NHS Education for Scotland Logo

Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

Speciality: Rheumatology

Programme Description
GMC Reference: SES/501

The Rheumatology/General Internal Medicine (GIM) Training Programme in South East Scotland offers a comprehensive training programme in all aspects of clinical rheumatology, whilst encouraging the development of research interests. The post has the full approval of the postgraduate Dean for specialist training in Rheumatology and GIM and the post holder will be awarded a national training number. The post is for 5 years or until the post holder has completed an adequate period of training to obtain a CCT in Rheumatology/GIM.

For the duration of Rheumatology training the postholder will be located at the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh. The Rheumatic Diseases Unit, at the Western General Hospital, is a joint University/NHS academic and clinical unit and is the major referral centre for patients with rheumatic diseases in South East Scotland. The Rheumatic Diseases Unit has 8 beds for in-patients with rheumatic disease and a busy out-patient service. Outpatient clinics are held predominantly at the Western General Hospital, with outreach clinics also provided at St Johns Hospital (Livingston), Roodlands Hospital (Haddington) or Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Edinburgh): all clinics are within easy reach of Edinburgh city centre; the cost of travel either by car or public transport is supported by the Trust.

The academic Rheumatic Disease Unit is part of the University of Edinburgh School of Molecular and Clinical Medicine (Head of School: Professor Stuart Ralston) which itself is part of the newly formed Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, based on the Western General campus. The College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine is an internationally recognised centre of excellence, that was rated top in the UK for medical research in Clinical Medicine by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. 

The Training Programme follows the curriculum developed by the Royal College of Physicians and provides training in Rheumatology and GIM. During the 5-year programme you will spend 1-year in high-intensity GIM in a District General Hospital, and 1-year of low- intensity GIM in one of the teaching hospitals in Edinburgh. Rheumatology training is located at the Western General Hospital and covers a 3-year period. You will contribute to all aspects of the Rheumatology service, including the care of Rheumatology in-patients, the Rheumatology emergency on call service and the outpatient service. You will receive comprehensive training in clinical Rheumatology.

In addition to undertaking clinics in general Rheumatology, you will attend specialist clinics in systemic vasculitis & connective tissue diseases, metabolic bone disease, spondyloarthritis, gout and paediatric Rheumatology. You will have opportunity to develop skillsin musculoskeletal ultrasound, and the opportunity to attend clinics in other medical specialties of particular relevance to Rheumatology such as renal medicine, interstitial lung disease, dermatology etc. You will have the opportunity to attend the multidisciplinary pain management programme at the Astley Ainsley Hospital (also in Edinburgh) as well as specialist regional orthopaedic clinics and sessions in clinical neurophysiology.

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities


Participation in research is encouraged with many of our trainees recently completing Masters or PhDs in their time here. You will be expected to spend approximately one day a week on a specific research project and to participate as required in the ongoing research of the Unit. Within the Department there are extensive opportunities to develop research interests in translational medicine with current laboratory studies evaluating biomarkers in SLE and RA, and exploring functional sequelae of genetic variants implicated in the pathogenesis of Paget’s disease and treatment response in osteoporosis. Current clinical trials are evaluating combination therapy in osteogenesis imperfect (TOPAZ), use of zoledronic acid in Paget’s disase (PRISM-EZ) and use of zoledronic acid in the prevention of Paget’s disease (ZiPP). A health service research programmed evaluating the use of telehealth and self-monitoring in gout is in development. The unit has been a major contributor to Scotland wide biobanks of samples in both RA and psoriatic arthritis that now act as a valuable resource for future studies. The unit also supports an extensive portfolio of commercially funded studies.

You will be expected to develop an audit project in collaboration with the Unit audit advisor, Professor Ralston. Teaching commitments include participation in undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes, and the weekly Departmental programme of postgraduate clinical meetings, X-ray conferences, clinical audit and research seminars. All trainees are encouraged to complete a Leadership and Management Programmme administered by NHS education for Scotland, as well as obtaining recognition of training.


Where is the training delivered?


Rheumatology training is predominantly delivered at the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, with opportunities also available for training in peripheral clinics at St Johns Hospital, Livingston, and Roodlands Hospital, Haddington.  


General Internal Medicine attachments are typically based in the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, with district general experience in either St Johns Hospital, Livingston, or the Borders General Hospital, Melrose.


Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

St Johns Hospital, Livingston, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Borders General Hospital, Melrose

Western General Hospital, Edinburgh

St. John's Hospital, Livingston

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 Adam Hill
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 Whitehill
Address: NHS Education for Scotland, West of Scotland Region 2 Central Quay 89 Hydepark Street Glasgow G3 8BW
Tel: 0141 223 1489
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Dr Philip Riches
Address: Western General Hospital, Edinburgh
Quality of Training Quality Management

How to Apply

Search Specialty
Training Opportunities