Scotland’s first Graduate Medical Programme

Scotland’s first Graduate Medical Programme, designed to meet the current and future needs of the country’s NHS, will be delivered by the Universities of Dundee, St Andrews and the Highlands and Islands, it has been announced today (June 14th).

The Scottish Graduate Entry Medical Programme (ScotGEM) is a four-year programme that could accommodate up to 50 students per year, starting in the academic year 2018/19 subject to approval from the General Medical Council.

The programme will have a particular focus on recruitment of Scottish graduates to increase the likelihood of trainees remaining in Scotland, particularly in more rural and remote areas.

Bids were invited by the Scottish Government for a graduate entry programme. Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Shona Robison announced the Dundee, St Andrews and Highlands and Islands bid had been successful in a speech to NHS Scotland today.

Ms Robison said, “I am delighted to announce that the medical schools in St Andrews and Dundee will deliver Scotland’s first graduate entry programme for medicine, in collaboration with the University of the Highlands and Islands and partner health boards.

“Scotland’s first graduate entry programme in medicine was one of a number of initiatives announced by the First Minister earlier this year and it forms part of our commitment to create a more sustainable medical workforce and encourage more people into a career in healthcare, whatever their background.

“This course will enhance the range of medical education already available in Scotland through our five world-leading medical schools."

ScotGEM will be led jointly by the Medical Schools at St Andrews and Dundee. Key partners in the venture include NHS Fife and NHS Tayside.

Responding to the challenge for the health service in remote and rural locations, the project will work closely with the University of the Highlands and Islands, NHS Dumfries and Galloway and NHS Highland.

Professor Gary Mires, Dean of Medicine at the University of Dundee, said, “We fully support the Scottish Government’s vision for a health service that is better equipped to meet the challenges presented by our diverse population and distinct communities.

“We are confident that ScotGEM will deliver highly qualified, experienced and compassionate community leaders who are equipped and motivated to make a real difference to healthcare provision in Scotland.

“This is an excellent example of benefits arising from universities and the NHS working together, in Dundee’s case through our pioneering Academic Health Science Partnership with NHS Tayside.”

Professor David Crossman, Dean of Medicine at the University of St Andrews, said, “Graduate Entry Medicine courses have proven highly effective for training doctors who bring their experience and education from their first degree and often experience work outside the University and health sector.

“The development of ScotGEM is very good news for the people of Scotland and Scottish medicine. I am delighted that the University of St Andrews has been chosen to be part of this development.”

Professor Crichton Lang, Deputy Principal of the University of the Highlands and Islands, said, “We are excited to have been selected as one of the universities which will deliver the Scottish Graduate Entry Medical Programme. Through the initiative, a significant number of medical students will access and undertake the majority of their training in communities around the Highlands and Islands region.

“This will both align with and contribute to our existing work in addressing remote and rural healthcare and will be another important strand in the development of our School of Health, Social Care and Life Sciences.”

By fostering close working relationships between all of the partners, Scot GEM will:

  • Improve healthcare across Scotland
  • Positively impact and influence medical education developments
  • Stimulate innovation and research in local communities

The programme will build on well-established programmes of community-facing medical education at Dundee and St Andrews, which both enjoy a good reputation for student satisfaction and preparedness to practice. Community experience will be a central feature of the ScotGEM curriculum, using community hospitals and health centres across remote and rural Scotland.

In addition to training doctors in an innovative way it is planned that ScotGEM will help drive forward different models of health service delivery.

For media enquiries contact:
Roddy Isles
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University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
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