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ScotGEM Launchpad

Important things to do before coming to the University as an entrant on the ScotGEM (MB ChB) Programme


The beginning of your journey as a doctor in training starts now and we are looking forward to meeting and working with you in September.

The ScotGEM Launchpad web page is a place where you will find a lot of useful information about things to do before you get here, and what you will need to do when you arrive.

Welcome from ScotGEM Programme Director

We realise you will be very excited to join the ScotGEM programme and both St Andrews and Dundee Medical Schools. We are excited to meet you too.
Our team has been preparing for your arrival, and we look forward to helping and encouraging you along the path to becoming a Doctor. That path is often difficult but is varied and interesting. You will learn much about yourself while learning medicine, as it is an all-encompassing profession. Being a Doctor is a privilege and we aim to make your journey with ScotGEM a truly unique and rewarding experience.
As you will have seen on our website, the curriculum is exciting and innovative. We are introducing some cutting-edge medical education techniques and technologies amidst a dispersed and community facing course. Our goal is to work closely with you as a ‘community of learners’, and with your help we will create the best course possible.
You will have a great opportunity to revisit University life in both St Andrews and Dundee. Both are truly special places; St Andrews is one of the oldest universities in the UK. It is small enough to be friendly, and large enough to provide the facilities and recreational opportunities of larger institutions. Dundee is renowned for offering a superb student experience in a dynamic city currently enjoying a waterfront renaissance. Thereafter Scotland becomes your oyster, and you will be living and studying in some of the most beautiful areas across our NHS partner boards.
We want to encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunities ScotGEM will bring you, not only to succeed in your studies, but also to enjoy the variety that St Andrews, Dundee and wider Scotland offer.
I look forward to meeting you and introducing our excellent team who are ready to guide you through your medical studies.
Jon Dowell
ScotGEM Programme Director

Welcome from School President


I want to firstly congratulate you all on receiving an offer to study Medicine here at St Andrews, this is a huge achievement and I hope you are all proud of yourselves and all the hard work you have put in!

I am Robbie Carnegie (he/him) and I have been elected to be the School of Medicine President for the Academic Year 2022-2023 which will also be my third and final year. My roles include representing all students within the School of Medicine at both a school and university-wide level, advocating for a greater student input in decision-making and acting as a point of contact between students and staff. If anyone is interested in academic representation, I will be looking to recruit class representatives in September so keep an eye of for more information! I am thrilled to have been elected for this role, and I am looking forward to welcoming you and making positive changes within our community.

Studying Medicine in St Andrews is such a fantastic and unique opportunity and truthfully quite hard to put into words. Looking back, it has certainly exceeded every single expectation I had, and I hope this is the case for you too. My advice for the lead up to September would be to make sure you take time off and celebrate your achievements before you embark upon this next journey of your life. The aim is to ‘hit the ground running’ – a phrase which I am sure you will hear more than once – and by taking time to relax before returning to university as a medical student, this is certainly achievable.

Until then, I want to reiterate my sincerest congratulations and I look forward to meeting you all here in St Andrews come September.

Robbie Carnegie (he/him) | School of Medicine President

Welcome from the Bute Medical Society President


Congratulations!! You’ve made it into Medical School:)

I hope you recognise this achievement and acknowledge the fact that the work you have put in thus far is no small feat. I cannot wait to meet all of you and have you join our amazing Bute family.

As an incoming St. Andrews Medical Student, I have one job for you this summer; ENJOY IT! One of the most important things you can do in preparation for University is to ensure that you are well rested and are coming in with a positive mindset. Trust me, that will go miles in helping you establish friend groups and lasting connections for the years to come 🙂

The unique and exciting pathway that you have started by coming to St Andrews will definitely have some of the most enjoyable and challenging moments of your life. The most important thing for you to know is that you are not alone in this endeavour. The students within your own course and the entire medical school are by your side supporting you and hoping for your success.

With such a large student body, it can be easy to get lost in the masses, but Bute aims to negate that and make sure that you make the most of your time in St Andrews, whether it be through Balls, sporting events and nights out! It is my pleasure to welcome you to St. Andrews and introduce you to the Bute Medical Society!

Who am I?

