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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

International Medical Training Fellowships

Schemes to encourage doctors to train and work in Scotland are to be strengthened.

Since 2015, more than 50 trainee doctors have been recruited to NHS Scotland through various existing medical fellowship programmes. These have now been consolidated as the Scottish International Medical Training Fellowship (IMTF) programme. The aim is to double the number of trainee doctors to over 100 over the next two years.

The programme offers overseas doctors the opportunity to work in Scotland’s NHS. This provides a valuable contribution to the Scottish workforce, and also gives the doctors skills and experience beneficial to their home countries when they return.

Participants have already undertaken medical training in their own country, and travel to Scotland as experienced doctors to continue their advanced training in one or two year programmes in the NHS.

Kenneth Gibson said:

“The recruitment of medical staff is increasingly international, and all health services need to work hard to create opportunities for doctors from overseas.

“Since we started running international fellowship schemes three years ago, we have received very positive feedback from health boards.

“Consolidating existing schemes to recruit international doctors will help boards to access the best possible candidates. It will also make it easier for international doctors to take advantage of the opportunity to work in Scotland, and ensure a rewarding experience which will contribute to developing healthcare in their home countries.”

Kayode-Adedeji, a trainee on the IMTF programme, added:

"The IMTF scheme has provided a platform for me to practice neonatal care at a level which I could not do in my home country.

“In addition to the clinical skills and expertise acquired, I now have a better understanding of the role of clinical guidelines in medicine. I have also been involved in teaching medical students and junior doctors in different hospitals in Glasgow, as well as performing a clinical audit.

“The programme has also given me an opportunity to interact with health workers from other countries.

“Though Scotland can be cold at times, the people are extremely warm. I would certainly recommend this scheme to other international doctors."

Dr Chris Lilley, Consultant Neonatologist and Training Programme Director for the West of Scotland Paediatric Training Programme, commented:

"Scotland has always recognised the importance of attracting and supporting high quality medical training for overseas graduates and is continuing to support these pathways.

“We have a successful International Medical Training Fellowship programme which values international medical trainees while enabling Scottish health boards to fill vacant training posts.

“I have been involved in the recruitment, management and supervision of international trainees and have seen first-hand the areas where we have improved their skills. With well organised, longer-term support, these trainees also benefit the services within which they work whether they be within Scotland or in their home countries.”

Health Secretary Shona Robison MSP has recently written to boards promoting the recruitment of international doctors and encouraging them to take part in the fellowship programme as much as possible.

The Scottish International Medical Training Fellowship programme is run in conjunction with NHS Education for Scotland and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties in Scotland.



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