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Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

Speciality: Paediatrics

Programme Description
GMC Reference: NOS/488

Why choose this programme


The North of Scotland Training programme offers full training in general paediatrics across the beautiful regions of Grampian and the Highlands.  Training is based between the Royal Aberdeen Childrens Hospital , Aberdeen Maternity Hospital and Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.  Level 1 training tends to be based in Aberdeen with periods of both acute paediatrics and neonatal training.  An active programme of clinical teaching for the MRCPCH exam is offered each year.  Trainees are encouraged to assume a supervised middle grade role at ST3 to allow experience and confidence in the middle grade role before moving to level 2 training, and trainee feedback indicates that this is highly valued.


During level 2 training trainees have the opportunity to rotate to Inverness for general paediatric training (including level 2 neonatal medicine) and community child health training.  This offers the opportunity to work in a dynamic and well supported DGH with paediatric high dependency (pHDU) and NNU, and experience the challenges of covering paediatric services across the wide expanse of Highland region.  Trainees may have the opportunity to accompany consultants undertaking peripheral clinics as far afield as Skye, Caithness and Fort William.  Trainees return to Aberdeen for tertiary neonatal training at AMH, a busy level 3 unit offering a regional transport service.  The unit has been involved in a recent review of training, offering a dynamic education programme and in house simulation opportunities.  Trainees are encouraged to becomes involved in quality improvement projects throughout their attachments.


In RACH, trainees have the opportunity to experience a number of subspecialites including gastroenterology, neurology, rheumatology, infectious diseases and respiratory medicine.  Working with local lead clinicians and the managed clinical networks across Scotland, trainees are encouraged to undertake SPIN modules, and are supported where possible to undertake periods of training out of region for subspecialty experience.  Community Child health training is well supported and an excellent programme of child protection training is available to all trainees who are actively encouraged to participate in child protection rotas and duties.  Grid Training is available in NNU, neurodisability, gastroenterology and Community Child health.  Experience in PICU can be negotiated with our regional units.


There is an active programme of educational opportunities across the region with VC support to alllow participation from across all centres.  Regular regional training days offer opportunities for peer support and a community of learning to address both clinical and non-clinical aspects of the curriculum.  Trainees are actively encouraged to contribute to the development and improvement of training opportunities within the training programme through a trainee training committee which feeds directly into the regional specialty training committee.  A Peer mentoring programme offers all trainees the opportunity to have peer support, and develop their own mentoring skills and resilience as they progress through training. Trainees are encouraged to undertake the diploma of child health through distance learning with the university of Glasgow, with funding available through the deanery.


Management opportunities are actively encouraged and offered through the NHS Grampian and NHS Highland trainee lead roles.  Trainees are also encouraged to consider the NES clinical leadership fellowship programme.


There are 2 professors of paediatrics based at RACH with active research programmes.  Academic training opportunities are supported through the SCREDS programme, and periods out of programme for research are encouraged.  Educational fellowships are also available through the University of Aberdeen and NHS Highland.


Trainees are encouraged to consider periods out of programme which may contribute to their professional development for research or training.  As a small programme, the programme director has the capacity to follow the career aspirations of each individual, and will attempt to facilitate additional training opportunities where possible.


Outside of work, we are based in an incredibly beautiful part of the world – with access to stunning mountains, lochs and beaches.  Sailing, climbing, walking, kayaking, fishing and ski-ing opportunities are all on our doorstep.  Trainees in inverness have access to the west coast and far north in <1-2 hours.  If you enjoy the outdoors and adventure, then this region offers unparalled opportunities.


If the prospect of a small dynamic programme where you will be valued as an individual and can actively participate in the shaping and development of your training programme appeals, then please consider the north of Scotland.  If you would like to find out more, please contact Helen Freeman, Training programme director at

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

The North Paediatric training program is able to offer excellent training opportunities in General Paediatrics, Neonatology and virtually all Paediatric subspecialties both in the regional centres of Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital (RACH) and Aberdeen Maternity Hospital (AMH) as well as in the DGH unit at Inverness.

RACH and AMH provide tertiary Paediatric, Neonatal and Neonatal Surgical care to a population of over 500,000 from a wide geographical area. Sub-specialty Paediatric care is provided in the majority of Paediatric sub-specialties and training in these areas is available in the more senior years (ST6-8) including support for 'grid' sub-specialty training, or special interest modules, if appropriate.

The new Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital is a purpose built hospital and has strong links to Aberdeen University and there are good opportunities for developing teaching interests as well as undertaking research. There are excellent teaching and training programmes in preparation for MRCPCH.

The Regional Neonatal Unit is based in Aberdeen Maternity Hospital. It provides full intensive care facilities, is part of the Scottish Neonatal Transport Service and is the regional neonatal surgical centre.

The paediatric department for NHS Highland is based at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. This is a district general hospital and trainees will gain experience in outpatient clinics, acute paediatrics and Level 2 neonatology. Trainees tend to spend time in Inverness when they are more experienced and will have the opportunity to work on a middle tier on-call rota.

We have good relationships with the University of Aberdeen. We currently have 3 trainees out of programme for research and we tend to support trainees who wish to undertake research either for a Higher Degree or for experience of research. There are excellent opportunities for audit in all 3 sites. There are well documented teaching programmes and the North Deanery is involved in the national SCOPE 1 (Level 1 teaching) and SCOPE 2 (Level 2 teaching) programmes. The latter includes training modules in most of the domains for Level 2 Training as outlined in the RCPCH curriculum. Trainees can gain a Certificate in Child Health after 1 year and they can go on to study for a Diploma in Child Health. ST6 trainees also have the opportunity to study for MSc in Child Health.

If entering run through programme at ST1, trainees will spend the first 2 years in Aberdeen then the 3rd year in Inverness. ST2 trainees will also start in Aberdeen but will spend sometime in Inverness prior to Level 3 training. ST 4 and 5 trainees will have to do 1 yr General Paediatrics, 6 months neonatology and 6 months general paediatrics. Neonatology has to be undertaken in Aberdeen but the rest of the time can be divided between Aberdeen and Inverness; this can be discussed individually with the TPD. Also, if level 2 trainees have a particular special interest, every effort will be made to accommodate experience in this special interest prior to application for the GRID. Level 3 training can also be undertaken in Aberdeen, Inverness or both and will be tailored to the individual trainee's needs. We hope to work in conjunction with other Scottish Deaneries to provide GRID training in the majority of sub-specialties. We can also provide special interest training for general paediatricians in ST6 -ST8.

There is a lot of scheduled teaching in Aberdeen and Inverness. Most are bleep free. There is a study leave allowance for each trainee (currently £500) and most trainees get time off for study leave and exam preparation provided ample notice is given. There are formal and informal teaching sessions for MRCPCH.

Main marker of success in our specialty is  the exam pass rate which is pretty good so far. Also, we are looking to a number of trainees to gain a higher degree once their research programme has been completed.

Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, Royal Aberdeen Childrens Hospital

RaigmoreHospital, Inverness


Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital

Departments of Community Child Health in Aberdeen and Inverness

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) Dr Mandy Hunter
Specialty or Sub-specialty Specialty or Sub-specialty: Specialty
Date of GMC recent approval August 2010
Associated Royal College - Faculty
'Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (web site)
Curriculum and Associated Assessment System
Programme Administrator: Named Programme Administrator: Carol Leiper
Address: NHS Education for Scotland, Centre for Health Science, Old Perth Road, Inverness, IV2 3JH.
Tel: 01463 255711
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Dr Shyla Kishore
Address: Dr Shyla Kishore, Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist, Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZG
Quality of Training Quality Management

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