My name is Sean Omoseni and I am from Toronto, Canada. I will also be the Bute Medical Society President for the upcoming academic year; having just finished second year, by the time you start your first year I’ll be starting my third and final year here.

At St. Andrews, there are a multitude of events and activities for you to get involved in, and as the main medical society at the university, we pride ourselves on showcasing more than just the “medic” aspect of life! So I encourage you to get involved in any way you can and make the most of your first year at St. Andrews 🙂

While my experience at St Andrews has by no means been the “typical” university experience, I’m confident that you will all come to love and appreciate your time here just as I have. It is our hope that the Bute Medical Society can play a role in that enjoyment. You will probably see me out and about the med school, usually sequestered in a tutorial room or the café, as well as at lots of Bute events – so come by and say hi! I promise I’m friendly and am more than happy to help with any questions, problems, recommendations etc.

What’s the Bute Medical Society?

As well as being the largest and one of the oldest, Bute is the most active society at The University, comprising over 550 students. Being a medical student and a ‘Butie’ come hand in hand, since the society plays such an intrinsic role within the medical school. Although most of our members are medics, we welcome any student at the university with open arms. The hard work of our committee and outstanding contributions from our members have earned us multiple awards over the past few years, including “Best Event” for our annual Bute Ball and “Best Society” for overall achievement.

Why should you join?

Put simply, Bute makes St Andrews medicine a community. I cannot stress enough how great it is to know medics from all years and feel supported by everyone. Our society hosts both social and academic events throughout the year – we work hard to make sure there’s something for everyone!

This past year, we were fortunate enough to host the most social events we’ve been allowed in recent years, and our hope is to keep that going!  I’ve written a quick low-down on some of the great events etc we run to get you all excited:

Hecklings: A welcome social event for all freshers, normally held in the first few weeks of the semester, involving games and challenges hosted in town. Hecklings is always unforgettable, a great laugh and a night to make memories and lots of new friends.

Academic talks: We encourage speakers to expand and challenge our medical knowledge, on topics within and beyond our curriculum. In recent years, academic talks have hit an all-time high almost every other week, as they’re obviously a lot easier to run online, so we’re keen to keep this momentum going! We’ve been fortunate to hear from Andy Williams, leading knee surgeon to all your favourite premier league and premiership football and rugby players, Stephen Hearn the ‘Helicopter Doctor’ and many, many more. As I say, the virtual talks have proved extremely popular with all our members, and we’ll be getting in some great speakers over the next year to share some wisdom.

Balls: We host three balls during the year. Our first Ball last year was Hippocrates Ball, and it is held in the first semester and welcomes all you freshers. Bute Ball is held when we get back after Christmas break, filled with great music, ceilidh dancing, delicious food and lots of added extras

– definitely one of the best uni events I attended in 2nd year. St Vitus Ball at the end of the year celebrates the end of exams, helping you blow off steam in style. Bute subsidises these events so you get the best value for money balls in town.

Sports teams: It’s time to put those claims of county sport x, y and Z you wrote on your personal statement to the test! Bute FC, Bute Rugby, Bute Hockey and Bute Netball are all set up for your arrival and they’re all on the lookout for new members. Training and matches are flexible around the very busy medicine timetable, so you don’t need to worry that it’ll be too big a commitment. There is also no pressure and anyone, of any ability, is welcome so it’s a great opportunity to start something new! If you want to have a look at what our sports clubs get up to, check out our football and rugby teams on Instagram: @butefc and @officialbuterugby.

Bute Revue: You’ll all very quickly meet the lecturers and Med Dems, so what better way to end the year than make fun of them and your fellow medical students at a comedy show? Undoubtedly one of the best nights of the year, this event never fails to impress and will have you crying with laughter.

Is there anything I should be doing now?

Keep up to date with information and check out your fellow medics before you come to St Andrews by joining our official “St Andrews Medic Freshers 2022” Facebook page. During the year this will also be a platform for lots of posts about upcoming events, elections and lots more. If you have any questions for us, you can:

  1. Pop Butemed Soc (our society profile, add us!) a message on Facebook
  2. Before Fresher’s Week you can email me directly on [email protected] . During term-time you can email our secretary on [email protected]
  3. Check out our website  which we’ll update closer to Fresher’s week with details about upcoming events and our new committee members (dressed in snazzy navy polo shirts)

I know I speak for all Bute Medical Society members and staff at the University when I say we can’t wait to see all of you around the medical school. You’ve made the right choice picking St Andrews – it really is a great place to study. Relax, enjoy your summer and stay safe.

