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Scottish Medical Training

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West of Scotland General Practice

West of Scotland GP Programmes

Welcome from Prof Amjad Khan

Welcome to the information pages for the West of Scotland Region.  I hope you will find this useful and relevant regarding GP training in our region.

The West of Scotland is the largest region in the Scotland Deanery stretching from Helensburgh in the North to Dumfries and Galloway in the South and to Stirling in the East.  There are eight programmes in the West region which offer a wide variety of training settings from the very rural Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Dumfries to urban in Glasgow and the central belt.  There are many training practices in affluent areas and others based in more deprived giving experience in many of the social and healthcare problems that arise from this.  There is no doubt that the West of Scotland offers a huge range of choice.

Each of the eight programmes has a unique identity:


Ayrshire and Arran

Ayrshire and Arran has a mixture of urban, mixed and rural practices with a training practice on the Isle of Arran. Ayrshire is close to Glasgow and has good transport links to the city but also has its own international airport based at Prestwick. There is a beautiful coastline with many challenging golf courses. 


Dumfries and Galloway

This specialty training programme offers high quality training based in a busy district general hospital with a variety of urban semi-urban, remote and rural practices. Dumfries and Galloway is a beautiful part of Scotland with good rail and road links to Glasgow, Central Scotland and North of England.  There are also ferry links to Northern Ireland.  There are many opportunities for golf, sailing, fishing, walking and nationally recognised cycling routes both on and off road.


Forth Valley

Most hospital posts are based in the new Forth Valley Royal Hospital.  This is a very beautiful part of Scotland well connected with road and rail to Glasgow and Edinburgh with cinema,theatres and excellent shopping facilities.


Greater Glasgow North-East

Trainees will experience a wide range of opportunities in some of Glasgow's major teaching hospitals.  The patient population covers deprived urban to more affluent suburban areas.  Ongoing regeneration projects are changing the face of this part of the city attracting a number of young professional people to central Glasgow with fantastic sporting facilities as a legacy from the Commonwealth Games of 2014.


Greater Glasgow North-West

This popular programme is centred around the lively west-end of Glasgow close to the University and major teaching hospitals. In this area there is a wealth of cultural and recreational facilities on the doorstep with excellent restaurants, theatres, cinemas, museums and shopping. There are many parks in the immediate vicinity with Loch Lomond National Park just a short drive away.


Glasgow South

Trainees can experience varying population demographics from the highly deprived to affluent areas.  Hospital experience is based in teaching hospitals.  The opening of the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital will provide a huge step forward in the working environment for doctors in training and the educational facilities available to them. Moreover, the south of Glasgow has a wealth of cultural, entertainment and leisure facilities with good transport links and easy access to beautiful countryside and coastland.


The Lanarkshire programme is in the central belt of the West of Scotland with easy access to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling. There are also excellent cultural and leisure facilities in the area. The jewel in the South Lanarkshire crown is undoubtedly New Lanark which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Other popular attractions are Bothwell Castle, the Museum
of Scottish Country Life at Kittochside and Chaterlherault. North Lanarkshire is more industrial and while the coalmines, steelworks and heavy engineering may be gone, they are actively celebrated at the Summerlee Heritage Park in Coatbridge. Hospital posts are located throughout the area in Monklands, Hairmyers and Wishaw hospitals.


Glasgow Clyde

This programme lies in the western part of Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board with some areas part of Highland.  This programme offers experience across a range of Practices and district hospitals while also providing experience in busy hospitals in Paisley and Renfrew.  One of the unique features of this programme is the Community Based Medicine posts based at the Vale of Leven which also allow 6 weeks in General Practice near the start of training. The 'Clyde Southward' part of the programme benefits from its close proximity to Glasgow and to the countryside.  The 'Clyde Northward' part has practices in Dumbarton, Alexandria and Helensburgh giving a wide range of clinical experience and expertise with easy access to the west end area of Glasgow. 

In summary the West of Scotland offers something for everyone. If you do take up a post in the West of Scotland you will be given a high quality of training and will have a very positive experience.


Programme Descriptors

Ayrshire & Arran (pdf)

Dumfries & Galloway (pdf)

Forth Valley (pdf)

Glasgow North East (pdf)

Glasgow North West (pdf)

Glasgow South (pdf)

Lanarkshire (pdf)

Glasgow Clyde (pdf)


Trainee Experience

All trainees will have educational supervision provided from general practice throughout the duration of their programme.  Each programme is overseen by the local Training Programme Director.  The programmes give a balanced rotation of specialties with importance for general practice training.  Each has an active educational programme with release to general practice throughout the three years of the programme.

The release to general practice is for two purposes, educational appraisal and for attachments to gain experience in practice.

In the West Region we have consistently high first time pass rates for AKT and CSA and are regularly rated highly in annual GMC Trainee surveys.


Regional Office

The Regional Office in the West region is based in 2 Central Quay, Glasgow. The Director of Postgraduate General Practice Education is Professor Amjad Khan and the Assistant Directors for GP Training are Dr Kenneth Lee and Dr Nitin Gambhir.

Queries on any of the above can be emailed : 


Why the West of Scotland?

We'll let some of our trainees speak for themselves!

What did you find most helpful?

"I found the Inveraray Thursdays invaluable and looked forward to them.
They were a nice break from the rest of the clinical week and having regular contact with a peer group was very important to me. I liked your style of letting the group run itself, but your input was also essential and much appreciated. Thank you :)"

"Having spoken to other registrars from other areas, I think our day-release is by far the most registrar-centered and self-directed, and probably the most useful, so thank you very much for facilitating that."

"I enjoyed the chance to meet and talk to peers, I like having some time set aside  for teaching away from the surgery, the informal setting allowed us to discuss teaching topics rather than using didactic teaching methods, we were allowed to dictate our own sessions according to our needs."

Why would you recommend this region to others?

"From A&E job to GP registrar year very good experience as training is excellent."

"Nice area, good practices, nice people."

"Yes,  good mix between rural and urban GP, good mix of ST2 jobs.  Nice trainers, small group which is nice."

"Good training practices and great linkage to each other.  Experienced trainers.  Beautiful Scenes/geography.  Great group of trainers, well organised, you learn to have fun at the same time,  Oban days are great.  Demographics of patients."

"Compared to other training groups we are allowed much autonomy, beautiful scenery."


Further information on living in the West of Scotland and what it has to offer can be found in the West Region page (external link).

GP National Recruitment Office Website