NHS Education for Scotland Logo

Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

Speciality: Neurology

Programme Description
GMC Reference: NOS/437

Scotland forms a single unit of application for neurological training, and successful candidates join a five-year programme which is coordinated by the four academic centres: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Tayside. Applicants, select their preferred region in Scotland, and posts are offered to applicants in order of their score following the UK wide national recruitment process. If they are unsuccessful in one region, available posts in other regions may be offered.

Once Trainees accept a post, they are expected to remain in that region for at least a year. Historically, trainees in Tayside and Aberdeen rotated after two to three years to either Glasgow or Edinburgh. We then adapted the programme so that Trainees can, if they wish, remain in Tayside or Aberdeen for the whole of training. It is therefore up to the Trainee to discuss their ideal rotation with their Educational Supervisor, Local Programme Lead (regional TPD) and National TPD. As we are a National Programme, we can accommodate requests to move to a new region if we have posts available and sufficient notice (ideally 8 to 12 months).

It is also possible to commute e.g. from Edinburgh to Tayside (Dundee / Perth) with train travel of 70-90 minutes each way. A Trainee could, therefore, live in Edinburgh, commute to Tayside for a year or two, then rotate to Edinburgh for the remainder of their training (following discussion with the Training team listed above). This broadens training exposure as each region offers unique advantages to training.

There are over seventy Neurologists in Scotland, serving a population of five million, so there are ample opportunities to obtain clinical experience in managing both the commoner conditions and rarer diseases. Neurology in Scotland has a proud track record of prominence in Research, Teaching, and key management roles in the profession UK wide. The 2022 GMC Survey Neurology Training in Scotland ranked our trainees as 3rd most satisfied in the UK.

The new five-year Neurology Curriculum will provide training in Neurology, Internal Medicine Stage 2 (indicative 12 months), and Stroke (indicative one year with a six month dedicated training block). We are establishing combined neurology and stroke rotas across Scotland. These will ensure exposure to Stroke and acute Neurology throughout training. Internal Medicine training includes contribution to acute unselected take, attachment to medical units and capabilities gained during Stroke and Neurology training. Once Trainees successfully complete training, they will obtain a CCT in Neurology, Internal Medicine, and a subspecialty CCT in Stroke.

All regions have Neurosurgical services. Stroke thrombectomy service in Scotland is being developed. It is currently available during the day in Tayside but will be offered soon in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Delivering the new curriculum will prove a challenge no doubt, but we aim to continue to support Out of Programme requests for research or training in the future. We have, in the past, been able to support this for almost all trainees when they asked for out of programme time. We may need to request more notice in the future given complexity of the new curriculum. This is essential to ensure other Trainees are not disadvantaged.

Training at each of the centres is supervised by a local programme lead (regional Training Programme Director), who will work closely with the successful candidates, local educational supervisors and the National Training Programme Director, to ensure that the curriculum is adequately covered.

We are a friendly, driven team, passionate about delivering high quality neurology training in a supportive, friendly environment.

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

There are ample opportunities for audit and quality improvement projects in all regions. We actively support trainees interested in undertaking out of programme time for research / training and most applications are successful. However, we do require at least 8 months’ notice (longer preferable) before out of programme applications are made to ensure that out of programme time does not impact on the quality of training of other trainees. Trainees should plan to go out of programme in August rather than at other times of the year and discuss any thoughts about applying for research posts as soon as possible with their Educational Supervisors and Local Programme Leads (regional TPDs).


Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee (some clinics at Perth Royal Infirmary), The Queen Elizabeth II University Hospital Glasgow (regional DGHs are included in training as required) , Royal Infirmary Edinburgh (with additional DGH experience in the Scottish Borders, Fife, Forth Valley).

Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: National
Administration office West of Scotland
Lead Dean / Director Professor Alastair McLellan
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: Christine Ferguson
Address: NHS Education for Scotland 2 Central Quay 89 Hydepark Street Glasgow G3 8BW
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Myles Connor
Quality of Training Quality Management

How to Apply

Search Specialty
Training Opportunities