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Scottish Medical Training

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Speciality: Plastic Surgery

Programme Description
GMC Reference: EOS/496

Plastic Surgery is a pan Scotland Training Programme. Plastic surgery is a fascinating specialty potentially covering all age groups and all anatomical regions. The primary focus of plastic surgery is the restoration of form and function applying reconstructive techniques to a wide variety of congenital and acquired conditions. In essence plastic surgery is a specialty defined by an ascending ladder of reconstructive concepts which can be applied to a wide variety of medical presentations.

Our congenital workload includes  reconstructive surgery for cleft lip and palate, microtia, hand malformations, vascular malformations and hypospadias. Emergency surgery for burns and other traumatic injuries represents a major workload including soft tissue injuries, hand injuries and open fractures. Soft tissue infections necrotising or otherwise regularly feature. We are frequently involved in the treatment of acquired conditions. This includes neoplastic conditions such as skin cancer, breast cancer and  sarcomas as well as non neoplastic problems such as fibrosis (Dupytren’s), scarring and lymphoedema. Our techniques are with increasing frequency applied also in the aesthetic arena . Opportunities will be available for trainees to work in all of the aforementioned areas of practice.

Close interaction in a range of multidisciplinary teams is a major feature of modern plastic surgery. Examples would include working with breast surgeons to offer immediate reconstruction after mastectomy, orthopaedic surgeons to optimally manage open fractures, dermatologists for skin cancer,  coloproctologists and or gynaecologists for pelvic cancer, opthalmologists of rperiorbital problems and otologists for patients with microtia and atresia.

 Training is based in 4 ‘hub’ plastic surgery units in Scotland in Aberdeen (4 trainees), Dundee (7), Edinburgh (9) and Glasgow (11). Each of the units caters for the broad generality of common conditions in plastic surgery but inevitably individual units have areas of particular strength. All units offer large volumes of skin cancer, breast reconstruction and trauma. Glasgow has a particular emphasis on burns as well as being the national centre for cleft lip and palate and brachial plexus surgery, Edinburgh has an integrated (orthoplastic) service and is the designated national service for ear reconstruction, the Dundee unit has a particular focus on lymphoedema and continues to offer hypospadias surgery.

In 2017 the structure of our programme was redesigned to allow for changing patterns of NHS care provision within Scotland.  In order to provide optimal training we plan to rotate trainees between units for 3 blocks of two years. The training committee will try to, whenever possible, offer two of three rotations in geographically adjacent units. All trainees will have the opportunity to spend two of their 6 years in either Aberdeen or Dundee. All trainees will spend at least 2 of their 6 years in either Glasgow or Edinburgh.

During the 6 year training programme all trainees will be allocated a two month attachment to the national cleft service at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow.  Enthusiastic consideration will be afforded to helping trainees wishing to embark on areas of subspecialty training in their senior years. This might include oncoplastic breast training, cleft training or hand training. We would envisage using such opportunities as are available to facilitate application to national TIG schemes.

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

All four plastic surgery hub units are intrinsically linked to large medical schools within universities. Research opportunities are available in a 4 units and trainees have in recent times successfully completed periods of study for both MD and PhD degrees.

Academic appointments to clinical lecturer posts have recently been made at Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities for post doctoral 9PhD) trainees national training numbers.  These SCREDS posts have allowed trainees to spend 20% of their time on academic research activities within a variety of domains including tissue engineering and  molecular oncology.


We have also supported trainees in successful appointment to clinical leadership fellowships for 1 year posts. This scheme offers supervised project working in areas of clinical leadership in collaboration with stakeholders such as NHS Education Scotland and the Royal College of Surgeons.



Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Gartnavel General, Glasgow, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Clydebank, Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Greenock, University Hospital Monklands, Airdrie, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, Perth Royal Infirmary, Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, Royal Aberdeen Childrens Hospital, Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, 50 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh, EH16 4SF, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley , The Royal Hospital for Children Glasgow, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow , St Johns Hospital, Livingston, Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow, Stracathro Hospital, Angus, Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, University Hospital Wishaw, Dr Grays Hospital, Elgin

Aberdeen Plastic Surgery Unit, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

Canniesburn Plastic Surgery Unit, Glasgow Royal Infirmary

Edinburgh Regional Plastic Unit, St John’s Hospital, Livingston

Tayside Regional Plastics Unit, Ninewells, Hospital, Dundee

Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: National
Administration office East of Scotland
Lead Dean / Director Professor Adam Hill
Responsible Associate Postgraduate Dean or Assistant Director (GP) Dr Russell Duncan
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
Programme Administrator: Named Programme Administrator: Julie Campbelton
Address: NHS Education for Scotland, 102 West Port, Edinburgh, EH3 9DN
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Mr Stuart Waterston
Address: Ninewells Hospital & Medical School Dundee DD1 9SY
Quality of Training Quality Management

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