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Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

North of Scotland General Practice

North of Scotland GP Programmes

Welcome from the Director of Postgraduate GP Education

Welcome to the information pages for the North of Scotland region.  

Each area will explain in more detail the various programmes they offer and the uniqueness of training they they provide on the page belong along with the location of the deanery office and useful contacts for further information.

Scotland is a great place to train to be a GP.  The East region exemplifies all that Scotland has to offer both in terms of rurality, with placements in places such as the Shetlands and Borders, and urban settings in cities such as Aberdeen and Edinburgh.  There is something here for every future GP.

I hope you will find the information useful and relevant regarding GP training in our regions and I wish you a successful training journey in whatever part of Scotland you pursue your career.

Dr Nitin Gambhir
Director of Postgraduate GP Education


Welcome from Dr Debbie Miller & Dr Monica Milne, Assistant Directors of Postgraduate GP Education

Please visit the blog to get all the up to date information on what it is like to train in the North of Scotland

Welcome to the GP Specialty Training recruitment pages for the North of Scotland Region of the Scotland Deanery, which will, I hope provide you with a taste of what it is like to live, train and work in this wonderful part of the country.

I lead a dedicated team of Training Programme Directors and Training Programme Advisers, whose responsibility it is to monitor the quality of the training programmes and provide support for trainees, their trainers and their supervisors. We have a wonderful and highly committed group of GP Trainers that provide the Educational Supervision role throughout your training. You will be supported throughout your training also by enthusiastic and skilled staff throughout the Region. The Region teams are located in two main offices in Aberdeen and Inverness but with local staff in all the District General and Rural General Hospitals throughout the region.

The North of Scotland encompasses the largest land mass of any deanery in the UK and we have an exciting set of GP Specialty Training options that reflect this diverse geography. The challenge of our geography means that a very close working relationship between primary and secondary care colleagues is essential and this contributes to the community atmosphere that exists in the North of Scotland.

Approaches to provision of an educational programme to support your need to meet the curriculum are also influenced by our geography with a strategy that maximises the benefits of a variety of delivery methods including short courses, day and half day sessions, videoconferencing and eLearning. We work hard to get the balance right between the use of technology and face-to-face contact to support your educational progress.

The North of Scotland GPST experience is consistently very highly rated both in local and national surveys.

Training in the North of Scotland

There are three programmes on offer in the North of Scotland Region, each of which includes 18 months in General Practice:

Programme Descriptors

Grampian Programme Descriptor  (pdf)

Caledonian Programme Descriptor (pdf)

Rural Track Programme Descriptor (pdf)

The Grampian Programme is focussed on the urban centre of Aberdeen though it includes GP practice options within easy reach of the city. The GP practice component of training is balanced by hospital posts that are largely located in the Aberdeen Teaching Hospitals. There are a variety of rotations available to you in this programme that include a rural experience in one of our Rural General Hospitals.

The Caledonian Programme is focussed on the two small cities of Inverness and Elgin, the capitals of the Highlands and Moray respectively. There are a variety of possible GP practice placements within this programme including urban-based programmes in Inverness or Elgin and more rural options often with Community Hospital work. Hospital Posts are largely located in Raigmore Hospital in Inverness and Dr Grays Hospital in Elgin.

The National Rural-track GPST Programme is a new and exciting option, which was offered for the first time in 2012. This is a three year programme and if successful at recruitment you will be based in a single rural area for most of your training. The rotation will focus on one of our Rural General Hospital (RGH) systems with most of the hospital experience being gained in that RGH and complemented in years by 18 months in one of our local training practices. There is a need to complement the hospital experience gained in the RGH with more specialised experience (e.g. Psychiatry ) and this necessitates being away from the rural base for 6 to12 months of the three years. Also built into the programme in year 3 is an out-of-programme opportunity for six months specifically designed for you to complement your learning with other rurally-relevant experience. We have a wealth of international contacts and will be keen to help you manage this opportunity, though there is a responsibility on you to organise the attachment and source funding support.

The aim for this programme is that you will qualify not only as a fully competent GP but also as a GP with the extra competencies to work in rural or remote areas. Think of it as 'GPST plus'. In order to deliver this there will be a diet of supplementary learning opportunities provided throughout the programme focussing on pre-hospital care and similar relevant topics.

We hope that this brief summary whets your appetite and that you will take the opportunity to examine our three programmes in more detail by clicking on the links above. Whether you are attracted by the city life, the smaller town experience or the rural idyll, the North of Scotland has something for everyone.

A warm welcome awaits you from the GP team in the North of Scotland

Dr Debbie Miller
Assistant Director of GP Education

Dr Monica Milne
Assistant Director of GP Education


For further information on the Scottish rural-track GP specialty training programme please see the BMJ article - Training the rural GPs of the future - *NEW Feb 2012*


View North of Scotland Deanery Training Practices and Hospitals in a larger map

What's it like to be a GP trainee in the North of Scotland?

Alex, GP Trainee in Inverness (pdf)
Joe, GP Trainer in the West Highlands (pdf)
Emily, GP Trainee in Fort William (pdf)
Graeme, freelancing through the North (pdf)
GP Trainee in Grampian (pdf)
Neil, GP Trainee in Highlands (pdf)
Katy, GP Trainee in Kingussie (pdf)
Aneta, GP Trainee in Orkney (pdf)

Training Opportunities During the Programmes

For more information on Training Opportunities in Highland and Grampian during your training.

Training Opportunities After Completion of the Certificate of Completion of Training

For more information on Training Opportunities after completion of the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT).

Why Live in the North of Scotland?

The high quality of life on offer in living and working in the North of Scotland is highlighted by the testimonials and programme descriptors. Why not have a look?

As well as promoting an area to come and train the GPSTs highlight the benefits of staying and working in the North of Scotland.

In addition rural GPSTs are also supported by the Distant Island Allowance to support living on the islands and the Air Discount Scheme to subsidise travel to and from the islands.


GP National Recruitment Office Website
North of Scotland GP Training Blog