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Scottish Medical Training

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Speciality: General Psychiatry

Programme Description
GMC Reference: SES/506

Why choose this programme?

South East Deanery

The South East Scotland Deanery covers Edinburgh and the Lothians, the Scottish Borders and Fife. As such, there is a full mix of urban, suburban and rural settings and trainees rotate to obtain experience across a range of these settings.

Edinburgh is a beautiful, internationally famous city steeped in history. It has an illustrious medical past (and present). Edinburgh is compact, vibrant and wonderful for lovers of food and culture. Beyond Edinburgh, SE Scotland has a great deal to offer – the Borders are a beautiful, mostly rural area of rolling hills and quaint villages. Fife blends industrial centres with historic fishing villages and St Andrews. Edinburgh is consistently rated highly for quality of life (2nd in the world in 2017, after Copenhagen!).

Over the 3 years of training (culminating in CCT), one year would typically be spent in Edinburgh, another year in a peripheral setting such as Fife or the Borders, and the remaining year in a subspeciality or in specialist areas of adult psychiatry.

We are fortunate in having the full range of psychiatric specialities in the region. ST4 year is generally a core year, and we have a wide selection of general adult placements. The range of subspecialities is also wide – if you wish a subspeciality endorsement, then we will be able to facilitate this in Addictions, Liaison or Rehabilitation Psychiatry. The Mother and Baby Unit, Regional Eating Disorders Unit, Transplant Unit, Gender Clinic and Plastic Surgery are regional/national centres within this rotation, so if you are looking for speciality experience in any of these areas SE Scotland is ideal.

Opportunities for continuous professional development are broad. There is a weekly case conference (Thursdays) where a CT1-3 presents a challenging case to a wide audience. During academic semesters there is a Special Lecture in the department of Academic Psychiatry every 2 weeks, with guest speakers from around the world. At Wednesday lunchtimes there is the NHS Lothian Grand Round, which can cover any topic in medicine. There are also Balint Groups, Neurodevelopmental disorders case discussion groups and QI meetings (monthly) based at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

Special interest sessions (1 per week)  can include forensic (the Medium Secure Unit is on site), liaison (very wide-ranging – transplant psychiatry, psychodermatology, diabetes, functional symptoms management etc), eating disorder, psychotherapies, rehabilitation, homeless service, management experience and neurodevelopmental disorders. These are some examples, not an exhaustive list.

We have had excellent trainee feedback in the GMC survey. All our trainees have obtained consultant posts on leaving the scheme. We have a full complement of Clinical and Educational Supervisors. This is a flexible, moderately-sized, well-functioning training scheme where your training needs will be the top priority.

Further details of the scheme can be obtained from Dr Neelom Sharma, Training Programme Director, C/O Stacey Knox, Post Graduate Administrator, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Edinburgh, EH0 5HF, Telephone No: 0131 537 6407 Email Address:


Health Board Websites:


Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

There are wide and varied research opportunities, with an active department of Academic Psychiatry, based on the Royal Edinburgh Hospital site (Kennedy Tower). Professors Lawrie and Smith share the role of research tutor, and would be happy to discuss projects with you. You will have 1 research session per week, and due to the breadth of projects available it is very likely that you can achieve poster presentations and publications from your research time as a SE Scotland higher trainee.

Teaching is another area of strength – ST4-6s are encouraged to teach University of Edinburgh undergraduates, participate in the Clinical Educator Programme (CEP – this will ensure Recognition of Trainer status, and CEP is open to all trainees in SE Scotland), multidisciplinary teaching (a recent focus has been Advanced Nurse Practitioners, where the ST4-6 doctors play a key role as tutors) and MRCPsych teaching for the CT1-3 trainees.

Wide-ranging management opportunities are accessed via the Associate Director for Medical Education and Associate Medical Director for Mental Health. In recent years, a number of higher trainees in psychiatry have taken up Lothian Chief Registrar posts, which provide opportunities to develop management skills across a range of medical specialities and sites.

Audit and Quality Improvement (QI) is encouraged, and there is a well-established QI Team in the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. The psychiatrist who coordinates this is Dr Jane Cheeseman.



Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, St Johns Hospital, Livingston, Stratheden Hospital, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh

South East Scotland – placements in Edinburgh hospitals, Fife and Borders:
Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh
Western General Hospital, Edinburgh
St Johns Hospital, Livingston
Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermiline
Whyteman’s Brae Hospital, Kirkcaldy
Stratheden Hospital, Cupar
Huntlyburn House, Melrose
East and West Brigg and Galavale House, Galashiels
University of Edinburgh Department of Psychiatry, Edinburgh
Community Clinics associated with all of the above
Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland

Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: Deanery
Administration office South-East of Scotland
Lead Dean / Director Professor Clare McKenzie
Responsible Associate Postgraduate Dean or Assistant Director (GP) Dr Norman Nuttall
Specialty or Sub-specialty Specialty or Sub-specialty: Specialty
Date of GMC recent approval August 2010
Associated Royal College - Faculty
Royal College of Psychiatrists (web site)
Curriculum and Associated Assessment System
Programme Administrator: Named Programme Administrator: Lynda Service
Address: NHS Education for Scotland, Forest Grove House Foresterhill Road Aberdeen AB25 2ZP
Tel: 01224 805132
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Dr N Sharma
Address: General Psychiatry Midlothian Joint Mental Health Team, 11 St Andrew Street, Dalkeith EH22 1AL 0131 285 9600
Tel: 0131 285 9600
Quality of Training Quality Management

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