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Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

Speciality: General Surgery

Programme Description
GMC Reference: NOS/464

Why choose this programme

This programme offers a broad and thorough training in all aspects of general surgery and the sub-specialties. Placements are provided in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, in Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital and in the District General Hospitals of Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin and Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. ST 1 level experience is available in the Belford Hospital (Fort William).

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) is NHS Grampian’s largest hospital, situated at Foresterhill, Aberdeen. Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital (93 beds) and Aberdeen Maternity Hospital (125 beds) are also housed on the same site. Aberdeen Royal Infirmary is the main hospital for the Grampian Area and is the University Teaching Hospital. ARI is a tertiary referral hospital with an official bed complement of 980 beds. It provides most of the specialist medical and surgical services for the Grampian region, serving a population of over 600,000 across the North of Scotland. It offers all surgical specialities with the exception of transplantation surgery. There are close links with the University of Aberdeen’s medical school where there has been pioneering research in many fields, including the development of MRI and PET scanning. There are excellent facilities for collaborative research with the clinical and basic science departments of the University of Aberdeen and the medical school library is on site. Dr Gray’s Hospital is the district general hospital based in Elgin, Moray. Dr Gray’s Hospital has 178 beds of which 48 are for General Surgery. Raigmore Hospital is a clinical teaching centre, providing the University of Aberdeen’s (UofA) second undergraduate medical teaching site. The hospital has a total of 577 beds. All the main General Surgical specialties are represented. There is an established academic teaching and research unit (the Highlands and Islands Research Institute) on site jointly with the University of Aberdeen. The North of Scotland Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and the University of Stirling department of nursing and midwifery (Highland Campus) are also based on the Raigmore site. Formal audit and educational meetings take place in all placements and each hospital has good support from radiology and other specialties. There is an established monthly teaching programme for the surgical trainees.

Aberdeen With a population of approximately 250,000 Aberdeen stands between the Rivers Dee and Don. The historic old city has many buildings of architectural interest and the use of the sparkling local granite has earned Aberdeen the name of the Silver City. As well as being an international centre for the oil industry, Aberdeen retains its old charm and character making it an attractive place to live, with a good quality of life. There are good national and international transport links by air, rail, road and sea and a wide choice of housing in the city and in rural villages within easy commuting distance to the hospital. Education facilities are excellent, with two girls’ and one coeducational independent school, and an international school. Amenities are first class, with restaurants, night clubs, theatres, music hall, exhibition centre, art galleries, museums and sporting facilities. The city is close to some of Scotland’s best countryside with easy access for hill-walking, mountaineering, skiing, fishing and golf. Inverness Inverness stands on the River Ness and has a population of nearly 70,000. It was granted city status in 2000. It is an attractive city with a mild climate and offers access to the highlands, Loch Ness and the West Coast. There are good transport links by road, rail and air to all parts of Scotland and the UK. Additional information: University of Aberdeen: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/ NHS Grampian: http://www.nhsgrampian.org/ NHS Highland: http://www.nhshighland.scot.nhs.uk/ Aberdeen City: http://www.aberdeen-grampian.com/ Inverness: http://www.inverness-scotland.com/

Specialty Information

From August 2011, general surgery will recruit at ST3 level, due to the introduction of Core Surgical Training Programmes in Scotland from this date. All trainees will complete placements in surgical units in Aberdeen and either Inverness or Elgin. The distances involved are such that relocation during the programme will be necessary for placements outside Aberdeen. There is good provision of on-site accommodation at the relevant hospitals. Placements are provided in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in six surgery subspecialty units, providing training in colorectal, upper GI, bariatric, hepatopancreaticobiliary, laparoscopic, endocrine, vascular and breast surgery. Attachments to Paediatric Surgery and to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) are also available. The intention is to give a good grounding in the full spectrum of general surgery and then to build on this to equip the trainee with all the skills required to manage acute general surgical patientswhile developing a subspecialty interest. If a trainee has an interest in transplantation then this would be accommodated by arrangement with the South East or West of Scotland Deaneries once basic general surgery training was completed. The North of Scotland training programme also provides a Remote & Rural training programme in Surgery. The trainee will participate in acute and elective general surgery throughout the programme. After Core Surgical training the ST3 and ST4 levels of the programme would usually be spent consolidating surgical skills and gaining experience in a range of sub-specialties, before continuing with years 5 to 8 when subspecialty skills and preparation for an independent acute general surgical practice would be completed. Further information on the curriculum in general surgery is available on the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme website (www.iscp.ac.uk).

 

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

This programme provides a good and varied grounding in all the main General Surgical specialties, with additional opportunities for attachments to Paediatric surgery and Intensive Care.  There are also opportunities to experience Remote and Rural (R&R) surgery, and a programme for R&R training as a specialty interest is available for Higher Surgical trainees.