Welcome from the ScotGEM 2021/22 Year 1 Class Rep.

Dear ScotGEM entrants of 2022,

Congratulations! Whatever path you have taken to get here, I am so happy to welcome you to the ScotGEM family and hope that you are looking forward to the exciting journey ahead. Time has flown by since I was in your position, with days filled with practicing clinical skills on peers, battling in Kahoot quizzes, seeing patients, and dipping in the cold St Andrew’s Sea.

So, before you get started, I wanted to share my top tips on making the most of your first year. Firstly, enjoy yourself! There’s no denying that ScotGEM is an intense course, but with that intensity is excitement. Getting hyped to do your first vene puncture, cheering on your course mates when they nail a student consultation, or celebrating the end of another case with a sweet treat and a walk on the beach are just a few of the little things that will keep your spirits high and stress low in the next year.

Secondly, get to know your cohort. The friends I have made through ScotGEM have helped me through the stress of exams, cooked me dinner, ate my bad cooking in return, and provided me with the perfect mix of support and distractions. With such a vast mix of people coming together in one small year group, you will be sure to find some friends to help maintain that work-life-balance.

My final tip is to ask for help when you need it. ScotGEM is fast paced and can feel overwhelming at times, but you are surrounded by an incredible support network, from your teachers and clinicians to us in the year above. And rest assured you are not alone and that we have all felt the same way at some point.

I look forward to welcoming you to ScotGEM and to St Andrews and wish you the best of luck for your first year.


Meet the team

Some key staff at the School of Medicine, University of St Andrews are shown below.

You can view a list of all staff and contact details on the School of Medicine website.

Things to do before I arrive...

Download the ScotGEM Launchpad checklist

The ScotGEM Launchpad Checklist is a pdf checklist which you can print out and use to help you to keep track of the things you need to do as you prepare to start your medical training at St Andrews.

ScotGEM MBChB-Checklist-Launchpad 2022


Read essential documents: ScotGEM Student Contract

The updated ScotGEM Student Contract will be available by the end of July.   A link to the document will be provided below (until the contract is updated you can view the 2022/23 version).

The ScotGEM Student Contract should be downloaded and read before arrival – however do not sign the contract yet – you will be asked to do this when you are here.

ScotGEM Student Contract.

Read essential documents: School of Medicine Handbook /ScotGEM section

Students should be familiar with the School of Medicine Handbook . There is a section of the handbook, which relates specifically to MBChB ScotGEM  .

Click for web based handbook

Prepare for: Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme

You will complete an online Disclosure Scotland ‘Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme’ application form with a member of professional services staff.  When your offer becomes unconditional firm (when you have met any and all of your conditions of offer), you should email 3 forms of supporting ID to [email protected]. If your offer is already unconditional firm, please send this information to us as soon as possible.  You will be given an individual appointment time for a meeting on Microsoft Teams; please check your emails regularly throughout the summer for further information.

At this meeting you will be required to present the original forms of supporting ID that you have submitted.  Details of the PVG Scheme and which supporting documents will be accepted can be found in the School Handbook.  Please familiarise yourself with the online guidance which advises you on the information you will be required to complete the online application as you only have 7 days to complete this. If you are already a Scheme Member, find out if you are a member for both adults and children and also your Scheme membership number.

Complete and return: Occupational Health Questionnaire

The Occupational Health Questionnaire was emailed to you along with your ‘First Letter’.  It should be completed and returned directly to the NHS Tayside address on the Questionnaire as soon as possible.

A copy of the document can be found here: 

You will be called on receipt of your questionnaire to arrange an appointment that suits you. If they can’t reach you they will use email. Please ensure you register with a personal email address and not an institutional one (please check your spam boxes regularly as sometimes NHS emails end up there). 

SMS text messages will be sent as reminders 24 hours prior to an appointment.

