.
  • Trainees are encouraged to seek election to the Trainee Committee, a subcommittee of the Postgraduate Training Committee of the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland. One trainee from the deanery acts as deanery liaison officer. The Trainee Committee has at least one member from each deanery so that each deanery can be represented and all trainees can have a link with the committee. https://www.irishpsychiatry.ie/members/committees/trainee-committee/
  • On call is on site in most of the training centres, apart from some child psychiatry posts and the National Drug Treatment Centre. All sites are compliant with the European Working Time Directive. Being on call allows trainees to gain confidence in decision making, while being supported by senior clinicians

Clinical Exposure

Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin 7 – The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital (MMUH) offers placements in liaison and general adult psychiatry. The emergency department and St. Aloysius ward (the admission unit) provide trainees with experience in acute mental illness management. Liaison psychiatry in the MMUH includes psychiatry of later life and addiction psychiatry to give trainees a truly holistic experience. Neuropsychiatry and transplant psychiatry are also part of the experience. The MMUH prides its self on ensuring trainees are making clinical decision for themselves within a carefully supported and supervised environment.

Phoenix Care Centre, Dublin 7 – Opened in 2013, on the grounds of the former St. Brendan’s Hospital, and now Technical University of Dublin, it is a state of the art tertiary referral centre. Here trainees gain experience of psychiatric intensive care and rehabilitation psychiatry. Trainees working in Usher’s Island, on the programme for the homeless, work on call in this hospital. The homeless service post is consistently rated very highly by trainees as a valuable learning experience.

St. Vincent’s Hospital, Fairview, Dublin 3 – Founded in 1857, St. Vincent’s is a psychiatric hospital and is the inpatient hospital for most of the north inner city and surrounding areas. There is an acute admissions unit, a psychiatry of old age ward, a continuing care ward, a rehabilitation service and an adolescent inpatient unit. The catchment area is culturally and socioeconomically diverse. Liaison with forensic psychiatry, addiction and homeless services is common. Audits are allocated to and completed by trainees. The hospital has software for the completion of audits. Completed audits are presented by trainees at an audit meeting. The principal psychologist and a senior psychologist supervise trainees in psychotherapy cases. Trainees may gain management experience by joining committees such as the drugs and therapeutics commitee. Students from UCD and RCSI are allocated to the service and trainees supervise them and participate in their examinations. There is a weekly Balint group and a weekly academic programme of case presentations, journal clubs, and expert speakers. Once every six months there is a book club. These training and educational opportunities and the range of presentations to the service mean that learning outcomes and portfolio completion are readily achieved.

Dublin North City and County Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAMHS)  – Trainees placed in child and adolescent psychiatry in Dublin North City and County CAMHS gain experience in a community CAMHS multidisciplinary team, working with young people with a diverse range of disorders including depressive episodes, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders and ADHD. CAMHS provides an opportunity for trainees to learn more about non-medication therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy, decider skills and family based treatment for eating disorders. Trainees in this service join a large group of child and adolescent psychiatrists and NCHDs from eight multidisciplinary teams who provide child psychiatry on call services to the Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street and on call to the Adolescent Inpatient unit at St Vincent’s Hospital, Fairview. This is a dynamic and expanding service, which is currently developing a new neurodevelopmental service. Many trainees have completed research projects during their placements.

St. Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny – St. Luke’s is the training centre where trainees in the Carlow Kilkenny Mental Health Service do inpatient, and on call work and attend the academic programme, The Carlow Kilkenny Mental Health Service is a well organised service where trainees can gain a broad experience across the range of mental health specialities, along with excellent support from senior colleagues. There is access to training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Electro Convulsive Therapy, recovery principles and potential to do sessions with neurology and geriatrician colleagues. Audit is actively encouraged and there are opportunities to complete audit cycles with support from senior colleagues. There are regular reflective practice groups and a well organised teaching programme for medical students that provide teaching and examining opportunities for NCHDs. NCHDs are welcome to join local quality and safety meetings.

The service has a continuing care/dementia assessment unit with two day hospitals, outpatient clinics, opportunities for domiciliary visits, a home based nursing service, a crisis house and high to low support rehabilitation hostels. The CAMHS service provides a high level of care to younger patients.

University Hospital Waterford (UHW) – The university hospital in Waterford city is the acute admission unit for Wexford and Waterford counties and is where trainees work on call in the emergency department and department of psychiatry. There are opportunities for acute hospital liaison.

Training and experience in delivering ECT is provided in University Hospital Waterford.

There are opportunities for committee membership, clinical audit and participation in service development.

A new crisis resolution team is currently being set up in the Waterford Region.

The weekly academic programme takes place in UHW and includes case conferences and journal clubs.

Balint group training and protected individual supervision sessions are facilitated for all trainees.

There are formal and informal opportunities for undergraduate teaching on the RCSI undergraduate medicine programme.

