Launch of graduate medical course

SCOTLAND’S first graduate entry medical course has begun.

The four-year ScotGEM programme got underway in St Andrews and Dundee with a focus on rural and GP medicine.

Funded by the Scottish Government, it aims to boost GP recruitment, particularly in rural areas.

A total of 55 students began their studies, having been given the option of receiving a £4,000 per year bursary in return for one year’s service in NHS Scotland post-qualification. In addition to the return-of-service bursary, the Scottish Government is also paying the tuition fees for eligible students.

ScotGEM is Scotland’s first graduate-entry level medicine course and will offer students the chance to experience general practice and remote rural working, with a focus on community-based training. The course is part of the Scottish Government’s efforts to create 800 more GPs in the next decade.

Health secretary Jeane Freemen said: “The course gives graduates the opportunity to convert to medicine, regardless of their original degree. There is a focus on GP and rural working – giving students the chance to experience these rewarding career paths – and the £16,000 bursary available over the four years makes it an accessible option.”