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Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

Speciality: Combined Infection Training - Infectious Diseases - Medical Virology

Programme Description
GMC Reference: WOS/2674

GMC Reference WOS/2674

Since 2015 training in infectious diseases, medical microbiology and medical virology is delivered across the UK with a new joint RCPath and JRCPTB curriculum. In Scotland, the Medical microbiology and Medical virology programmes provide dual training with Infectious diseases and the Infectious diseases programme are dual training with General Internal Medicine.

These programmes consist of 2 years of Combined Infection Training (CIT) followed by 3 years of higher specialty training in one of Medical microbiology (MM) with Infectious Diseases or Medical virology (MV) with Infectious Diseases, or Infectious diseases with General Internal Medicine (GIM).

Recruitment to all 3 specialties is managed through national recruitment to CIT, trainees will apply to and be appointed to MM/ID, MV/ID or ID/GIM programmes with National Training Numbers (NTN) being issued accordingly.  It will not be possible to change programme at the end of CIT without going through a separate recruitment process.

Combined training is an exciting approach to training in infection specialities as it combines both the clinical and laboratory aspects relevant to patient care, and means that all trainees will gain in depth knowledge about the significant advances in molecular technology and their impact on patient care. The 2 year common CIT programme consists of one year in ID (clinics and in-patient care) and one year in microbiology and virology.

On call commitments form part of the training programme, and for all trainees during CIT this may include covering general medical wards and/or participating in acute unselected medical take, in addition to infection specialties.



As part of the 2 year in CIT the trainee will be based in the laboratory gaining basic Virological knowledge and laboratory bench skill to work sagely in a laboratory environment. The trainee will be able to deal with common clinical Virological problems.

During the Higher Specialist Training period the curriculum builds on the skills acquired in core infection and provides advanced training in fundamentals or virology, viral diagnosis, infection prevention and control and clinical management. At the end of this period, the trainees should be able to pass the part 2 FRCPath exam in virology and to function as independent consultants.

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities


There are many opportunities to take part in research projects, laboratory and clinical audits.  All training centres offer these within departments, in affiliated reference laboratories (see below) and local university departments.  Trainees will also have opportunities to participate in undergraduate teaching.  Trainees will also participate in management activities which are an integral part of quality improvement.

All 4 regions offer opportunities for full time research carried out as OOPR. Around 50% of trainees are doing research for higher degrees. Trainees can also apply to do research outside their deaneries either within Scotland or in other centres in the UK.

Information on applying for academic posts in Scotland is provided on /specialty/scottish-academic-training-(screds).aspx 

Educational Opportunities: There are excellent educational opportunities at each of the centres. There is also a national CIT tutorial programme hosted in Edinburgh and trainees around Scotland participate via videoconferencing. This popular programme is supported by consultants across the infection specialties and has attracted invited speakers from academia and public health.



West of Scotland

Queen Elizabeth University Hospital - This new hospital, Scotland’s largest, offers most general specialities but includes specialist units such as: Regional Neurosciences, Paediatrics a large general ITU, a large Glasgow–wide renal unit, Regional Infectious Diseases Unit etc). The laboratories provide the microbiology and virology service to the remaining specialities on the Gartnavel General Hospital site – which included the West of Scotland Cancer Centre (Beatson) – comprising of oncology, haemato-oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation.

The microbiology service in South Glasgow moved into a purpose built ‘state of the art’ laboratory building on this site in 2012.

Glasgow Royal Infirmary - includes a large and busy ITU, the Regional Burns and Plastics Unit and a large Surgical Unit including specialist pancreatic surgery etc. Microbiology Department at GRI also includes four Scottish Microbiology Reference Laboratories: namely the Pneumococcus, Legionella, Haemophilus and Meningococcus; MRSA; Salmonella, Shigella and Clostridium difficile; and Parasite reference laboratories.

The West of Scotland Specialist Virology Centre which was one of the first in the UK to introduce molecular testing into the routine laboratory setting.

Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Clydebank - has the West of Scotland regional services for cardiothoracic surgery and specialist cardiology. It also contains the National (Scottish) Cardiac Transplant Centre and provides the opportunity for experience in a tertiary centre.

Royal Alexandra Hospital Paisley - a busy 700 bedded District General Hospital which includes in patient paediatrics and offers excellent DGH experience.

Monklands Hospital, Lanarkshire (Infectious Diseases)


East of Scotland

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Western General Hospital - includes a large and busy ITU, Liver and Renal Transplant surgery, regional cardiothoracic, orthopaedics, regional neonatal units.

The microbiology laboratory and the regional virus laboratory are based at this hospital. In addition, there are four Scottish microbiology/virology Reference Laboratories: namely the Blood-Borne Virus Laboratory, Scottish Bacterial Sexually-Transmitted Infections Reference Laboratory, Scottish E coli Reference Laboratory, Scottish Human Papillomavirus Reference Shigella.

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

Ninewells Hospital & Dundee Medical School, Dundee – a major general teaching hospital with 810 acute beds in NHS Tayside. It provides all the major disciplines including general medicine and surgery and specialist areas such as infectious diseases, oncology, gynaecology, plastics, neurosurgery, ENT. The microbiology laboratory providing both specialist bacteriology and virology is based at this hospital.

Victoria Hospital and Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline – are other training centres in providing DGH experience in microbiology. Located in Fife, they one of the main hospitals in NHS Fife and is located in Kirkcaldy.

Raigmore Hospital – the main DGH in NHS Highlands and is a teaching hospital of the University of Aberdeen. It has a total of 500 beds. The Scottish National Toxoplasma and Lyme Reference Service is based here.

Borders General Hospital – the district general hospital serving the Scottish Borders region. It has 320 beds with 87 acute medical and a 6-bedded ITU. There are general medical and surgical services provided. The microbiology service is part of the laboratory services provided at the hospital. It has close with specialised services offered by haematology, microbiology and clinical chemistry in Lothian and other laboratories in Scotland.

Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: National
Administration office North of Scotland
Lead Dean / Director Professor Alan Denison
Responsible Associate Postgraduate Dean or Assistant Director (GP) Dr Clair Evans
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: Dianne Morrison
Address: NHS Education for Scotland Forest Grove House Foresterhill Road Aberdeen AB25 2ZP
Tel: 01224 805131
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Dr Celia Jackson
Quality of Training Quality Management

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