Tayside and Central Scotland

Graduate entry medical courses by 2018

computer and stethoscope Image copyright Thinkstock

Scotland's first graduate entry courses for medicine are to start at St Andrews and Dundee University in 2018.

They will be run by university medical schools, working with the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Current medical undergraduate degrees take five or six years but the new degree can be completed in four years for students who are already graduates.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the graduate programme earlier this year.

The courses require approval by the General Medical Council. The Scottish government said it would work closely with the medical schools and the regulator to gain this as soon as possible.

Teaching staff are to be appointed next year and the courses developed for applications in the spring of 2018. Classes would begin in the autumn of that year.

'Best talent'

Health Secretary Shona Robison said she hoped the programme would attract and retain the best talent into Scotland's healthcare profession.

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.

"This innovative new programme will give students the chance to experience how rewarding, challenging and diverse careers in primary care and remote and rural medicine can be.

"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. It will extend medical placements from the NHS into independent and third sector settings, making community experience a central feature of the course.

"This will help to equip the graduates with the ability to work across health and social care boundaries."

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."

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