Arrange Accommodation

Accommodation should be arranged before you arrive . For St Andrews visit the University’s new entrants and orientation web page and follow the accommodation link . As you will be aware ScotGEM semester is longer than standard semesters therefor it is important to let accommodation services know you would like accommodation for a longer term. There is no guarantee that all ScotGEM students will be allocated accommodation that they can stay in until the end of the final semester, therefor please check the end date on your accommodation contract. Accommodation may also be available through the University of Dundee. ScotGEM applicants who wish to be considered for student residences at the University of Dundee may contact [email protected] to request an application invitation to be sent to them. See the University of Dundee website for more information

Review and complete essential tasks at the University New Undergraduate Students Page

The New Undergraduate Students page contains important information for students who are matriculating (registering) at the University of St Andrews for the first time as entrants to the ScotGEM Programme.

Be aware that there are a number of admin tasks to do before you come to St Andrews. You will find a helpful list on the New Undergraduate Students page.

Complete the Pre-Arrival Task for ScotGEM

Welcome to ScotGEM. You already have lots of pre-existing ideas about Medicine, because Medicine is about people and you have been living with them, observing them, thinking about them in one way or another all of your life. Many of you will have had contact with medical professionals, doctors, nurses or other members of the allied health professionals. Something about these interactions has made you aspire to join the medical profession. Professionalism is something we are all striving towards. It is easy to recognise professionalism when we see it in action but much more challenging to define the term.

Your first ScotGEM task:

What does professionalism mean to me? Assignment Briefing: 300 words (+/- 10%) Access your pre-existing knowledge and experiences and use this to form the basis of your written response to the question; “What does professionalism mean to me?” There is no requirement for references. In addition identify THREE keywords that for you, epitomise professionalism. List these words below your paragraph.

We don’t want you to:

  • Conduct a literature search.
  • We don’t even want you to use google.
  • We especially don’t want you to worry about this task.

We do want you to:

  • Spend about an hour on the task.
  • Write from your personal viewpoint you may all have different ideas (we hope so!) but they will all be valid.
  • Submit the document as a pdf to [email protected] by Monday 5th September 2022 at 16.00.
  • Come along prepared to discuss your views on professionalism in a small group session facilitated by your Generalist Clinical Mentor (GCM) during Orientation week.
  • Save an accessible, electronic copy of the file as this will be one of the first pieces of work we require you to upload to your professional portfolio (more about that in orientation week).

Things to bring...

Personal documents

You will need these documents when you are in St Andrews:

  • Passport.
  • Driving License or an alternative formal piece of identification with your address (a bank statement is a good example).
  • Birth Certificate (not a copy)
Immunisation History

Students must research their own Immunisation History to establish an immunisation record for their life to date, this probably involves a visit to their GP. Students are strongly encouraged and keep this record to prove their Immunisation History through their studies and working life. You should bring your Immunisation History with you when you come to St Andrews. There is more to read about this and related matters in the Occupational Health Questionnaire and accompanying notes (see ‘Things to do before I arrive…’  on this page).

We also strongly encourage students to take up Covid-19 vaccination as soon as they are able to do so. 

Where a student cannot evidence to OH that they have had a BCG (TB) immunisation or have had a negative mantoux or IGRA blood test done in the last 5 years  they must be screened and found non infectious prior to commencing clinical work. 

Text books


We are aware that you will have many questions about the course and what you should be doing to prepare.

We are often asked ‘What shall I do about textbooks?’ For this reason we thought it would be useful to give you this list of recommended texts and to offer some advice about buying them. Please do not feel that you must rush to buy the texts before you get here (excess baggage can be heavy and expensive!) plus you will have access to all core textbooks electronically.

If you do wish to buy textbooks, we recommend choosing textbooks you will be useful for your 3 years in St Andrews and your 3 years at clinical partner schools: Take some time to ask peers in the years above, or to appraise how much you benefit you’d get from owning physical copies knowing you will have e-textbook access and access to physical copies via the library too. Although our list may seem lengthy and expensive, it is unlikely that you will have to buy any other essential texts while you are at St Andrews.

The books will be available for purchase, and can be ordered in advance, from Blackwell’s Bookshop located in the Students Association Building in St Andrews. Blackwell’s  can be reached at tel: 01334 476367 or email: [email protected]

In making a decision to select textbooks, not only do we try to find those best suited to our course but also, if possible, the books also include access to the publisher’s on-line learning resources.


