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Speciality: Rehabilitation Medicine

Programme Description
GMC Reference: SES/443


Why choose this programme:

Rehabilitation medicine will be attractive to those doctors who enjoy working in a multidisciplinary setting to ameliorate the impact of disability on people’s everyday lives. Rehabilitation medicine physicians will support patients and their families through periods of change and need to be skilled in managing the physical, emotional and behavioural aspects of disabling illness. Many of the patients have recently had significant trauma, stroke, or
neurosurgery and confidence in dealing with a wide range of diagnoses and ill patients is essential. Rehabilitation is an attractive career option for those who wish to enjoy flexibility in their training or ultimate career post in terms of hours and work commitment. There are opportunities to pursue research, non-clinical and managerial roles. Many consultants develop an interest in medio-legal work.

Rehabilitation medicine is the specialty that is concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation management of people with disabling medical conditions. It was developed primarily to meet the needs of young adults and those of working age but is relevant to older people now as well who can benefit from modern rehabilitation techniques and some aspects of the specialty, particularly relating to technical aids, provision of wheelchairs, orthotics or prosthetics, have been relevant to people of all ages for a long time.

The principal aims are to identify the impairments that limit activity and daily tasks; optimise physical and cognitive functioning; and modify personal and environmental factors to enable greater participation and quality of life.

Rehabilitation medicine covers a large number of disabling conditions. The majority are acquired, such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and limb loss. Congenital conditions or those arising in childhood, such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophies and limb deficiency, will continue into adulthood and require ongoing support, advice and assistance.

The specialist services that deal with these are neurological and spinal cord injury rehabilitation, major trauma rehabilitation, limb loss or deficiency rehabilitation and prosthetics, and musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Rehabilitation medicine consultants also have specialist expertise in assistive technology, including environmental control equipment, wheelchairs and orthotics; these are not disease specific and cover a wide range of complex disabilities.

Entrance Qualifications

Entrance qualifications for Rehabilitation uniquely include membership of any of the royal colleges.

Internal Medicine Training stage 1 - two years

ACCS-Internal Medicine - three years

Level 1 Paediatrics training - three years

Core Surgical Training - two years

Core level training in Anaesthetics - two years

Core Psychiatry Training - three years

Obstetrics and Gynaecology training - two years

Ophthalmic Specialist Training - two years

General Practice training - three years

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

When in training there are regular opportunities for audit/quality improvement projects, and teaching of undergraduate/postgraduate medical/non-medical clinical staff in each of the local education providers.

Management experience is gained locally, and trainees attend Deanery management courses.

Trainees can go out of programme if they want to undertake any relevant research degrees approved by Deanery.

Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow , Woodend Hospital, Aberdeen, Astley Ainslie Hospital, Edinburgh


Rehabilitation Medicine training is provided as a national Scottish wide programme, ensuring optimal access to the range of subspecialty experience available.


Trainees will be based in either South-east, North or West regions.


Training is delivered across:

South-east region:

Lothian Health Board: Astley Ainslie Hospital

North region:

Grampian Health Board: Woodend Hospital

Highland Health Board: Raigmore Hospital

West region:

Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board: Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Neurorehabilitation Unit

Ayrshire and Arran Health Board: Ayrshire Central Hospital


All trainees will undertake Spinal Injuries training in the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit in West region.


Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: National
Administration office West 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: Christine Ferguson
Address: NHS Education for Scotland, Third Floor, 2 Central Quay, 89 Hydepark Street, Glasgow, G3 8BW
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Dr Bhupinder Panesar
Address: Queen Elizabeth University Hospital 1451 Govan Road Glasgow G51 4TF
Quality of Training Quality Management

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