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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

RCPsych in Scotland

Scottish Training & Recruitment Group (STARG)


Chair:         Dr Rhiannon Pugh


Group Members

Dr Daniel  Bennett
Dr Angela Cogan
Dr Robby Steel
Dr Richard   Day
Dr Jackie Pickett
Dr Neil Masson
Dr Rob Embry
Dr  Jo  Brown
 Dr  Gordon  Barclay
Dr  Alasdair  Forrest
Dr  David  Kenicer
Dr Jim Crabb
Dr   Jane  Murdoch
Dr  Vikki  Argent
 Dr  Alan Mackenzie
Dr Cara McDonald
Dr Audrey Morrison

Medical student representatives from the four Student Psychiatry Interest Groups in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh are also invited to attend.

Secretariat provided by Susan Richardson.

A career in psychiatry

A new recruitment leaflet aimed at school students to promote, and advise about, a career in psychiatry has been published.  Available to download here, it is also available in hard copy on request.  It has been circulated to all Senior Schools in Scotland, in addition to other career outlets (i.e. Skills Development Scotland).  

This group has been active in Scotland for a number of years. Previous achievements include:-

  • a book on how to teach psychiatry (published in the Summer of 2011)
  • a course on Teaching Skills for Trainee Psychiatrists 
  • several contributions to The Psychiatrist
  • several sessions delivered at Academic Meetings of the College in Scotland.

In addition in has undertaken research into recruitment and retention (with a survey of all Scottish members carried out in 2003) and research into career choices of Foundation Year Doctors.

The composition of the group seeks to be representative of NHS and academic psychiatrists, the psychiatric specialties and the different areas of Scotland, but the main criterion for membership is an interest in teaching and/or recruitment.

It meets in Edinburgh at RCPsych in Scotland's offices three times a year.

Letter from Dr Tom Brown

What can I do?

It has always been my view that every single member of the College needs to take responsibility for recruitment. We need to regard every contact we have with school students, medical students and young doctors as important. In each such contact we are in effect an “advert for psychiatry” either for good or for ill. Specifically, consider doing one or even all of the following:

1.   Make yourself aware of the Student Associate grade and promote it amongst your students.

2.   Support your local Psychiatry Society - offer to speak or help them find speakers.

3.   Consider supporting your PTC reps to start a Buddy Scheme in your area if none exist. The PTC has guidance on the setting up and running of buddy schemes and will be able to identify trainees happy to take part.

4.   Consider providing workplace based experience for school students. The College position statement on providing work experience placements can be found on the College website.

5.   Consider running a Psychiatry Student Selected Module.

6.   Support the development of Summer and Autumn Schools.

7.   Be a Foundation trainer or even provide a Taster.

8.   Encourage Foundation doctors to continue to engage with the College and promote the forthcoming FD membership grade.

9.   Remember that “every moment counts” in nurturing future psychiatrists, whether they are school students, medical students or Foundation doctors.

As ever we welcome input and suggestions from the membership on what we can do differently. Please feel free to contact me.


Dr Tom Brown

Associate Registrar (Recruitment into Psychiatry)


Dr Tom Brown’s full report to Council can be accessed here.

Useful links on careers and foundation training

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