Rural Program


"The Scottish National Rural Track Programme provides a unique opportunity to Undertake General Practice Speciality Training (GPTS) in some of the most beautiful and unspoiled parts of the United kingdom. This three-year programme (which was offered for the first time in 2012 (previously as a four year programme), aims not only to provide you with the capabilities described  for GPST in the RCGP's curriculum, but also the capabilities to work in rural or remote practice, Think of it as 'GPST-plus'. 

The programme offer a variety of rotations, each based around a Rural General Hospital (RGH) system. There are six RGHs in Scotland with posts available in rotations based in each location:

  • Belford Hospital, Fort William, Lochaber
  • Caithness General Hospital, Wick, Caithness
  • Western Isles, Hospital, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
  • Balfour Hospital, Kirkwall, Orkney
  • Gilbert Bain Hospital, Lerwick, Shetland
  • Lorn and District Hospital, Oban, Argyll

The programmes in the Western Isles, Shetland and Caithness are entriely based in those locations. The Orkney programme incorporates a Community Psychiatry post in Caithness, just across the water, whilst those in Fort William and Oban include 6 months in psychiatry in Lochguilphead.

The experience in our RGHs is ideally suited to GPST. Experience is general and undifferentiated; there is no super-specialisation and you will handle everything from major trauma to minor self-limiting problems, always with the possibility of considering emergency retrieval to bigger centres, The support is hands-on from consultants with no middle grades and the experience for GPST is consistently very highly rated in local and national surveys. Our RGHs are recognised as a treasured educational resource, North of Scotland Region Foundation Programmes rotate through them and they provide a significant undergraduate teaching role.


For those of you on the Rural Track Program you be well supported in the usual education programme via well-developed VC links and experienced VC facilitators. To augment this we also run an annual specific Rural Workshop. We also support rural trainees in gaining qualifications in emergency care such as BASICS."


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