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Medicine Returns To St Andrews



The University of St Andrews and NHS Fife have teamed up to allow St Andrews students to complete their entire clinical training and primary qualification in Fife.


For years, students in the School of Medicine would graduate from St Andrews after their first three years and move to a partner university elsewhere in the UK to complete their clinical training, generally speaking, graduating a year before their friends in other academic schools.


Following a 2021 Scottish Parliament decision, approval was passed for the five-year medical degree earlier in March and today (26 March) the partnership between the University and NHS Fife has been secured. While this will massively benefit students of medicine with new training facilities, the Fife community can expect great improvements too. These include growth in research of techniques and medications, overall improving services for patients.


The benefits of this deal will also be felt across the entire community with improved sustainability measures, shared spaces, and a collaboration to improve inequality and poor health within the population.


This excitement for the future is articulated by Dr Christopher McKenna, NHS Fife Medical Director, “Our new formal partnership, alongside the newly developed primary medical qualification programme, provides greater research opportunities, enhances clinical education, and helps provide the future medical workforce with an excellent grounding for their future practice."


Since the Universities Scotland Act 1966 recinded the right for the University of St Andrews to award medical degrees and split St Andrews from University College Dundee in August 1967, St Andrews has not had the teaching school or clinical medical school required to offer the full Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree (MBChB). Thus this historic moment was met with much excitement from the University too. 


Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, Professor Dame Sally Mapstone FRSE, commented “The NHS is a great source of national pride. To educate and graduate the next generation of medical professionals is a testament to our commitment to playing an active role in securing its future for generations to come… The NHS is a great source of national pride. To educate and graduate the next generation of medical professionals is a testament to our commitment to playing an active role in securing its future for generations to come.”



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