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Rural Surgical Fellowships


Rural Surgical Fellowships

In a boost to the Rural Surgical Fellowship programme, for the first time there are now two fellowships running synchronously, one based in Inverness and one in Aberdeen.

These are fellowships for General Surgeons who are close to completion of training, or already on the specialist register, who wish to add some bespoke training before taking on a consultant post in one of Scotland’s 6 Rural General Hospitals. These are stimulating jobs, working in multicompetent teams, and serving appreciative populations in interesting places: namely Orkney, Shetland, Western Isles, Caithness, Lochaber, and Lorn & Islands. The skill sets required may be broader than usual, and may vary from RGH to RGH. The previous training and experience of this adventurous cohort of surgeons will also vary. Hence the preparatory fellowship has to be flexible and bespoke.

Funded centrally by NES as Advanced Medical Training Fellowships, these posts can last from 6 months to 2 years according to the needs, and move around from unit to unit within the centre (either Inverness or Aberdeen), or even between centres and to RGHs. Previous fellows have ended up working in Fort William, in Elgin and overseas. Some fellows may need mostly General Surgery training, some need special interests that will be needed in their destination. All will add emergency skills in other specialties such as gynaecology and orthopaedics. And of course higher training as a trainer is essential, including learning to use simulation.

Our two latest fellows illustrate two types of appointment that can be made. In Inverness the current fellow is doing a stand-alone fellowship and upon entry to the UK specialist register will be able to apply for a post in any of the RGHs or indeed in similar setups abroad. The other fellow, now in Aberdeen, has already been proleptically appointed to a consultant post in NHS Shetland, as well as the preceding 2-year fellowship in Aberdeen. This allows the fellowship to be tailored to the needs of a specific post.

It’s exciting times for the Rural General Hospitals and for these highly motivated and broadly skilled individuals. To find out about future such fellowships, e-mail us at or

Rural Surgical Fellowships