A new graduate medical programme will concentrate on meeting the future needs of the NHS in Scotland, the Scottish Government has said.
Known as ScotGEM, the programme will accommodate around 50 students annually, pending approval from the General Medical Council, and will be delivered by Dundee and St Andrews Universities, and the University of the Highlands ands Islands which have been announced following a bidding process. The four-year programme will start in 2018 to strengthen doctor numbers across the country, particularly in remote areas.
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Robison said: “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.”
An emphasis will be placed on Scottish recruits to increase the likelihood of trainees remaining in the country once their studies have been completed.
Professor Gary Mires, Dean of Medicine at Dundee University, said: “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.”
Professor David Crossman, Dean of Medicine at St Andrews, said that similar courses have been effective in training doctors who bring a wealth of experience to their second degrees.
He added: “The development of ScotGEM is very good news for the people of Scotland and Scottish medicine.”
Professor Crichton Lang, Deputy Principal of the University of the Highlands and Islands, said: “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.”