North of Scotland deanery offers excellent training in ophthalmology in a beautiful area of the country! There are 9 ST
positions in this surgical specialty in the North of Scotland Deanery, The 7 years of OST are covered - 5 years are
spent at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary Ophthalmology dept, with a further 2 x 1 year attachments in the Ophthalmology
Dept at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, at different levels in training. A typical rotation will start with one year at OST 1
/ 2 level in Aberdeen, and one in Inverness. There is an emphasis on gaining early competencies in microsurgical
skills and cataract surgery, as well as the generic RCOphth curricular competencies.. Later in training there is more
emphasis on themed 6 monthly rotations through all the major subspecialties, including Medical Ophthalmology. .
There are occasional clinic trips to the Northern and Western Isles. There are 10 consultants in Aberdeen, and 7
consultants in Raigmore. Local ASTO's / TSC's are offered in Glaucoma, Medical Ophthalmology, Medical retina,
Adnexal and Paediatrics. OOPE's and TSCs to gain extra experience elsewhere are supported when possible. Later
in training, the programme can be tailored to take into account the individual trainee's future career plans. Training is Specialty: Ophthalmology
closely supervised by a named educational supervisor for the duration of training, the programme director, and the
local training committee.
The PMETB Trainee survey 2007-8 rated this North of Scotland Ophthalmology rotation as the best Ophthalmology
rotation in the UK in terms of “overall trainee satisfaction” and “trainee workload”
Research and audit are encouraged and weekly sessions are provided for this. The Aberdeen eye dept is
academically active and has close links with the University of Aberdeen, the Institute of Medical Sciences, and The
Health Service Research Unit. The Aberdeen University Ophthalmology Dept. (the only University Ophthalmology
Professorial Unit in Scotland) is headed by Professor John Forrester, who also runs a weekly teaching clinical ward
round which all trainees attend. There is additionally a weekly postgraduate teaching session,
Aberdeen also hosts trainees in the allied specialty of Medical Ophthalmology, who share in the on-call and clinical
The North of Scotland Deanery covers a vast geographical area and offers a wide range of both cosmopolitan and
rural life choices. Both Aberdeen and Inverness are beautiful small cities, with easy access to surrounding stunning
countryside. Both provide a high level of housing, schooling and provision of leisure pursuits e.g. Climbing, walking,
golfing, skiing, surfing, sailing, to name a few. In studies, some of the highest quality of living indices in the UK are
found in the North East of Scotland. The area has a continuing buoyant economy based on the oil industry and its
world-renowned engineering expertise: for others this means a high quality of life, and especially good air links to and
from the area.
Ophthalmology has now moved towards a competency-based training. The North of Scotland Deanery prides itself in focusing training on an individual basis, covering the core curriculum within the first few years, and listening to its trainees to focus higher specialist training on an individual basis.
Trainees will be exposed to all the sub-specialties including: Anterior Segment and Cornea, Neuro-Ophthalmology, Medical Ophthalmology, Glaucoma, Ocular Motility, Vitreo-Rentinal, Oculoplastics, Paediatric Opthalmology, and Medical Retina. The North is unique in that it also allows trainees to participate in Ophthalmic Ultrasound, Rural Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Casualty.
The Aberdeen Eye Department is academically active and has close links with the University of Aberdeen, the Institute of Medical Sciences, and The Health Service Research Unit. The Aberdeen University Ophthalmology Dept.(the only University Ophthalmology Professorial Unit in Scotland) is headed by Professor John Forrester, who also runs a weekly teaching clinical ward round which all trainees attend.
Research and audit are encouraged and protected regular weekly sessions are provided for this. Trainees are encouraged to present in regional, national and international meetings, and to publish papers during the course of their training. There is additionally a weekly postgraduate teaching session which is often accompanied by informal discussions and continued professional development. Formal teaching sessions are included, where applicable, as part of training and trainees are also expected to provide teaching to medical students, other trainees, nurses and optometrists. Currently trainees undergo generic 6 month or 1 year blocks in ST1 and 2 to gain relevant "core" ophthalmology competencies, especially early surgical skills, as per the RCOphth curriculum. From ST3 onwards, the programme becomes more modular eg spending 6 month block in glaucoma. Opportunities for those competencies which must be regularly assessed eg laser, lid surgery, are present throughout the 7 year ST programme. Trainees rotate through Raigmore Hospital in Inverness twice during the 7 years - once at basic ST1/2 level, and once again at higher specialist level (between ST3 and ST 7 incl). It is well known that Ophthalmology in the North has seen every trainee obtain the consultant post of their choice in the location of their choice over the past 10 years.
Aberdeen is the only unit in Scotland, and one of only a few in the UK with a University Professor of Ophthalmology: Professor John Forrester. The PMETB Trainee survey 2007-8 rated this North of Scotland Ophthalmology rotation as the best Ophthalmology rotation in the UK in terms of "overall trainee satisfaction" and "trainee workload".The GMC/PMETB trainee survey in 2010 rated North of Scotland Ophthalmology rotation as the best in the UK for "Work Intensity", and scored top in Scotland for educational supervision, induction, and learning opportunities, and came out highly in study leave allowance, handover, working hours compliance and clinical supervision responsibility.
|Deanery sponsoring programme||North of Scotland|
|Postgraduate Dean||Professor Ronald MacVicar|
|Responsible Associate - GP Director||Dr Justine Royle|
|Programme Type||Deanery based or National: Deanery
Specialty or Sub-specialty: Specialty
|Date of GMC recent approval||August 2010|
|Associated Royal College - Faculty
Royal College of Ophthalmologists (web site)
|Curriculum and Associated Assessment System||http://www.gmc-uk.org/education/postgraduate/ophthalmology.asp|
|Deanery Administrative Contacts||
Address: NHS Education, Forest Grove House, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZP
Tel: 01224 805128
Name: Dr Simon Hewick
Address: Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, IV2 3UJ
|Quality of Training||GMC Trainee Survey Information (2010)|
This page was last updated on: 15.05.2017 at 10.22.
© 2013 - NHS Education for Scotland
© Image Paul Tomkins - VisitScotland