Wexford training posts are located in well-resourced community day hospitals in Gorey, Wexford town and Enniscorthy. Posts in general adult, rehabilitation and recovery, psychiatry of old age, and child and adolescent psychiatry are all supervised by community based consultant Ppychiatrists supported by multidisciplinary teams.

Waterford offers posts with both community and inpatient experience in the areas of general adult, psychiatry of old age, liaison psychiatry (based at University Hospital Waterford), and addiction psychiatry.  Posts are based in Waterford city and Tramore.

National Drug Treatment Centre and National Forensic Service – Posts in these two services are options to consider for trainees from any deanery in Ireland. The new forensic hospital is due to open shortly in Portrane Co. Dublin.

Trainee Involvement in Training Post Selection

Trainees will be in the same training centre for the first year of training (foundation year). Their location preferences will be discussed with the vice dean in advance of training commencement.  Midway through the first year, a training planning meeting with the vice dean will take place, trainees will be asked to express a preference for the remaining six posts and each trainee will receive a training allocation for the following three years of training.

Why Should You Choose the UCD Mater Deanery?

As well as excellent training opportunities, trainees who select the Mater UCD Deanery will have the option of working in one or both of two very different parts of Ireland. You will become equipped to work anywhere in the country as a future consultant.

Working in the north inner city can be challenging but major social investment is occurring. There are many community resources and services available to support the work of the mental health teams. The population is culturally and socioeconomically diverse and learning opportunities are plenty. The well-resourced multidisciplinary community teams, the regional psychiatric intensive care facility at the Phoenix Care Centre, the assertive outreach service offered by the Programme for the Homeless team, and highly engaged trainers provide exceptional training and learning experiences for future specialists.

Working and living on Dublin’s northside, close to the centre of a European capital city of literature and culture, sporting and entertainment venues and arts and architecture is an invigorating experience. The training centres are close to Croke Park, the Point Theatre, the Gate Theatre and Dublin’s major museums.

The neighbourhoods of Drumcondra, Phibsboro, Fairview, Marino and Clontarf are convenient to the training centres and close to the sea (Clontarf Promenade and Dollymount beach), parks (Phoenix Park, St. Anne’s, Park, Fairview Park and Bull Island National Nature Reserve) and the city centre. www.dublin.ie

Dublin’s two intercity rail stations, Connolly and Heuston, the LUAS lines, Busaras and DART stations at Clontarf and Connolly Stations are all close to the training centres. www.dublinpublictransport.ie

Anyone undertaking their training in Ireland’s ‘Sunny South East’ can avail of its many positive location factors. The region is well served with an excellent road network and also has good public transport connectivity with other major urban centres. The Dublin – Waterford train goes through Carlow and Kilkenny. These towns/cities are well served by national buses.  As a region it can claim to have the mildest temperatures and also the lowest rainfall in the country which in turn lends itself to the excellent outdoor activities available – from Wexford’s sheltered beaches and coastline to the Waterford Greenway and Copper Coast; swimming, sailing, and surfing will keep any outdoor enthusiast happy. The cities and towns offer a wide variety of food and cultural and sporting outlets.

Kilkenny city is Ireland’s finest medieval city and the rich farmland of county Kilkenny is extremely pretty. County Carlow has a rich ancient history.

Waterford (Lismore) and Wexford town have annual opera festivals and there are arts festivals in Kilkenny, Carlow and Wexford and Waterford.

Waterford was voted the Irish Times “Best Place to Live” for 2021. https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/best-place-to-live-in-ireland-2021-why-waterford-city-won-1.4680655


Mental health services are organised geographically, with each team serving a particular sector. Outpatient clinics may take place in a health centre, rather than a hospital e.g. the outpatient component of a post could be in Wexford town and inpatient and on call work in University Hospital Waterford. In Dublin, distances between training centres and community clinics are short e.g. the outpatient clinics and day hospitals associated with St. Vincent’s Hospital, Fairview are within walking distance of the hospital.

Doctors travelling to clinics may claim travel expenses (based on return travel from a training centre e.g. University Hospital Waterford to a clinic e.g. in Tramore, Co. Waterford).

Housing prices in the south east are very favourable in comparison to other urban centres.

Accommodation in Dublin is the most expensive in Ireland but prices on the north side are generally lower than those on the south side.

The Daft.ie Rental Price Report and the Daft.ie House Price Report are useful documents to compare property prices in Ireland. www.daft.ie , www.myhome.ie and www.rent.ie provide an overview of what properties are available.

A car is not necessary for any of the Dublin posts. Trainees who decide to base themselves in the south east for the duration of training are likely to need a car. A trainee working for six months in the southeast could manage without one.

Additional Information

Many of the consultants working in the services in the deanery completed basic specialist training in the the deanery, indicating their satisfaction with their experiences as trainees. The consultant trainers, tutors and vice dean are very committed to the development and career progression of trainees