Milestone celebrations for Medical Education Centre in the Highlands

A teaching facility that has been a hub over the years for thousands of medical students on placement in Inverness and the Highlands has two good reasons to celebrate tomorrow (October 1).

The University of Aberdeen’s Highland Medical Education Centre - which has moved from Raigmore Hospital in Inverness to purpose-built premises within the neighbouring Centre for Health Science - is being officially opened tomorrow afternoon.

The ceremony will also help mark 40 plus years of teaching in the Highlands and Islands for medical students who all spend time in the area’s hospitals and GP practices in their fourth and fifth years.

Dr Sue Tracey, Director of Teaching at the Centre, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be part of the Centre for Health Science which has enabled us to deliver the very latest teaching facilities for students who join us when they are on placement from Aberdeen.

“As well as being next to the brand new Clinical Skills Centre, students and staff are also benefiting from being alongside the other health professionals who are also located within this tremendous new complex.”

One of the first Aberdeen medical students to be on placement in the Highlands in the 1960s is helping with the launch celebrations by giving a talk about how medical education used to be. Other talks will cover present day teaching and how training could be in the future. 

At any time between 50 and 70 fourth and fifth year medical students are at Raigmore Hospital on placement. Raigmore also acts as a base for a unique opportunity for undergraduate medical students to study in remote and rural settings across the Highland and Islands of Scotland.  Around 25 are based at hospitals and GP practices across the North of Scotland.

Professor Hamish McKenzie, Head of the University’s Division of Medical and Dental Education, said: “Raigmore Hospital has been a key partner in providing high quality training for our medical students over four decades now, and the new facility is fit for the 21st century.”

Dr Tracey added: “Over the last 40 years medical students from Aberdeen have always highly rated the training they receive in Inverness and the Highlands.

“Over the years the University of Aberdeen undergraduate medical curriculum has been carefully mirrored here in Inverness and across the many sites in the Highlands.

“With this move into a new centre students will now benefit from the latest technology in teaching facilities allowing access to resources and tutorials from all over the Highlands as well as from the School of Medicine and Dentistry in Aberdeen.

“Training in the Highlands also allows students to experience the variety and challenges of providing healthcare in rural areas. Evidence shows that students who train in rural areas are more likely to return to work in rural areas so we hope we are training the doctors who will be serving our community over the years to come. ”