The Medical School and the University library have licensed several eBooks from different publishers (see reading list) providing you with electronic access to all the core texts required. This provides on-line access to the texts without restriction using your University user name/password combination. In addition to the core reading list which you may consider buying some books from, there are additional texts available on-line. Though these are considered to be very useful throughout our curriculum, we do not think it is essential for you to buy these actual texts.
An important thing to note about most eBooks is that they are often not accompanied by the extra on-line resources which are available if you buy the texts and activate the access codes to the publisher’s web site.

University of St Andrews MBChB (ScotGEM) Reading List (2022/23)

The official reading list for years 1-3 (and some of the systems blocks) is housed in the library webpages here.

Follow the link, log in, click on ‘Find Lists‘ and change each search field to ALL, then type MBChB in the search box.

The Medical School and the University library subscribe to a number of key eBooks which will be available online to all medical students. Our advice is to wait until you get to St Andrews before making decisions about purchasing. Note that the library only holds 20 copies of each so it is recommended that students who prefer using physical copies consider buying their own copies in order to access the course literature in their own time. Additionally, most textbooks offer online resources that you can access using a code found within your purchased copy of the textbook. You should check that you are buying the most recent edition. 

Is there anything I could be reading before I come?

Students often ask us if they should read anything in preparation for Medical School. Rather than burden yourself with facts before you actually come, we suggest that students might rather read something that stimulates the mind! Suggestions of books staff have read include:-

  • Rebecca Skloot: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks ( ISBN-10:150987702, ISBN-13:978-1509877027)
  • Atul Guwande: Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the EndT (ISBN: 978-0-8050-9515-9)
  • Tools of the Trade: Poems for New Doctors feature some St Andrews faces and is given to St Andrews students when they graduate, you can read about the project here
Stethoscopes, Pocket Masks and Laboratory Coat

You will need to have your own stethoscope, pocket mask and laboratory coats for our clinical skills training.   Advice about face coverings will be provided nearer to the time, in line with national guidance. Necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for clinical skills training will be provided.

Stethoscopes:  We currently recommend the Classic Littmann III stethoscope, which you can find at:  It is very important for your basic training that your stethoscope has both a bell and a diaphragm. The Classic Littmann Classic III is all you need; you will NOT require a specialist cardiology- or electronic stethoscope. Medisave are currently offering St Andrews students 5% discount across the site if you enter STANDREWS.

Where do I get a Stethoscope and Pocket Mask?

Use Google to research this. The BMA ( British Medical Association) also offer a discount on stethoscopes from August for students who join.

There are a variety of suppliers and some special deals may be available after you arrive in St Andrews.

Pocket Masks: You will need a pocket mask, the clinical skills team recommends the Laerdal LD040 or LD021 masks. These can be purchased from:

Laboratory Coats: You will need a white ‘Howie’ lab coat for the Dissection Room. Although there are some available for purchase locally Students Association shop, supplies are limited, thereforeit may be better to buy one before you come to St Andrews, some suppliers include:-

Should you be unable to purchase one before the start of term, you can borrow a lab coat from the Anatomy Team, donated by former students, dry-cleaned and in good condition until yours is delivered.

Safety Glasses: You will need your own safety glasses for dissection. There are many suitable types, some examples are:

Clinical Skills Dress Code

NHS Fife expects all staff and medical students to adopt the standards we set for conduct, dress and appearance. The way staff and students dress sends messages about their professionalism and standards of care to service users, carers, colleagues and members of the public.

The following guidance is not meant to be exhaustive but provides a quick framework for students to follow. It is in keeping with NHS Fife Dress Code and Uniform Policy (2020) which aims to ensure that all involved in care delivery maintain safety, convey a professional image and instill and maintain public confidence.

As students learning within a practice environment, you are expected to follow this guidance at all times during hospital or community based placements and also within a simulated clinical environment.

  • Wear your identity badge that confirms you are a student.
  • Dress in a discreet and professional manner to convey a professional image and create and maintain public confidence.
  • Arms should be ‘bare below the elbow’ when delivering clinical care/working in or visiting a clinical area.

