BGS Scotland

East Deanery

East Scotland Trainees Website


Welcome to Medicine for the Elderly in the East of Scotland. This site provides information for current and prospective trainees.


The Department of Medicine for The Elderly in NHS Tayside comprises a number of consultants working in Dundee and Perth, each with their own specialist interest. Additionally we have an active academic section of Ageing and Health that is part of the University of Dundee Division of Medicine & Therapeutics (see website link below). Our Regional Specialty Advisor is currently Dr Stuart Johnston.


A five year programme from ST3 to ST7 is now in place for trainees in Geriatric and General (Internal) Medicine. This provides opportunities to train in both a large central hospital and peripheral hospitals within NHS Tayside, such as Ninewells Hospital (Dundee), Royal Victoria Hospital (Dundee), and Perth Royal Infirmary (Perth).

Training attachments aim to follow the guidelines set out by the JRCPTB (see useful links below) and to meet the individual requirements of trainees. An example of our clinical attachment training programme and training opportunities can be viewed here.

Each trainee is supported by a named Educational Supervisor and overseen by the Regional Specialty Advisor.


Regular specialty teaching sessions are conducted fortnightly (half day), as part of a rolling programme, to encompass a variety of topics listed on the curriculum.

Click here to view topics covered in our current teaching schedule.All our teaching material is collaborated onto an online teaching resource called ‘ Blackboard’ for future reference (available at –  password required).

As a new initiative trainees in Geriatric Medicine meet twice a year with the trainees from the North of Scotland for specialty training days. Joint training sessions with Old Age Psychiatry trainees are currently being organised.

Trainees are also expected to attend locally organised GIM teaching sessions every month (half day). In addition trainees are encouraged to attend regional and national BGS meetings along with conferences of specialist interest.


The department of Medicine for the Elderly has a close working relationship with the University Section of Ageing and Health, run by Professor Marion McMurdo. The section has strong research interests in exercise in older people, nutrition, pharmacological approaches to treating sarcopenia, plus cardiovascular disease in older people. Current ongoing projects include randomised controlled trials of spironolactone to improve muscle strength, exercise training for older heart failure patients, pedometers to improve activity levels in older women, plus RCTs of vitamin D supplementation in diabetes, stroke, hypertension and heart failure.

More information about this section is available on the University of Dundee website below:

Examples of some recently published projects undertaken by SpRs in the East of Scotland are:

Witham MD, Sumukadas D, Jenkinson F. Associations and consequences of hypophosphataemia in very old hospitalised women. Age Ageing 2008 (in press)

Henderson S, Moore N, Lee E, Witham MD. Do the malnutrition universal screening tool (MUST) and Birmingham nutrition risk (BNR) score predict mortality in older hospitalised patients? BMC Geriatr . 2008; 8 ( 1 ): 26

Habicht DW, Witham MD, McMurdo ME. The under-representation of older people in clinical trials: barriers and potential solutions. J Nutr Health Aging . 2008; 12 ( 3 ): 194-6 .

Sumukadas D, Laidlaw S, Witham MD. Using the RT3 accelerometer to measure everyday activity in functionally impaired older people. Aging Clin Exp Res . 2008; 20 ( 1 ): 15-8 .

Sumukadas D, Witham MD, Struthers AD, McMurdo ME. Effect of perindopril on physical function in elderly people with functional impairment: a randomized controlled trial. CMAJ . 2007; 177 ( 8 ): 867-74 .

Lowdon DW, Harper JR, Gillespie ND. Improving thromboprophylaxis in elderly patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Scott Med J . 2004; 49 ( 4 ): 148-50 .

Useful links

JRCPTB website –Geriatric Medicine

JRCPTB website –General (Internal) Medicine