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Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

Speciality: Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

Programme Description
GMC Reference: SES/SRT/460

Cardiothoracic Surgical training is provided as a Scottish wide programme. Placements across Scotland are managed by the South East of Scotland Deanery.  Training is delivered in the South East Scotland, North of Scotland and West of Scotland Deaneries.

The Training Programme offers excellent training in all aspects of adult Cardiac & Thoracic surgery with a view to the award of CCT in Cardiothoracic Surgery. In addition there is exposure to Paediatric Cardiac Surgery, Cardiac transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Assist. The Scottish Programme has a long history of training Consultants who work in the Scottish units as well as being a net exporter of Consultants to prestigious units elsewhere in the UK and the world.

The training programme in Cardiothoracic Surgery is nominally 6 years long from ST3, progress to subsequent years being dependent upon satisfactory attainment of certain competencies. Like other surgical specialties, these competencies are defined within the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme. Entry to training is usually at ST3 level with some recent appointments at ST1 level.

Trainees for the Scottish Programme are selected and recruited by a single UK National process involving Scotland, England, Northern Ireland & Wales. Applicants are ranked by the selection centre (organised by the Wessex Deanery with full involvement from all UK training programmes). Allocations of successful candidates are made on the basis of the candidate's ranked preferences.

Placements within the Scottish Programme are at the discretion of the Programme Director with the support of the Scottish Training Committee. All trainees will be expected to rotate to every training centre at some time in their training. In practice, trainees might be broadly based in either GJNH Glasgow or RIE Edinburgh, with one year in ARI Aberdeen and additional experience in paediatric cardiac surgery. Advanced Thoracic Surgery, transplantation and heart failure surgery exposure will be by arrangement. Subspecialty experience elsewhere in the UK or the world will be actively supported in senior years, usually by the OOPE route.

Manpower planning for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Scotland and the UK has indicated that the steady state for Cardiothoracic NTNs in Scotland will be 7-8 for the foreseeable future. In practice there will be 5 in the West, 2 in the south-East and 1 in the North.


Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

There is excellent collaboration with academic establishemnts in the Universities in Glasgow. 

Weekly didactic teaching of 3-4 hours per week, organised from the Golden Jubilee and available nationally via telelink.


Further information on the specialty in Scotland can be found on the Programme website: 

Scottish Training Programme in Cardiothoracic Surgery:

Other useful links are:

The Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland:

The British Medical Journal Careers website: BMJ careers 

Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Clydebank, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow

Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: National
Administration office South-East of Scotland
Lead Dean / Director Professor Adam Hill
Responsible Associate Postgraduate Dean or Assistant Director (GP) Mr Alastair Murray
Specialty or Sub-specialty Specialty or Sub-specialty: Specialty
Date of GMC recent approval April 2023
Associated Royal College - Faculty
Joint Committee on Surgical Training (web site)
Curriculum and Associated Assessment System
Programme Administrator: Named Programme Administrator: Mel Cakir
Address: NHS Education for Scotland, 102 West Port, Edinburgh, EH3 9DN
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Prof Mark Danton
Address: Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Agamemnon St, Clydebank, Dunbartonshire G81 4DY
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