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01/06/18 09:29

Record number of student medical places

Support for innovative courses to train more GPs and enable existing healthcare professionals to enter medicine.

More medical students will be encouraged into general practice through innovative new undergraduate courses.

The Scottish Government will fund deliver 85 additional places at the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The new courses will focus on general practice, supporting the Scottish Government’s aim to increase the number of GPs by at least 800 over the next

decade. A new route for experienced healthcare professionals to enter medicine will also be introduced.

Between 2015-6 and 2020-21, the Scottish Government will have increased the number of medical places in Scottish universities to a record 1038 - a rise of 22%.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

“The innovative proposals from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow universities will see 85 new places to specifically promote general practice as a long-term career for young doctors, and allow experienced healthcare professionals who may be interested in becoming doctors to enter medicine.

“The courses will include more involvement of GPs in teaching and assessment and enhanced GP placements in deprived and rural settings.

“While our new GP contract will make general practice a more attractive career by cutting workloads and giving doctors more time with patients, these new medical places are a further step we are taking to train and retain more family doctors in Scotland.”

The Scottish Government’s National Health and Social Care Workforce Plan commits to creating additional undergraduate medical places and medical schools were asked to put forward proposals for new courses with a focus on general practice. The three successful bids are:

  • 30 places at the University of Aberdeen: all students will undertake an enhanced GP programme, with a set minimum of teaching time and an additional range of GP options.
  • 30 places at the University of Glasgow: all students will gain enhanced exposure to primary care and students can opt for intensive experience of primary care in deprived and rural settings. on the new Community Orientated Medical Experience Track (“COMET”).
  • 25 places at the University of Edinburgh: this innovative course will allow experienced healthcare professionals to enter medicine and combine part time study with their existing job, with large parts of the course delivered online. It is designed to target high calibre candidates who are more likely to be retained in NHS Scotland. 

60 of the additional places will begin in 2019-20, 25 places will begin in 2020-21

Between 2015-6 and 2020-21 the Scottish Government will have increased the number of medical places in Scottish universities from 848 to 1038 (22%) including funding Scotland’s first Graduate Entry Medical programme and widening access places.