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Scottish Medical Training

Scotland - the home of medical excellence

Speciality: Occupational Medicine

Programme Description
GMC Reference: WOS/517

Why choose this programme

Scotland has a single Occupational Medicine programme offering posts in all regions. The NHS posts provide an opportunity to gain a wide range of experience in NHS Occupational Health Departments, many of whom also provide contracted services to a variety of industries including manufacturing, service, government and local authority. The industry based posts provide an opportunity to gain a wide range of experiences in virtually all industries. There is an active trainees group which organises workplace visits and regular training days giving the opportunity to meet other trainees based throughout Scotland.

Specialty Information

Occupational Medicine is the medical specialty which covers the multi-faceted relationship between health and work. It is concerned with ensuring that workplaces and work practices are safe and not harmful to employees’ health and that employees are fit for the job they are doing. Occupational physicians typically deal with traditional occupational diseases such as occupational asthma and dermatitis as well as those caused by exposure to noise, vibration and asbestos. They manage common health problems in the workplace such as stress, back pain and upper limb pain and are also involved in assessments of fitness for work, vocational rehabilitation, advising on adjustments to support employees in employment and advising on retirement on the grounds of ill health. Occupational physicians must have an understanding of epidemiology, disease prevention and toxicology. They have to be able to identify, assess the risk to health of, and know how to control workplace hazards and also know how to recognise, prevent and manage occupational disease. They also advise management on these risks and on their implications for employees’ health and for business continuity. Occupational medicine combines clinical and preventative work.

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

Occupational medicine is a relatively small community in Scotland with around 65 specialists in occupational medicine living and working in the country. What is different is that there are only 22 of those specialists working in the NHS. The majority work for their own companies or for another service provider.

Training is organised in a national programme from the West of Scotland. Currently there are 14 trainees in post with 3 of these posts being funded by their employer. The training programme is based between NHS Boards (Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Highland & Grampian) and large occupational health organisations like OHSAS (NHS Fife), Salus (NHS Lanarkshire), Wellbeing At Work and AXA providing mixed training in both the NHS and industry attachments through commercial contracts held by those departments as all NHS OH departments do have some external work.  They provide a greater emphasis on training in the NHS but do offer attachments to commercial providers as a way of ensuring training is comprehensive and produces a doctor capable of working in any industry sector.

Training is co-ordinated by one of the Region Specialty Advisers in Scotland with trainee involvement. There is a rolling programme of trainee visits to workplaces which pulls on the expertise of the educational supervisors around Scotland. Places visited include a fish farm, a chipboard manufacturer (oriented stand board to be precise), a deep sea diver training centre, an aluminium smelter, a nuclear power station and a shipyard.

Future employment prospects are currently looking good with a huge political drive towards maximising functional capability, keeping people fit and available for work e.g. the fit note, the extension of the retirement age and a generally ageing workforce, and the legal requirement to protect workers from harm in the workplace.

Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, University Hospital Monklands, Airdrie, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, New Victoria Hospital, Glasgow, SALUS, Coatbridge, OHSAS, Rosyth, Fife, OHSAS, Victoria Hospital, Fife, OHSAS, Dundee

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 David Marshall
Specialty or Sub-specialty Specialty or Sub-specialty: Specialty
Date of GMC recent approval August 2010
Associated Royal College - Faculty
Faculty of Occupational Medicine (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: Dr Dravendranath Reetoo
Address: 14 Beckford Street Hamilton ML3 0TA
Quality of Training Quality Management

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