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Scottish Medical Training

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Speciality: Endocrinology and Diabetes

Programme Description
GMC Reference: SES/411

Specialty training really commences for most trainees in ST4 and lasts 4 years, leading to dual accreditation in Endocrinology and Diabetes and General Internal Medicine. Usually, three of the 4 years are spent in dedicated Diabetes and Endocrinology training units, and one year is spent completing the Internal Medicine curriculum.

 The specialty involves the management of patients with a whole range of diabetes and endocrine problems, largely in an outpatient setting.

 The majority of consultants in the specialty also undertake duties in General/Acute Medicine. There is scope to develop a wide spectrum of sub-specialty interests from diabetic pregnancy to thyroid cancer. 

MRCP (UK) is mandatory and needs to be passed in its entirely before taking up an ST4 post. All trainees are additionally required to pass the Specialty Certificate Examination in Endocrinology and Diabetes before CCT. In practice, almost all trainees sit this exam before their PYA, most often in ST5.The majority of training in Endocrinology and Diabetes is delivered through the Edinburgh Centre for Endocrinology and Diabetes, at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, and includes sub-specialty training in the management of inpatient diabetes, diabetes in pregnancy, paediatric and adolescent diabetes and endocrinology, diabetic renal disease, diabetic neuropathy and foot problems, diabetic eye disease, bariatric surgery, insulin pumps and intensive insulin therapy, structured education for patients with type 1 diabetes, thyroid problems (including a specific thyroid nodule and cancer service), pituitary and adrenal disease, reproductive endocrinology and metabolic bone disease. Further training in General Internal Medicine, including Intensive Care when necessary, is delivered in blocks of 6 months, to complete the requirements for CCT; a 3 month period of Acting Up is encouraged. Many trainees also take a period out of programme in research, usually leading to an MD or PhD, or gain further training in medical education. 

The Edinburgh Centre for Endocrinology and Diabetes has a particularly strong teaching ethos. This contributes significantly to the fact that the training programme in Endocrinology and Diabetes in South East Scotland is particularly highly regarded by trainees. It is repeatedly ranked as one of the very best programmes in the UK in the annual GMC trainee surveys. 

Diabetes and Endocrinology is a medium sized specialty. There are currently around 400 trainees at ST3 level and beyond in the UK, with around 35 in Scotland. It has traditionally been a more competitive specialty in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK. Almost all trainees passing through the training programme in recent years have gone on to be appointed to consultant posts which include a major component of Endocrinology and Diabetes.

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

Endocrinology and Diabetes is a very academic speciality and there are numerous opportunities for basic and clinical research. The Queen's Medical Research Institute, on the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh site, has a large and very productive academic Endocrinology Department and there an active clinical research programme in the departments of Diabetes at both the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Western General Hospital, Edinburgh. 

Many trainees choose to take a period out of programme in research, usually leading to an MD or PhD. During training, there are many opportunities to contribute to the audit of clinical care by taking advantage of the robust local diabetes and endocrinology databases. Trainees are encouraged to present audit data at local and national meetings. 

There are also opportunities to develop skills in Medical Education through the South East Faculty of Clinical Educators “Clinical Educator Programme”. 

Leadership and management training is offered without charge through the NHS Education for Scotland “Leadership and Management Programme”.

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

Diabetes and Endocrinology training takes place at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh.   Further General Internal Medicine training may take place at either of these sites or in one of the local district general hospitals: Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, St John’s Hospital Livingston and the Borders General Hospital, Melrose.

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: Kerry Anne Ferrie
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Dr Anna Dover
Address: Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
Quality of Training Quality Management

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