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Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

Speciality: Neurosurgery

Programme Description
GMC Reference: WOS/467

Neurosurgical training in Scotland is appointed through the UK national selection process and offers run-through training from ST 1. The programme is administered through a Scottish training committee, which oversees trainee's progress and their specific training needs. Education is tailored to the ISCP curriculum in neurosurgery and is delivered within individual units. A recent initiative has been a joint anatomy course for Scottish trainees.

Second year is spent in relevant surgical specialties, with up to six months in maxillofacial/ ENT, A and E, General Surgery or Orthopaedics, depending on the individual's needs for training. Other specialties can be considered e.g. neuroradiology or neuropathology.

The East of Scotland programme starts and finishes in Edinburgh, with 18 months being spent in Aberdeen, in years 3-4. Similarly, the West of Scotland programme starts and finishes in Glasgow with rotation to Dundee for some postholders. Trainees generally spend a year in Dundee within the first three years but there is a degree of flexibility around this.

A full range of subspecialist interests is performed in both primary centres, although the paediatric epliepsy service is administered in Edinburgh and the paediatric craniofacial service is, and functional stereotactic service may become, centred in Glasgow. Neuro-interventional services are offered in Edinburgh and Glasgow, but not Aberdeen or Dundee.

Each unit and city has its own individual character and cultural identity and all four neurosurgical centres offer a high quality of living with good transport links and are surrounded by wonderful countryside.

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

Training in all aspects of neurosurgery including the sub-specialities of paediatrics, cerebrovascular, functional/epilepsy, skull-base/pituitary and complex spine surgery are provided for all trainees within the training programme and there are ample opportunities for research.

GATE - the Glasgow Academic Training Environment - offers additional training opportunity for academic trainees. GATE aims to foster academic development & training beyond academic FY, through Core Training / ST1 & 2 and across a broad range of specialties, to prepare trainees for subsequent application to competitive local and national research training programmes (eg MRC, Wellcome Trust, BHF etc). GATE provides academic mentorship to facilitate attainment of academic objectives that are additional to the requisite competencies required of Trainees.  Trainees who have been appointed to CT/ST programmes through SMT are eligible to apply to GATE. Appointment to GATE is in open competition, through interview, that takes place shortly after appointment to the programme. Further details are available from the Training Programme Director.

ECAT - Edinburgh Clinical Academic Training

How it works now – in Scotland

Reforms to clinical academic training in Scotland are led by the Scottish Clinical Research Excellence Development Scheme (SCREDS) group within NHS Education for Scotland.

  • Academic Foundation programmes exist in all 5 medical schools (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen & St Andrews).
  • Instead of seeking NTNs for ACFs that are restricted to individual specialties in individual centres, everyone applies for NTNs in the open NHS competition. Once you hold a NTN, no matter what specialty you are in you can apply to join a predoctoral academic scheme such as the ECAT Lectureship scheme, STMTI scheme, MRCCP3 scheme or apply for PhD funding from the Wellcome Trust, MRC and other charitable foundations.
  • An expanded number of SCREDS Lectureships were created for post-doctoral clinical academic career development. These are deployed flexibly according to need within each postgraduate deanery.

The importance of external Fellowships

Competitive funding is available for fellowships to support a PhD (Training Fellowships), post-doctoral training (Intermediate Fellowships/Clinician Scientist Fellowships) or your development as a senior independent researcher (Senior Research Fellowships).

These are not only important markers of esteem, but they provide resources and time for you to undertake parallel research and clinical training as a supernumary member of your clinical department. The most successful clinical academics almost invariably graduate through these fellowships.

All recent CCT holders from this programme have been successfully appointed into UK consultant posts.

Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, 50 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh, EH16 4SF, The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow , Western General Hospital, Edinburgh

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

Ninewells Hospital, Dundee

The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow

Westrn General Hospital Edinburgh

Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh

Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: National
Administration office West of Scotland
Lead Dean / Director Professor Adam Hill
Responsible Associate Postgraduate Dean or Assistant Director (GP) Mr Bryn Jones
Specialty or Sub-specialty Specialty or Sub-specialty: Specialty
Date of GMC recent approval August 2010
Associated Royal College - Faculty
Joint Committee on Surgical Training (web site)
Curriculum and Associated Assessment System
Programme Administrator: Named Programme Administrator: Julie Campbelton
Address: NHS Education for Scotland, 102 West Port, Edinburgh, EH3 9DN
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Mr Calan Mathieson
Quality of Training Quality Management

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