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Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

Speciality: Emergency Medicine

Programme Description
GMC Reference: NOS2561

HST Emergency Medicine

GMC Reference: NOS2561

The North of Scotland Emergency Medicine Training Programme offers trainees a full exposure to all aspects of 
Emergency Medicine. Although located primarily at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Royal Aberdeen Children’s 

Hospital most trainees will generally rotate through to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for a period of 1 year, most commonly within the core training programme ​but opportunities in HST. 


With a population approximately 250,000 Aberdeen stands between the Rivers Dee and Don. The historic old city has many buildings of architectural interest and the use of the sparkling local granite has earned Aberdeen the name of the Silver City. As well as being an international centre for the oil industry, Aberdeen retains its old charm and character making it an attractive place to live, with a good quality of life. There are good national and international transport links by air, rail, road and sea and a wide choice of housing in the city and in rural villages within easy commuting distance to the hospital.

Education facilities in the city hold a high reputation and the city has a strong family focus. Amenities are first class, with restaurants, night clubs, theatres, music hall, exhibition centre, art galleries, museums and sporting facilities. The city is close to some of Scotland’s best countryside with easy access for hill-walking, beaches, mountaineering, skiing, fishing and golf. 


Inverness stands on the River Ness and has a population of nearly 70,000. It was granted city status in 2000. It is an attractive city with a mild climate and offers access to the highlands, Loch Ness and the West Coast. There are good transport links by road, rail and air to all parts of Scotland and the UK.

Additional information: 
University of Aberdeen: 
NHS Grampian: 
NHS Highland: 
Aberdeen City: 

Specialty Information 

The Emergency Department at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary is staffed by 23 Consultants with 4 being recognised

nominated Paediatric trainers delivering training within Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.  The portfolio careers of the Consultant body include PHEM, the national Hyperbaric Centre, research, University involvement, sports medicine, and other private interests.  ARI and the RACH is one of Scotland's Major Trauma Centres for both adults and children, and Aberdeen is the national respiratory ECMO unit.  The combined Aberdeen Royal Infirmary/Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital Emergency Department treats approximately 80,000 patients per year and the region has the unenviable reputation as having the most recorded road traffic accidents within Scotland. Aberdeen hosts one of Scotland's two Emergency Medical Retrieval Services offering PHEM and retrieval opportunities.  In addition, patients are treated remotely from the Department through modern Telemedicine links to Community Hospitals scattered throughout Grampian. Aberdeen Royal Infirmary is one of two hospitals in the United Kingdom providing medical advice to offshore shipping within UK waters and regularly treats patients arriving from offshore oil installations by helicopter. The ED has close links with the hospitals' other departments including Acute Medicine, Critical Care, Toxicology, Paediatrics and the surgical specialities.  

 There is daily clinical teaching tailored to the FRCEM curriculum. In addition, there is regular teaching for the senior trainees tailored to passing the FRCEM and preparation for life as a Consultant. The Department boasts a large cohort of junior doctors, Physician Associates, ENPs and nursing staff who make up the fabric of the ED. 

Rotation to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness allows trainees access to District General Hospital experience and in addition a further venue for undertaking Acute Medicine or Anaesthetic Training. 

Our graduating trainees have a very high success rate at the final College exam and trainees have a very high rate of being appointed to Consultant positions within 3 months of their CCT date.


Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

Training in Emergency Medicine (EM) in the North of Scotland provides excellent experience in the full spectrum of both adult and paediatric emergency presentations.

Between the Emergency Departments of ARI and RACH, which are adjacent, approx 85,000 new patients attend per annum. Both Hospitals are the regional Tertiary referral centres for the whole of the North of Scotland. In particular, ARI it is the only Adult Hospital in Scotland with all Surgical Specialties which is invaluable in the management of major trauma of which there is a substantial amount.

Dual accreditation with Intensive Care medicine is possible and we are in the process of applying for Subspecialty accreditation in Paediatric EM as there are now four Consultants with Sub Specialty Training.

The programme provides unparalleled opportunities for exposure to remote & rural medicine and the Scottish centre for Telehealth is on site. There is a busy telemedicine service to the rural hospitals and the islands provided by staff within the ED. Opportunities are also afforded to become involved with Ship to Shore work both with the Coast Guard and with the delivery of Health care provision to the Oil Platforms in the North Sea.

There is ample opportunity for audit and evidence of participation is required for satisfactory progress in training. Every member of medical staff is part of a Departmental Audit group to tackle a project on a 6 monthly basis. Over and above this there is opportunity to participate in further projects and research within the Department which can lead to presentation and publication.

The teaching programme involvesweekly protected teaching continues to run in the Emergency Department at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. There are 30 minute sessions given over every morning which run as follows: Monday: Consultant led Governance meeting or X-ray meeting, Tuesday: Registrar led Clinical Topic, Wednesday: Journal Club, Thursday: Registrar led clinical Topic, Friday: Case/Lesson of the week (Consultant and Registrar). The morning clinical sessions are curriculum mapped and should rotate through the whole clinical syllabus in 3 years Tuesday afternoon is set a side for Consultant led higher specialist trainee teaching which is mapped to the curriculum and to coverage of all facets of the FCEM exam.

Appropriate use of study leave is actively encouraged. A variety of additional training resources are available locally through the Deanery and Aberdeen University medical School. There is active participation of staff in locally run ALS, APLS andATLS courses but Trainees should apply to take Study Leave for that which they feel to be central to their learning. Attendance and Participation at local and National educational meetings is encouraged The College of Emergency Medicine (CEM) now has an extensive eLearning framework which is recommended by the ED locally. This involves registration with the CEM which gives access to eLearning on three platforms.

In the North we are keen to invest in our trainees so they attain their best in all facets of their development as Emergency Physicians.

Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, Royal Aberdeen Childrens Hospital

North and North-East Scotland – placements in Aberdeen hospitals and Inverness
NHS Grampian
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen
Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, Aberdeen
NHS Highland
Raigmore Hospital, Inverness

Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: Deanery
Administration office North of Scotland
Lead Dean / Director Professor Adam Hill
Responsible Associate Postgraduate Dean or Assistant Director (GP) Dr Joy Miller
Specialty or Sub-specialty Specialty or Sub-specialty: Specialty
Date of GMC recent approval August 2010
Associated Royal College - Faculty
College of Emergency Medicine' (web site)
Curriculum and Associated Assessment System
Programme Administrator: Named Programme Administrator: Mrs Kathleen Forsyth
Address: NHS Education for Scotland Glasgow, G3 8BW
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Dr David Connor
Address: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
Quality of Training Quality Management

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