SCOTLAND’S first graduate entry programmes for medicine are to start at St Andrews and Dundee University in 2018, the Health Secretary has announced.
The courses will be run by the universities’ medical schools in collaboration with the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Shona Robison said it is part of a Scottish Government commitment to attracting and retaining the best talent into Scotland’s healthcare profession.
Current medical undergraduate degrees take five or six years but the new programme will be a four year medical degree for students who are already graduates and wish to train as doctors.
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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon first announced the graduate programme earlier this year as part of a series of initiatives.
The graduate entry programme requires approval by the General Medical Council and the Scottish Government said it will work closely with the medical schools and the regulatoe to gain it as soon as possible.
Teaching staff are to be appointed next year and the course developed for applications in the spring of 2018 and classes beginning in the autumn of that year.
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.”