Testimonial Ireland

Exchange Experience from Ireland 2013

by Ivana Sindik

Host Institution: St. Vincent,s University Hospital, Dublin

Exchange Programme:General Adult Psychiatry


Within the EFPT programme, as a third-year psychiatry trainee from Croatia, I was selected for the placement in the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health Research of the St Vincents Hospital in Dublin, under the supervision of Dr Allys Guerandel (consultant psychiatrist and clinical tutor).

In the 5 weeks period I had the oportunity to observe in-patient psychiatry practice and organization, management of the patients with general adult psychiatric disorders, also out- patient, community-based psychiatry treatment and services, as well as educational programme.

Working week included ward runs twice a week with Dr Allys Guerandel and registrars and trainees under her tutorial, ward (department) meeting once a week with Clinical Director (and other consultants, trainees, medical staff), also Balint group once a week (for trainees and registrars) which I found very useful for our practice and supervision. Thanks to the enthusiasm of the host registras (especially dr Hiberet Tessema) and trainees (and Dr Guerandel of course), I have participated full time and also observed consultative (Liason) psychiatry examinations in the hospital wards and A&D Department.

Practice wise, one of the interesting things was to get full insight in the process of the involuntary treatment in Ireland and observe the Tribunal (which took place in the ward) for involuntary treatment of one psychotic patient (which is specific and in some ways different from practice in Croatia), also to follow up and observe ECT treatment of one patient with resistant depression (there are 5 ECT centres in Dublin).

Twice a week, I have attended out patient clinics (Baggot street Clinic, Irish town Clinic) to see dr Guerandels patients (SVH covers a large area of about 50-60 000 people and every consultant covers specific area). I have participated in the multidicplinary team meetings and learned about community based service organization, also I have visited Long stay Department, Glenmore Day Hospital, Day Center; Hostel accomodation, Alcohol treatment unit.

Concerning the educational programme, once a week I attended Journal Club and Case Conference and had access to e-learning developed for students in University College Dublin. I have learned also about psychiatry curriculum and education system in Ireland.

At the end of the programme I have prepared a presentation about psychiatry service and practice in my country which was very well accepted and supported from the collegues that attended. I could say that organization of the service may be different in every country but our practice and our aim to help patients is what makes us very similar to each other.

Other important aspect of this exchange programme for me was to explore Dublin and Ireland. With a great help from the local coordinator and registrar dr. Zareena Abidin (I was hosted in her home for the whole duration of the exchange programme and was included in social activites with her friends and collegues) this was a whole experience, professional and private, which I would definitely recommend.


Xmass lunch at SVH