22 April 1953 was a good day in Filiasi because that was the day one of the greatest doctors the world has ever seen was born. While there is not much information about his childhood, it is clear that he went to Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest to study medicine. This university is one of the top universities for health sciences in Romania. In fact, it is one of the oldest and largest institutions of that kind in the whole country with facilities of more than 20 clinical facilities throughout Bucharest available at its disposal. The university is even classified as an advanced research and education university by the Romania Ministry of Education which goes to show its enviable quality.
It was in this prestigious school that Irinel Popescu obtained his medical degree in 1977. After completing his degree, he became an intern by competition between 1977 to 1980. During this period, he was ranked as the best of all interns in surgical specialities. This turned out to be a glimpse of the more glorious things that Popescu will achieve in his long and distinguished career.
Even while he continued his practice of medicine, he took one step further by undergoing training as a teacher as well. Between 1980 to 1983, he was an assistant intern and gradually worked his way to become a certified and recognised teacher and now a Professor.
He later proceeded on postgraduate courses to be trained in liver surgery and transplant. These training courses allowed him to work in different hospitals, all of the world. His stay was usually short in these hospitals. The training courses began in 1989 with “Charite” Hospital in Berlin, Germany, where he spent two weeks. In 1990, he went to the Paul Brousse Hospital in Paris, France where he spent two months. In 1991, he was at the University of Pittsburgh in the USA for a two-month training. He would later return to the hospital a year later to spend another six months. His longest training was between 1992 and 1995 when he spent two and a half years in Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, USA.
After completing his training, he was part of the exchange of experience program, which allowed him to go to other countries and learn more. The exchange of experience allowed him to go to various universities and hospitals. These include Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Groote Schuur Hospital, in Capetown, South Africa, Eppendorf University in Hamburg, Palio Faliro Hospital in Athens, Essen University Hospital, Gustave Roussy Hospital in Paris, Niguarda Hospital in Milan, and Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh.
He also acquired his Doctor of Medicine in 1990 from Carol Davila University of Bucharest and his doctoral thesis was on gastric haemorrhagic ulcers.