Where for religious reasons, students wish to cover their forearms during patient care activity; it is acceptable to wear disposable over-sleeves where gloves are used, with strict adherence to hand and wrist washing before and after use. Over-sleeves must be disposed of as disposable gloves. Where for religious reasons, students wish to cover their upper forearms during patient care activity, it is acceptable to wear three-quarter length sleeves. Three-quarter length sleeves must not be loose or dangling. They must be able to be rolled or pulled back and kept securely in place during hand-washing and direct patient care activity.

  • Wear appropriate footwear (clean, in a good state of repair, enclosed heels and toes). Excessively high heels should not be worn. Shoes should be black or navy however it is acknowledged that many staff/students, in particular those involved with moving and handling of patients, prefer to wear trainers. If trainers are worn they should be where possible black or navy, must be clean and made of a non-pervious material.
  • Tattoos that could be considered offensive should be covered where this does not compromise good clinical practice.
  • Keep hair tied back and off the collar.
  • Jewellery is restricted to wearing one plain metal finger ring and one pair of plain stud earrings. Any other visible body piercings should be removed. Wristwatches, fitness tracker wrist- straps and bracelets must not be worn when in clinical areas. Jewellery worn for religious reasons such as Kara bangles worn by initiated Sikhs do not require to be removed for hand decontamination, however, they should be pushed up the arm and secured in place to enable effective hand decontamination and during all direct patient activity.
  • Keep finger nails short and clean. No nail varnish, false nails or nail extensions should be worn.
  • Cosmetics, perfume and aftershave should be discreet.
  • Neck ties or lanyards should not be worn when in clinical areas.
  • Pens or scissors should not be carried in outside shirt pockets.
  • Store your stethoscope in a safe place such as your pocket or in your bag when moving between clinical areas or during breaks. Stethoscopes should not be worn around the neck.

For the purposes of learning clinical skills students practice non-intimate examinations on each other.  You may therefore also wish to pack some sports wear, such as shorts (and/or leggings) and a t-shirt; or an acceptable suitable equivalent. Examples of clinical dress code are:-


Things to think about...

IT skills

During your time as a medical student you will need to be competent with the Microsoft products Word, Excel and PowerPoint. If you are not as familiar as you would like to be with these programs, you can enrol is some formal training with the university. The University offers some IT training resources.

Blood borne viruses

Immunisation History:

Students must research their own immunisation history to establish an immunisation record for their life to date, this probably involves a visit to their GP. Students are strongly encouraged to keep this record to prove their immunisation history through their studies and working life. You should bring your immunisation history with you when you come to St Andrews. There is more to read about this and related matters in the Occupational Health Questionnaire and accompanying notes (see ‘Things to do before I arrive…’  on this page).  We also strongly encourage students to take up Covid-19 vaccination as soon as they are able to do so.

Blood borne viruses:

At the time of entry to Medical School students will be screened for tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV infection and any necessary immunisations and antibody tests will be performed. All entrants are strongly recommended to complete a course of immunisation against hepatitis B virus. If you have been infected with hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV this does not mean that you cannot train to be a doctor but it is important to consider at this stage whether or not this is the career option that you wish to pursue.

Any entrant student who is found to be a carrier of hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV will require special counselling, as such a situation may place restrictions on the student’s clinical training and limit his or her medical practice following qualification. If you have had an infection of this nature and wish to discuss this further before making a decision, we would be happy to put you in touch with our Occupational Health Services who will be able to advise you of current policy.

If you are infected with any of these diseases you should consider your position carefully. If you wish to discuss this with an Occupational Health advisor, please contact the admissions team and we can arrange this for you. Further advice can be found in the Medical Schools Council publication Medical and dental students: Health clearance for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV and Tuberculosis


If you feel your health or a disability may impact on your studies please get in touch early.

We want  you to achieve your full potential. If you want to explore this further contact [email protected] putting “support” in the subject line.

Agents of Change Placements

ScotGEM: Changing the future medical workforce – Third sector placements for medical students

Dr Heather Shearer, Agents of Change Lead, email: [email protected]; Twitter: @hlshearer

Jayne Stuart, ScotGEM Service Learning and Community Engagement Vertical Theme Lead, email: [email protected]


As a Year 1 ScotGEM medical student you will complete at least 20 hours in a third sector community placement, offering positive benefits for both students and third sector partners.


