Annex B: University of Edinburgh
Thank you for seeking the views of the University of Edinburgh and of Edinburgh Medical School on the issue of whether Scottish Government should seek Parliamentary approval to reinstate the ability of the University of St Andrews to hold qualifying examinations and award degrees in medicine and midwifery and also degrees and licences in dentistry. This consultation has been discussed amongst senior staff of Edinburgh Medical School and the wider senior leadership and we are supportive of the University of St Andrews having this ability reinstated.
We currently accept a number of students annually from the University of St Andrews who have completed their 3 years of pre-clinical medicine in St Andrews and transfer to the University of Edinburgh for their clinical years of training. These students are consistently of a very high standard and they have received an excellent grounding, not just in pre-clinical medicine but also in clinical skills at the University of St Andrews. We have also, like the other medical schools, observed the progress of the ScotGEM programme which is jointly run at St Andrews and have been impressed by their innovations in teaching, particularly in the area of primary care.
We have, of course, considered the consequences for our own medical school of St Andrews being able to undertake clinical training and award degrees in medicine. There is some overlap of clinical placements, particularly in NHS Fife, but we consider that there remains sufficient capacity in the South East and East of Scotland for this to be manageable. The Board for Academic Medicine and informal meetings of Heads of Medical Schools and programmes provide a good forum in which any such issues can be addressed. Within Scotland's world leading and excellent university sector the Medical Schools are of particular strength and the inclusion of St Andrews as a fully-fledged Medical School will only enhance the standing of Scottish medicine in medical education and research across the world.
Finally, like many others, we find the current situation anomalous and feel that there is a natural justice to the righting of this historic position.
Professor Moira Whyte OBE, PhD, FRCP, FRCPE, FMedSci, FRSE Vice Principal and Head of College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine