All second and third year general practice vocational trainees in the Irish Republic in 1991 were invited to complete a questionnaire concerning the hospital component of their training. The questionnaire was based on specific recommendations published by the I.C.G.P. regarding hospital training posts.Replies were received from 39 trainees constituting 70% of the total number of eligible trainees. In general, hospital posts were perceived to be of relevance and to offer adequate exposure to outpatient management and to the development of useful practical skills. More than 70% of the trainees were free to attend at least 75% of the study release course. Everyone entitled to study leave for examination purposes obtained it However, 95% of trainees found their hospital teachers unfamiliar with the aims and objectives of Vocational Training. Two-thirds of trainees received less than two hours a week of formal or informal teaching. More than two-thirds did not participate in an introductory general practice period and less than a quarter had their individual needs assessed early on.Substantial realisation of the guidelines issued by the ICGP has been achieved. Further work is necessary in the areas of individual needs assessment, relevant structured teaching and general practice liasion. Three specific recommendations are made to achieve these aims.