College welcomes expansion of medical training posts

The College welcomes the recently announced expansion of medical training posts, which will see 152 additional places created for trainee doctors in 2023.

The Scottish Government announced that it will provide £37 million over the next four years to help meet the challenges facing Scotland’s NHS and future-proof it against rising demand.

The College has consistently called for more medical school places and more training posts for medical graduates to transition to.

Commenting, Professor Andrew Elder, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh said:

This announcement is welcomed by the College - it shows that the Scottish Government has listened to requests from us and others, to expand the number of medical training posts.

Indeed, as the GMC recently highlighted in its report, the state of medical education and practice in the UK, medical graduates in Scotland have had to move elsewhere for medical training posts in recent years.

Scotland has a long and strong tradition of excellence in the training of doctors. We should be proud of this and the fact that Scotland still commands international respect and recognition.

We hope that the Scottish Government’s announcement will encourage more medical graduates to remain and work in Scotland.

Dr Marion Slater, College Fellow and Associate Postgraduate Dean for Medicine and Diagnostics in the North of Scotland, added:

Medical trainees require quality training by consultants – so, it’s vital that consultants are afforded the time to teach trainees. Time to teach, and time to research, are elements of a consultant’s role that must be protected both for job satisfaction and for patient care.

While it’s encouraging to see a greater number of primary care and oncology posts, we would like to see the expansion go further to include specialties where vacancies have been consistently higher, as well as those which will grow in importance as population needs change.

Efforts must also be undertaken to ensure that new tranches of medical training posts are distributed equitably across Scotland, and in accordance with the requirements of local populations.