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Vascular Surgery: Scotland


This information was provided by:

Ms Rachael Forsythe, ST8

1. Who is the training programme director?

Mr Stuart Suttie

2. Please list all the hospitals in your deanery (Vascular Centres)

Trainees are usually allocated East or West of Scotland rotations.

East of Scotland:

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

Ninewells Hospital, Dundee

Edinburgh Royal Infirmary

West of Scotland:

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Glasgow

Hairmyres Hospital, Lanarkshire

3. Please list all the hospitals which provide General Surgery rotations for Vascular trainees, as well as the pattern of rotations

East of Scotland:

Trainees spend 1 year in general surgery in ST3, usually based in Raigmore Hospital, Inverness or Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy.


The rest of training is split between vascular units in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Ninewells Hospital Dundee and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

West of Scotland:

Trainees spend 1 year in general surgery in ST3, usually based in Forth Valley Royal Hospital or Ayr Hospital.

The rest of training is split between vascular units in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Glasgow and Hairmyres Hospital, Lanarkshire.

Most rotations are 1 year, however this again depends on training needs.

4. How is the deanery subdivided? Where do trainees generally live? 

Scotland is the overall deanery, but trainees tend to be based in the East or West. There may be scope to move between East and West depending on trainees and training needs.

The 3 vascular centres in the East are fairly far apart, so it's likely that you'll have to move at least once during training. It's possible to live in between Aberdeen and Dundee (e.g. Montrose) and commute to both (approx 30-40min either way). It's possible to live in Edinburgh and commute to Dundee and vice versa (approx 1hr 10mins depending on where you live) but most people probably move location when they move jobs. They are all great cities to live in and it's good to have variety!

In the west rotation, the arterial hospitals are commutable from Glasgow. Many people tend to live in the West End of Glasgow city, which has lots of good restaurants and amenities.

5. How easy is it to commute to different sites?

                                                               Easy across            Easy across            Only appropriate              Not easy

                                                               all sites                   most sites               in some sites                     at all


Public Transport


Car parking availability

6. How are rotations are allocated?

Allocated at the end of each year

Trainees have the opportunity to give preference for rotations

7. Is there dedicated endovascular training available?


Yes - dedicated endovascular lists for surgical trainees, simulations and teaching sessions in all arterial centres

8. How frequent is deanery teaching and where is it held?


2-day deanery teaching every 6 months, with further webinar-based sessions throughout the year. In addition, there are cadaveric teaching days, a NOTSS course and other online teaching days to supplement formal courses lost during the pandemic.

9. Is there an established research infrastructure for trainees?

Journal Club

Trainee Collaborative

Clinical Trials Unit

Research Meetings/Presentation Days

NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow Post

10. Are there affiliated medical schools?

University of Aberdeen

University of Dundee

University of Edinburgh

University of Glasgow

11. Are there any Out of Programme Opportunities available in your region?


Opportunities for MD / PhD in various universities in the deanery - active research particularly in Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow with well-established research groups.

12. Are there currently any less than full time (LTFT) trainees in your region?

No, however the Scottish Deanery and NHS boards are all supportive of LTFT and provude return to work support and guidance.

13. Do any hospitals in the region have on-site childcare facilities?


Ninewells Hospital Dundee

14. Are there any other facts about your deanery that should be mentioned?


Vascular trainees in Scotland are part of one large deanery, however are typically placed on either the East or West rotation. This has a potential degree of flexibility, in that trainees may be able to cross to the other region depending on training opportunities/training needs. For example, trainees otherwise not based in Edinburgh may have the opportunity to spend a year there to gain experience in TAAA.

The Scotland Deanery is well known for providing excellent technical and non-technical training. In the past two years, the prize for the top candidate in FRCS(Vasc) has been awarded to trainees from Scotland.

Amongst the hospitals in the region, trainees will have the opportunity to see complex arterial surgery, including all types of complex endovascular and open thoracoabdominal aortic repair.

TPD Verified

page updated March 2022
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