Personal accounts - Ireland

DUBLIN

Nephrology – Research

ACADEMIC

Start
  • Certified in Nephrology
  • Middle of R4 year (winter 2018)
  • Started fellowship and Master’s: late September 2019
Support
  • Helped by a nephrologist at Montreal’s Sacré-Coeur Hospital who had also performed a research fellowship in acute renal failure (ARF) in San Diego and is very familiar with the major researchers active in this area worldwide
Choice of site/specialization
  • Being interested in working at CHUM, the candidate had already had several discussions with the CHUM Nephrology team (and the department head at the time) concerning current and future needs
  • The team was very open to having him choose on the basis of his personal interests, and these (ARF, translational research, acute dialysis) match the site’s needs
  • The candidate chose Dublin because the University College Dublin (UCD) research centre is very active, and it is easy to join it as a foreign fellow
  • He also wanted to do a Master’s alongside his fellowship, and UCD offers a Master in Clinical and Translational Research that matched his needs
  • Also, Dr Patrick Murray, his research director, is based in Dublin. Dr Murray heads the Irish Critical Care Network, and has more than 200 publications on ARF and urinary biomarkers to his credit
Interview
  • Most of the discussions took place via email
  • He Skyped with Dr Murray on several occasions: six months before arriving, one month before he arrived, and the day before his arrival
Exams
  • To be able to register in the Master in Research, he had to take the IELTS English test, which he was able to do in Montreal
  • He did not yet have a permit to practise in Ireland, because the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the Medical Council of Ireland do not recognize the Internal Medicine Core Curriculum as a specialty. So he had to wait until he had his Nephrology subspecialty diploma before applying for an equivalency between the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the Irish College
  • He began the process in mid-January 2020
  • When he contacted the Medical Council of Ireland, he was told the evaluation timeframe for non-members of the European Union was two months
  • He could then have the status of accredited specialist physician with restricted privileges (that would be sufficient for practising autonomously in a hospital on a temporary basis, without holding a consultant position). Only a few specialities can ask for Royal College equivalency (Canada-Ireland), and Nephrology is one of them
  • Since research is his main goal, having a permit to practise is not essential for his fellowship
Pay/bursary
  • He receives no local funding in Ireland
  • He did receive several bursaries, though, from the Société québécoise de néphrologie; FRQS (Master’s-type international postgraduate training); and Académie CHUM
  • He also does 4 weeks per year of clinic at CHUM
Prior rotation
  • No
Work permit/visa 
  • Canadians do not need a visa to study in Ireland, but just have to obtain the right to stay in Ireland for more than 90 days. This can be applied for once you are already in Ireland
  • The process is simple, but getting an appointment with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service takes a while!
  • Anyone with a salary equivalent to more than 15 hours per week of work has to apply for a work visa. There are several types
  • The easiest thing is to apply for a Working Holiday Authorisation, which is valid for two years for Canadians. Very simple procedure: apply to the Irish Embassy in Ottawa for it before leaving (6-week wait)
Visitor's visa 
  • See above

 PERSONAL

Health insurance
  • Health and travel insurance from Sogemec/Desjardins for Ireland
  • He also has private Irish health insurance (mandatory to be allowed an extended stay of more than 90 days), for which it is possible to shop around (c. €35 per month), because the Irish healthcare system is semi-private, and everyone has to have private insurance
Car
  • N/A
Bank account
  • You have to open an Irish bank account to be able to apply for permission to stay longer than 90 days
  • He got his account shortly after he arrived, with the Bank of Ireland (the most international for foreign currency transfers)
Accomodation
  • He rented an Airbnb on arrival for seven days
  • He had scheduled three apartment visits in advance via the Daft.ie site (their Kijiji)
  • He loved the first place he visited, and signed that day (it was available), downtown, near Trinity College
  • Accommodation costs double for the same surface area compared with Montreal
  • Only the Grand Canal Quay area is modern; other neighbourhoods comprise mainly 100-year-old buildings
  • Electricity and natural gas are usually included in the rent, but not Internet
Driver's permit
  • No
Quebec Health Insurance Board (RAMQ)
  • He contacted RAMQ two months before departing to notify them that he was leaving
  • He requested proof of coverage extended to two years (duration of his fellowship). This involved mailing in a simple form

SPOUSE

 
  • His spouse, an accountant, will spend the first year in Montreal, but will do a temporary 6-month transfer to Dublin in 2020
  • He has already had a Working Holiday Authorisation approved (for Canadians aged 18-35, valid for two years)
  • It is easy to find work in his field in Dublin

OTHER

 
  • A permit to practise can be obtained quickly by applying for equivalency in the United Kingdom. This process is much simpler, and the UK permit is valid in Ireland