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Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

Speciality: Clinical Radiology

Programme Description
GMC Reference: NOS/454

The North of Scotland Radiology Training Programme offers wide experience of training within a friendly enviroment.  Our prime aim is to train you in all aspects of being a clinical radiologist: image acquision, interpretation, exposure to multimodality imaging, the construction of accurate and useful reports, and strong procedural skills. Most of this training is done side-by-side with more senior radiologists, apprentice style. Some skills are acquired by more formal training. As you acquire competencies within the training programme you will progress to working independently. There is also strong emphasis on developing those more generic skills required as consultant – leading the MDT, professionalism, teaching etc


It is a small training scheme, with 21 trainees. Training is delivered by 24 consultants, with help from a team of sonographers, fluoroscopy radiographers and reporting radiographers. The size of the department means that you get to know the whole trainee group well, and indeed your trainers. It is therefore easier to deliver more individualised training than in some large centres.


Much of the training is delivered in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and associated hospitals. This is a large single site with all major specialties represented including neurosurgery, cardio-thoracic and paediatrics. Aberdeen is one of Scotland’s Major Trauma centres with a very busy A&E on site.  There are 3 modern CT scanners on site, and one MR scanner, with some additional access to 3T MR on a University owned scanner.  2 further MR scanners are off site, but run by our team. ARI has 2 fully equipped IR theatres and a full range of general radiological facilities. It also has PET/CT and a cyclotron, and a modern nuclear medicine department.


A 3 month attachment in late first year or sometimes later, takes place in Dr Gray’s Hospital, Elgin, a small district general hospital with opportunities to consolidate basic general radiological skills.


At some point in training there is a rotation to Raigmore Hospital , Inverness. This is a larger district general hospital, where further general radiological training can be carried out, and also some specialty training. This is usually 6 months, but can vary, and a trainee who particularly wishes to spend more time in the Highlands of Scotland, can negotiate to spend longer in this beautiful small city and training hospital.



Structure of training in North of Scotland:


Initial introductory 2 months, we entitle the ‘snake’block – you wind your way round all areas of the department getting orientated and acquiring key basic skills and knowledge.


12  x 3 month blocks, rotating through various systems, for example:





General / Elgin



Uro & gynae radiology

Head & neck



Nuc Med



The final 2 years are spent developing higher skills in one or more subspecialty interest and consolidating cross-sectional and general radiology.


On-call commences July at the end of first year, and is paired with a more senior trainee for 6 months.


Educational and Clinical supervision tends to be highly regarded in North of Scotland, with keen trainers, who work on the same site, and are therefore easily accessible. As well as input from these trainers, progress is assessed by in-house competency assessments and then summed up at the ARCPs, which are held in June each year.


Facilities available are excellent with dedicated registrar lounge and separate fully equipped study area, with several computers and internet access with e-learning opportunities, including StatDx, a very highly regarded online educational elearning programme.


During the first 3 years there is formal teaching, initially in anatomy or physics, then with a lecture/tutorial programme running one afternoon per week.  This supports trainees as they study for their written exams, and there are also multiple weekly film viewing sessions which help develop clinic-radiological skills and also towards preparation for the 2B exam. The department also has a protected hour of CPD per week, joint across all the professions within it.

Where is the training delivered?


As outlined above, almost all training is delivered on the Foresterhill site, on which Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Maternity Hospital and Royal Aberdeen Childrens Hospital are sited.  Some training in general and MSK radiology is delivered at Woodend Hospital, about 2 miles away, which is where 2 of our MR scanners are situated.  Shuttle bus operates between these sites.


As described, 3 months are spent at Dr Grays Hospital in Elgin (60 miles from Aberdeen), and 6 months or more at Raigmore Hospital Inverness. (100 miles from Aberdeen). Experience there is complementary to Aberdeen, and district general experience is vital to an all round radiology training.  Because of the distances involved trainees tend to stay in hospital accommodation at these sites.

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities.


The training department has close links with academic radiology via the University of Aberdeen- through the Biomedical Imaging Centre. There are 2 academic Professors of Radiology, with interests in neuro-imaging, and medical education.


All trainees are encouraged to undertake research under supervision, according to their level of interest. One of our training numbers is currently a SCREDs post.


There is active participation in clinical audit in our department, with one of the consultants leading the RCR audit live committee at the RCR, and one of our trainees is an RCR Audit Fellow. All trainees take part in one or more audit or QI project annually.


There are also plenty of teaching opportunities, of medical students and other disciplines. Additionally one of the Professors carries out research in medical education.


Formal management teaching is provided by the Deanery via LaMP. In final years some of our trainees have had a formal attachment with medical and/or business managers in Radiology, providing a very practical experience of management.  2 of our middle year trainees have wider formal management roles as Trainee Medical Management representatives.


There are trainee reps on several committees and working groups within the department and all are expected to participate in these: this provides greater experience of running a large department, and training scheme.


Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, Royal Aberdeen Childrens Hospital, Dr Grays Hospital, Elgin, Woodend Hospital, Aberdeen, Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, Aberdeen

Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: Deanery
Administration office North of Scotland
Lead Dean / Director Professor Alan Denison
Responsible Associate Postgraduate Dean or Assistant Director (GP)
Specialty or Sub-specialty Specialty or Sub-specialty: Specialty
Date of GMC recent approval August 2010
Associated Royal College - Faculty
Royal College of Radiologists (web site)
Curriculum and Associated Assessment System
Programme Administrator: Named Programme Administrator: Thomas Gault
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Dr Struan Wilkie (ST1-ST2) & Dr Rosalind Mitchell-Hay (ST3-ST5)
Quality of Training Quality Management

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