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Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

Speciality: Clinical Genetics

Programme Description
GMC Reference: WOS/392

1 a. What particular specialty learning opportunities has this program provided e.g. sub-specialty exposure, especially those which are not available elsewhere?

There are four centres for Clinical Genetics in Scotland but only three of these centres have training posts. Whilst some of the Scottish Genetic Centres are smaller than their English counterparts, the training programme is designed to ensure that trainees have access to a wide range of genetic conditions and clinical practice. Scotland has a structured approach to cardiac, cancer, neuromuscular and Disorders of Sexual Development genetics through clinical networks and there is close collaboration between centres and with other specialties.  Although the National Health Service is devolved in Scotland, the Scottish Training Programme is closely linked with other UK training programmes with joint training days arranged with Clinical Genetic trainees in Newcastle, Leeds and Sheffield. The ARCPs are arranged jointly with these centres. Previous trainees from the Scottish programme are currently working as Consultants in Scotland, other counties in the UK and also outside the UK.

There is a full range of subspecialty clinics, joint specialty clinics and MDT meetings that the trainee is expected to participate in e.g. Neuromuscular genetics Cardiac genetics, Craniofacial genetics, Marfan syndrome, Skeletal dysplasia, Fetal pathology and Fetal medicine, Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis, Disorders of Sexual Development and Ophthalmic genetics. MDT working is strongly encouraged in Scotland.

The four Scottish Genetic Centres are closely linked through the Scottish Clinical Genetics Forum, which meets twice yearly and addresses a wide range of clinical and strategic issues affecting the specialty.

Genetic laboratory services are run on a nationally funded consortium model and there are very close links between the laboratories and the clinical services with MDT working to introduce the ACMG guidelines for variant interpretation in Scotland. Trainees on the Scottish programme have the opportunity to follow complex cases through the laboratory. 

b. How do trainees access these opportunities?

Exposure to the subspecialty programmes occurs throughout training and there is increasing exposure to the more complex areas of clinical genetics as training progresses.  Assignments are made by the Educational Supervisors who are guided by the Training Programme Director and the needs of the individual trainees.

2 a. What opportunities are there for research, audit and teaching?

The three training centres are based in teaching hospitals with medical schools, so there is ample opportunity for trainees to develop their teaching skills in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programmes. There is a Deanery management training programme the trainee will need to complete. Completion of an annual audit project is mandatory during training and there are plenty of opportunities for audit during training.

There are opportunities for involvement in research, small projects or full-time for either MD or PhD as out of programme research training

b. How do trainees access these opportunities?

These are usually in discussion with their Educational Supervisor and Academic Fellows within the training centre.

 

3 a. How are rotations on hospital sites organised?

Trainees are appointed to one training centre and stay there for the duration of their training but trainees, if they wish, have opportunities to gain experience in other centres

b. Which hospitals are involved?

The primary training centres are:

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen

Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow

Western General Hospital, Edinburgh

c. What degree of choice is there for trainees?

Trainees in the Scottish training programme are genuinely seen as supernumerary and therefore, within the constraints of the curriculum, have the opportunity to design a programme encompassing their particular interests which meets the needs of the curriculum in agreement with their Educational Supervisor and TPD. Ultimately, the decision rests with the TPD and the specialty training committee.

4. What teaching (e.g. day-release or exam preparation) or learning opportunities (e.g. e-learning, OOPE), are unique to this post?

This is a national training programme and unique training opportunities in individual training centres are available to all Scottish trainees, irrespective of their principal training centre if they wish to access them. The trainees have the opportunity to attend the national training days, which occur in conjunction with trainees from Newcastle, Leeds and Sheffield.

There are monthly national (Scottish) dysmorphology meetings, which are delivered by video conferencing, which is available in each centre. After dysmorphology, there are monthly VC tutorials, so all the trainees can join in from each of the three centres, based on curriculum topics. The trainee will present on a topic with support from a named Consultant supervisor.

Trainees will get support to attend appropriate courses via Study Leave.

5. What can trainees expect of their trainers in this post?

All the consultants in Scotland are aware that having a trainee is a privilege rather than a right and are enthusiastic about training the next generation of Clinical Geneticists.  Trainers are all appropriately trained to fulfil the function of clinical or educational supervisor and the trainee can expect timely workplace based assessments and regular supervision to ensure that they get the most from the many learning opportunities available.

