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Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

Speciality: Internal Medicine Training (IMT)

Programme Description
GMC Reference: NOS4081

Why choose this programme 

The three-year Internal Medical Training (IMT) Stage 1 programme is split into 6 posts of 4 months each over the first 2 years and 2 posts of 6 months in year 3.  The rotations are designed to provide a broad range of core medical knowledge and skills in line with the new curriculum.  These rotations provide greater exposure to General Medicine during the first year of training. All trainees undertake 4 months in acute medicine and 4 months in medicine for the elderly over the first two years and the required critical care block (either HDU or ICU) in year 2. The remaining 3 jobs in the first 2 years provide experience in a range of medical specialities. Some trainees may complete IMT after year 2 to apply for group 2 medical specialities. All trainees will have the opportunity to progress to year 3 and those applying to group 1 specialities need to complete year 3. The ethos of year 3 is progressing to the registrar grade in a supervised environment. This will include 6 months in a more general placement and 6 months in a speciality, further exposure to the acute take is included.

We aim to assign an Educational Supervisor to each trainee for the duration of the program.  Each medical specialty provides its local clinical supervision and teaching programme. The curriculum is covered in a series of monthly national training days including a QI conference which have received excellent feedback from trainees. In the first half of year one you will attend a simulation boot camp covering procedural and non-procedural skills. Further regional simulation training course are provided in years 2 and 3. Career and progression guidance will be provided throughout.

Rotations are themed to address different training needs and most incorporate experience of district general, remote and teaching hospitals. Twelve rotations are based in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (a large teaching hospital) and rotate through Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin (a small DGH).  Six are based in Inverness (a large DGH) and rotate through include the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Shetland (remote and rural) and Western Isle (remote and rural). The Deanery is leading in the Acute Medicine (Remote and Rural) programme in Scotland and provides an opportunity to consider this option for interested trainees.

Aberdeen is a historic city with many architectural splendours.  The use of its sparkling local granite has earned Aberdeen the name of the Granite City.  Recognised as the prosperous energy capital of Europe, Aberdeen nevertheless retains its old-fashioned charm and character making it an attractive place in which to live.  The potential for leisure facilities are outstanding with skiing, hill walking, cycling, water sports and golf to name a few, with easy road access to the countryside to visit historical castles or just enjoy the beautiful scenery.  Aberdeen enjoys excellent communication services with other British and European cities – e.g., flying time to London is just over an hour with regular daily flights, road and rail links to all points north and south are excellent.

Inverness is the capital of the Highlands and the outdoor capital of Scotland. It is well located with access to the remote beauty of the west coast including the Hebrides islands and the far north with its Flow Country a proposed world UNESCO site. Famous for Nessie and Loch Ness, big wild glens and rare wildlife, the Highlands make an ideal location for those who love to enjoy and explore the outdoors. In previous years junior doctors have taken full advantage of this sea kayaking with whales, ice climbing in the Cairngorm national park and swimming in waterfalls to name a few of the many adventures that attract the outdoor minded. The airport is small but well connected within the UK.

Shetland- where Scotland meets Scandinavia and the North Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. Shetland is an archipelago of some 100 islands, 15 of which are inhabited.  Shetland’s Jigsaw coastline is an amazing 1,697miles long. The scenery carved from complex geology includes some of Britain’s highest cliffs, hundreds of sea caves, wide-open sandy bays and beaches. A past rich in Viking heritage results in a strong Norse culture that remains on the Islands to this day. Long winter nights are brightened by spectacular fire festivals and the northerly latitude results in summers with 19 hours of sunshine per day. Junior doctors take full advantage of the rugged outdoor life – sea swimming, coasteering, and hillwalking to name but a few activities on offer.

Elgin is situated between Aberdeen and Inverness on the Moray coast. It is a hidden gem with wonderful beaches and forests to the north and the Spey to the south with the world’s largest concentration of whisky distilleries. The Spey river has many beautiful river walks and lovely cycle routes. The hospital is beautiful mix of the old and new sitting to the west of Elgin.

The Western Isles are a group of Islands called the Outer Hebrides mainly connected by ferries or causeways.  The largest of these are Lewis and Harris in the north. They are famed for the emerald seas and large white beaches. Luskentyre is often rated as one of the world’s finest beaches. The area is steeped in history with Iron Age forts (Brochs) visible at many sites. The capital is Stornoway in the north with a vibrant culture and traditional music scene.

Trainees appointed to these internal medical training programmes would be expected to follow the IMT curriculum and obtain MRCP exam by the end of year 2 training. Opportunities and training in Quality Improvement are offered to all trainees. Research is encouraged and can be facilitated through existing strong links with the University of Aberdeen but is not essential.

The NES IMT programme consistently gets excellent trainee feedback and the North of Scotland IMT programme ranked top in the UK in the GMC trainee survey for overall trainee satisfaction in 2022.


Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

The programme in the North provides a superb and varied grounding in the main internal medical specialities, with unparalleled opportunities for exposure to remote and rural medicine. Rotations are themed to address different training needs and incorporate experience of district general, remote and teaching hospitals.  The Deanery is leading in the Acute Medicine (Remote and Rural Medicine) programme in Scotland and provides an opportunity to consider this option.

There is ample opportunity for quality improvement within IMT, with QIP training provided as part of the teaching programme. Most clinical departments have their own educational meetings. Involvement with research is not expected but is strongly encouraged.

Appropriate use of study leave is actively encouraged. There are a number of locally-run courses and use of the study leave budget is encouraged to allow attendance at these or other non-local courses.

Our trainers support our Internal Medical Trainees to frequently becoming our future registrars and consultant colleagues.  This motivates trainers and enables excellent training relationships and investment into trainee development. We are keen to train and retain the best doctors to provide the best possible service to the people in the North of Scotland. All trainees have a trained Educational Supervisor and there is easy access to Deanery officials if required.  Our trainees have an exceptionally high success rate in procuring their preferred higher specialty posts on completion of IMT.

Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Gilbert Bain Hospital, Lerwick, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, Western Isles Hospital, Stornoway, Dr Grays Hospital, Elgin, Woodend Hospital, Aberdeen

Training is delivered across:

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Gilbert Bain Hospital, Lerwick, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, Western Isles Hospital, Stornoway, Dr Gray’s Hospital, Elgin, Woodend Hospital, Aberdeen

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

Woodend Hospital

Dr Gray`s Hospital in Elgin

Raigmore Hospital Inverness

Western Isles hospital, Stornoway

Gilbert Bain Hospital, Lerwick

Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: Deanery
Administration office West of Scotland
Lead Dean / Director Professor Adam Hill
Responsible Associate Postgraduate Dean or Assistant Director (GP) Dr Marion Slater
Specialty or Sub-specialty Specialty or Sub-specialty: Specialty
Date of GMC recent approval August 2010
Associated Royal College - Faculty
Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board (web site)
Curriculum and Associated Assessment System
Programme Administrator: Named Programme Administrator: Nicole Smith
Address: NHS Education for Scotland, Third Floor, 2 Central Quay, 89 Hydepark Street, Glasgow, G3 8BW
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Dr Susan McGeoch and Dr William Rutherford
Address: Dr Susan McGeoch, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen AB24 2ZN; Dr William Rutherford, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness IV2 3UJ
Quality of Training Quality Management

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