Rural GP Training

To develop a career as a rural GP, it’s not essential to do rural GP training – honing consultation and clinical skills is similar for the majority of general practice, wherever it is provided.

However, selecting one of the rural GP training programmes does allow you to understand the specific challenges and attractions of rural GP from the outset… and of course offers the chance to live and work in a spectacular location with easy access to the outdoors!

Here’s some of the Shetland GP team talking about their jobs and also reflecting on GP training too…

There are several recommended sources of information to find out more:

  • the Scottish General Practice Training website provides information about the application process, and general information about each rotation.
  • the Scottish GPST ‘Rural Track’ rotation offers relevant and specific focus on the training needs to become a rural GP.  Highlights include placements in Rural General Hospitals, as well as an unparalleled opportunity to pursue a six month Out of Programme Experience which – in agreement with your supervisor – could include international work such as family medicine in South Africa.
  • find out more information generally on what it’s like to be a GP trainee on the excellent North of Scotland GP Training Blog – providing reasons for considering GP Training, as well as some case studies of recently-qualified GPs.

As ever, here at we’re keen to help any trainees who are interested in pursuing a rural career.  Feel free to get in touch or request assistance in getting the answers you require.  We hope to feature more information on this page soon, and also via our blog articles.  Keep an eye on our Twitter feed and consider signing up for our weekly newsletter too.

Key Points (taken from an article by Dr Gordon Baird in the GPST magazine InnovAIT)

  • Rural practice has a different character and style from other practices
  • The rural experience is both professionally and personally satisfying
  • The aspiring rural doctor requires an open and inquiring mind and a positive attitude
  • The demands on a rural practitioner are variable
  • A number of organisations and courses will teach the skills required in a rural setting
  • Skills can be acquired in post and depend on the challenges that are likely to be faced