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Scotland building on medical training excellence


Scotland is modernising training for junior doctors so that it continues to attract trainees from across the UK and beyond, Professor Stewart Irvine, Medical Director for NHS Education for Scotland said today.

His comments came as the UK Foundation Programme published its annual F2 Careers Destination Report – an analysis of the career destinations of F2 doctors who completed their foundation training in August 2017.

Professor Irvine said:

“Scotland has a hard-earned reputation for excellence in medical training, and this means we attract more than our share of trainees from across the world. While it’s natural that many of these trainees will want to move around after their Foundation Years, it’s reassuring that nearly 90% of doctors who complete the Foundation Programme go on to enter specialty or core training in the UK within three years.

“Nevertheless, our priority is to ensure that NHSScotland continues to recruit and train the right numbers of staff to deliver quality healthcare for the people of Scotland.

“That’s why as well as promoting quality training and lifestyle for healthcare staff in Scotland, we are modernising training programmes to ensure that they deliver the right blend of flexibility and skills for trainees.

“We are also bringing more staff into the medical workforce, increasing Scottish medical school places, developing a graduate entry programme for medicine, and creating more GP training places.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • The number of foundation trainees remaining in the UK to work as a doctor either in service or training posts has increased slightly, 59.9% in 2017 compared to 54.2% in 2016.
  • The report is broadly in line with a 2017 GMC report which found that the number taking a break after the Foundation Programme to work elsewhere in the NHS or other is increasing, from 30% in 2012 to 54% in 2016. 
  • The GMC analysis shows that overall only a small proportion of doctors who complete the Foundation Programme, do not return to UK training after five years. Overall 90% of previous FY2 doctors are back in training four years after the completion of FY2 training.

To learn more about how we're modernising medical careers, click here.