There are wide ranging opportunities for research, audit and teaching on the programme at all stages. There are excellent facilities for collaborative research with the clinical and basic science departments of the University of Aberdeen and the medical school is on site.  Several current trainees have completed and are currently undertaking research leading to Higher Degrees (MD) in both basic sciences and clinical research.  Other trainees have chosen to pursue Higher Degrees in a wide range of subjects including, for example, Masters in Medical Law and in Public Health. A number of trainees are completing Medical Education qualifications at Certificate, Diploma and Masters levels. Several trainees are undertaking MSc qualifications in Surgical Sciences, Patient Safety etc.  Research is not compulsory but is encouraged for educational development and to ensure that the trainee is competitive at interview for Fellowships and Consultant posts.  Opportunities to undertake Higher Degrees are available in both Aberdeen and Inverness.

The Suttie Centre for Teaching and Learning in Aberdeen and the Centre for Health Sciences in Inverness are both new state-of-the-art teaching centres, located on site with the hospitals. Advanced simulation equipment is located in both sites and a mobile unit is available in the Remote & Rural hospitals.

The formal teaching programme consists of monthly Consultant-led days covering the main topics on the surgical curriculum in rotation. Skills sessions are included in the programme. Trainees have the opportunity to present at these meetings. Trainees are expected and supported to attend the teaching sessions which rotate around Elgin, Raigmore and Aberdeen. In addition, most units have their own educational meetings, MDT and M&M meetings as well as larger departmental M&M meetings. As well as the formal teaching programme there are extensive learning resources available online for General Surgery, for example through ISCP and the Surgical Colleges.  ESSQ is an online qualification and exam preparation course undertaken by some trainees.

All trainees will complete placements in surgical units in Aberdeen and either Inverness or Elgin during training.  Some ST1 trainees will also spend a short attachment in a Remote & Rural Hospital (Fort William). Placements are provided in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in six surgery subspecialty units, providing training in colorectal, upper GI, bariatric, hepatopancreaticobiliary, laparoscopic, endocrine, vascular and breast surgery.  Attachments to Paediatric Surgery and to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) are also available.

A brand new, state-of-the-art Emergency Care Centre will be opening on the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary site in 2012, incorporating all the acute specialties under one roof, providing an ideal setting for 21st century clinical care and training in general surgery.

All trainees participate in acute and elective general surgery throughout the programme. A typical individual rotation starting at ST1 would spend 8 months in General Surgery, with a 4 month attachment in ICU.  During this time the trainee will learn basic clinical and operative surgical skills, and develop experience in the care of the critically ill surgical patient. Year 2 would typically be spent in General Surgical Units in ARI.  Years 3 and 4 of the programme would then be spent consolidating surgical skills and gaining experience in a range of sub-specialties (in Aberdeen, Elgin or Inverness), before continuing with years 5 to 8 when subspecialty skills and preparation for an independent acute general surgical practice would be completed.

The North of Scotland haslong held a reputation for excellence in surgical training.  There is a very strong commitment to training in the region, recognised in the recent GMC report on the visit to the North of Scotland and in QA visits.  This is also reflected in the strong performance of trainees in the Intercollegiate examination, in completion of Higher degrees by trainees, by the ongoing success of trainees in competitive interview for National Fellowships and in the successfulappointment of CCT graduates to desired Consultant posts.

Our future specialty trainees and consultant colleagues are often recruited from trainees who have spent some time in the North of Scotland.  Once trainees haveexperienced the work and lifestyle opportunities in the region, they often want to stay. We are therefore keen to attract and retain high calibre surgeons in training to provide an excellent service to the people in the North of Scotland.

Here in the North, theIntercollegiate exam rate pass has been 100% for the last 5 years, with one of our trainees winning the Gold Medal last year.

North of Scotland trainees have been well represented with presentations at the Royal College of Surgeons Audit Symposium and at all the main national and European Surgical Specialty meetings in recent years (eg AUGIS, ASCBI, ACPGBI, ESCP).

Where is the training delivered?
This programme involves placements in some or all of these Health Boards and hospitals:

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Belford Hospital, Fort William, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, 50 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh, EH16 4SF, Dr Grays Hospital, Elgin

 

North and North-East Scotland – placements in hospitals in Aberdeen, Inverness, Elgin and Fort William Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen

Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, Aberdeen

Dr. Gray’s Hospital, Elgin

Raigmore Hospital, Inverness

Belford Fort William

 

Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: Deanery
Administration office North of Scotland
Lead Dean / Director Professor Alan Denison
Responsible Associate Postgraduate Dean or Assistant Director (GP)
Specialty or Sub-specialty Specialty or Sub-specialty: Specialty
Date of GMC recent approval August 2010
Associated Royal College - Faculty
Joint Committee on Surgical Training (web site)
Curriculum and Associated Assessment System https://www.gmc-uk.org/education/standards-guidance-and-curricula/curricula/general-surgery-curriculum
Programme Administrator: Named Programme Administrator: Jackie Aitken
Address: NHS Education for Scotland, 1st floor, 102 Westport, Edinburgh EH3 9DN 0131 6563475
Tel: 01316 563475
Email: Jackie.aitken@nes.scot.nhs.uk
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Mr Ron Coggins
Address: Mr Ron Coggins Raigmore Hospital Inverness IV2 3UJ Tel: 01463 706360
Tel:
Email: ron.coggins@nhs.net
Quality of Training Quality Management

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