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Scottish Medical Training

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Speciality: Acute Internal Medicine

Programme Description
GMC Reference: SES/2104

Acute Internal Medicine (AIM) is concerned with the assessment, diagnosis and management of adults presenting to secondary care with acute medical illness. There is a broad spectrum of clinical work within the specialty and trainees will acquire competencies relevant to:

  • the prompt practical management of acute presentation of medical illness
  • the management of medical patients in an in-patient setting
  • the development of new patient pathways to maximise safe, effective care in the community where feasible
  • the provision of leadership skills within an acute medical unit
  • the development of multi-professional systems to promote optimal patient care
  • the care of patients requiring more intensive levels of care than would be generally managed in a medical ward. These competencies are generally acquired from experience within a critical care unit. 
  • Focused Acute Medicine Ultrasound (FAMUS)

All trainees in AIM must develop a specialty skill. These generally fall into one of four categories:

  • Procedural skill (eg: echocardiography)
  • Additional qualification (eg: medical education)
  • Specialty interest (eg: intensive care medicine)
  • Research


In South East Scotland, the first 2 years of the 4 year training generally involve rotations through: respiratory, cardiology, medicine for the elderly, intensive care and a specialities block where you can choose placements you think may be helpful e.g. toxicology, palliative care, renal, infectious diseases, emergency medicine, primary care, diabetes and endocrinology. The latter 2 years are based in AMUs with some GIM programmed in as well. Each rotation is designed with the trainees needs and interests factored in but will generally involve placements in DGH as well as the more central hospitals to allow a varied experience.

FAMUS is targeted during the first 2 years with protected time to allow you to develop this skill.

You should be thinking about your special skill from day 1, but have decided on it during year 2, with a view to focusing on it in years 3 and 4.


The Acute Medicine SCE is usually encouraged during your ST5 year.



Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

There are multiple quality improvement and research options available at each of the sites and as a region such as involvement in the annual Society of Acute Medicine Benchmarking Audit (SAMBA).

Involvement in teaching is strongly encouraged with a very good regional clinical educators programme accessible to all. The acute medicine trainees are also well placed to undergo training in our local ‘mastery’ programme to enable them to teach procedural skills to other trainees e.g. at the ACCS bootcamps we run.

Management is a key part of AIM once you become a consultant, so it is expected that trainees gain experience in this, particularly in ST6 and 7. There are various other options which can be chosen to enhance this experience e.g. consider a Scottish clinical leadership fellowship to allow management to be your ‘special skill’ or application to be a chief registrar (programmes run in all the hospitals). 

Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, St Johns Hospital, Livingston, Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Borders General Hospital, Melrose

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

Borders General Hospital, Melrose, Borders

Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, Fife

Western General Hospital, Edinburgh

St John’s Hospital, Livingston, West Lothian

Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: Deanery
Administration office South-East of Scotland
Lead Dean / Director Professor Alastair McLellan
Responsible Associate Postgraduate Dean or Assistant Director (GP) Dr Clive Goddard
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: Zoe Park
Address: NHS Education for Scotland, West of Scotland Region 2 Central Quay 89 Hydepark Street Glasgow G3 8BW
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Dr Claire Gordon
Address: Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
Quality of Training Quality Management

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