Trainees interested in pursuing a higher degree will be encouraged and supported in finding an appropriate project and funding.

 

 

6. What are key markers of success? (e.g. exam pass rates. MD, PhD, papers)

Trainees are expected to pass the Specialty specific examination in Clinical Genetics, which has been administered by the Royal College of Pathologists since 2012, prior to obtaining their CCT.  It is also expected that all trainees will have published at least two papers or have presented a platform presentation or a poster presentation at a conference during the time spent in programme and a proportion would be expected to obtain a higher degree.

7. What additional information would you like to include that may encourage trainees to apply for specialty training in this programme in preference to similar programmes in other parts of the UK?

The national training programme of Scotland offers an ideal training environment in a particularly beautiful part of the UK.  The three training centres have had many years experience in close collaborative working and allow trainees access to all the training opportunities right across Scotland. 

The size of the Scottish population and its ethnic diversity ensures the trainee encounters the full spectrum of genetic conditions and the Training Programme Director and the Scottish Training Committee closely monitor the quality of the training programme.

General Job Description

8. Clinical Experience

The posts offer a wide range of experience in general genetics, paediatric, learning disability, cardiac, neuromuscular, prenatal, cancer and other specialist genetics areas as well as exposure to the molecular genetics service laboratories.  The post is recognised for higher Specialist training in Clinical Genetics by the Royal College of Physicians.

As well as participating in general genetic clinics the Specialist Registrar will be attached for blocks of time to paediatric genetics and dysmorphology, the prenatal diagnosis service, cancer genetic clinics, neurology and neuromuscular genetics, and cardiac genetics. Some clinics run in conjunction with specialists from other specialties breast surgery, colorectal surgery and gynaeocology as well as paediatric and adult neurogenetics, skeletal dysplasias and single disease clinics (Marfan syndrome, Tuberous Sclerosis and Neurofibromatosis).  The four-year training programme will mirror the curriculum laid down by the JRCPTB in Clinical Genetics.

9. Training

The Trainee will be expected to participate in organisation and delivery of Clinical Genetics services, including appropriate participation in academic and administrative activities and complete all aspects of their training including management training. An outline of the 4 year training programme is presented below but trainees may choose to do different modules at different stages of their training

Year 1

Induction, General Genetics and Cancer Genetics

Year 2

General Genetics and Specialised Modules

Year 3

General Genetics and Specialised Modules

Year 4

General Genetics and Special Interest Genetics

 

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

All trainees are based in one centre but have the opportunity if they wish to gain experience in other centres. There are opportunities for involvement in research, small projects or full-time for either MD or PhD as out of programme research training

The three training centres are based in teaching hospitals with medical schools, so there is ample opportunity for trainees to develop their teaching skills in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programmes. There is a Deanery management training programme the trainee will need to complete. Completion of an annual audit project is mandatory during training and there are plenty of opportunities for audit during training.

Where is the training delivered?

All trainees are based in one centre but have the opportunity if they wish to gain experience in other centres

The primary training centres are:

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen

Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow

Western General Hospital, Edinburgh

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

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow , Western General Hospital, Edinburgh

Training Centres

Department of Clinical Genetics, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh

Department of Clinical Genetics, Yorkhill Hospitals, Glasgow,

Deaprtment of Clinical Genetics, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen

Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: National
Administration office West of Scotland
Lead Dean / Director Professor Alastair McLellan
Responsible Associate Postgraduate Dean or Assistant Director (GP) Dr David Marshall
Specialty or Sub-specialty Specialty or Sub-specialty: Specialty
Date of GMC recent approval January 2009
Associated Royal College - Faculty
Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board (web site)
Curriculum and Associated Assessment System https://www.jrcptb.org.uk/documents/2010-clinical-genetics-curriculum-amendments-2016
Programme Administrator: Named Programme Administrator: Christine Ferguson
Address: NES, 2 Central Quay, 89 Hydepark Street, Glasgow G3 8BW
Tel: 0141 223 1528
Email: Christine.Ferguson@nes.scot.nhs.uk
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Dr Anne Lampe
Address: South East of Scotland Clinical Genetics Service Molecular Medicine Centre Western General Hospital Crewe Road Edinburgh EH4 2XU
Tel:
Email: anne.lampe@luht.scot.nhs.uk
Quality of Training Quality Management

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