The ambition of the ScotGEM programme is for new doctors in the 21st century to be able to both deliver care and develop healthcare systems. Much medical training is focused upon using techniques to gather information from each individual patient in order to inform the choice and delivery of treatment. However, to practice as an effective medical professional within local and global communities we believe that a fuller understanding of these communities is essential.

Through spending time with third-sector organisations, you will be able to develop a fuller understanding of the social determinants of health and the impact on health and well being. You will also see ways that you can work in partnership with third-sector organisations to give the best clinical care you can.

Examples of previous students’ activities include:

  • Attending support groups
  • Creating and offering food parcels
  • Community gardening
  • Developing activities for children and young people
  • Meeting with and supporting people who live on the streets

What this means for you

As a ScotGEM student, you are required to undertake one of these placements during November-December 2022. Information and support will be provided to help you make choices about what kind of placement activity you would like to experience.  We endeavour to meet your placement preferences.

When you start the course in September, you will be given details about what placements are available, when they occur and how you submit your preferences. In the meantime, please think about the type of voluntary sector placement you would like to take part in; this may continue from previous experience you have had, or you may wish to try something different. There is also the option of self-selecting a third-sector organisation with whom you already have a link with.

You couldn’t learn this in a classroom. You have to experience it” Dominic Pascoe, previous ScotGEM Y1

Attached are two examples of student posters from their experience in 2020/21.  

View posters here: SR – Service Learning Placement poster (1) 

TM – Service Learning Placement poster



Any questions..?

First, please have a look at the frequently asked questions (FAQs) below …

I've got a question about IT, or computers...

It’s good that you are thinking about IT. We’ve made a special section of Launchpad just for questions about IT. You can find this here…

I've got a question about Orientation Week?


The School will be running in-person induction events during orientation week, including some academic events. 

Tours of the School of Medicine for parents/families will be available.

Monday of Orientation

The formal School of Medicine orientation begins at 9.00am on Monday of orientation week this will be in person – all timetabling information will be found on your Solas timetable which you will log into with your username (first part of your university email address) and email password here.

At this introductory event, you will be welcomed by the Dean of Medicine, the ScotGEM Programme Director, the Year 1 Lead and the Lead GCM.  We will also explain all the events that are planned for Monday and the rest of orientation week.

During orientation week there will be a full programme of introductory classes specifically organised by the School of Medicine for new medical students – where possible these will be delivered live and in person.  Your attendance at these classes is essential since they will help you to find you feet in the early stages of you medical course.

The provisional programme for ScotGEM students can be viewed by clicking here

What about improving my study skills?

The University Orientation Week Programme includes courses in study skills.   Although we are committed to supporting you during your medical studies, we are unable to provide individual help on a daily basis. The School provides many resources to help you self-assess your own progress, and the University provides study skills sessions via CEED for those requiring additional help, but you ultimately have to take charge of your own studies. The responsibility for your success now falls on your own shoulders (this is a health warning!).

I still have another question…

If you have questions that are not covered in the FAQs, we’re here to help.

You can contact us by emailing [email protected]  

Orientation week

2022 Orientation week is being delivered in-person and includes practical inductions and lectures.

The University, Students’ Association, Societies and the Athletic Union organise a whole series of social and academic activities during orientation week. Find out more about Orientation Week at the University.

As well the University orientation events, the School of Medicine is organising a programme specifically for new medical students to help you prepare for the beginning of your course.

During orientation week you will be able see a full timetable of events on your Solas timetable that you can access using your username (first part of your email address) and email password here. The provisional programme can be viewed here.

St Andrews Medic Freshers on Facebook

The Bute Medical Society can also be contacted on [email protected] or via their website Bute Medical Society



Finding your way about

These should help you to find your way here, and around the Medical building:

School of Medicine

University of St Andrews

North Haugh

St Andrews

KY16 9TF

School: +44 (0) 1334 463599

Admissions: +44 (0) 1334 461886

ScotGEM enquiries: +44 (0) 1334 463619

fax: +44 (0) 1334 467470

email: [email protected]