Trainee doctors could be coming to work in the isles under plans to boost ties between the health board and the University of Aberdeen.
Medical director Roger Diggle told an NHS Shetland board meeting the university was “looking at expanding the number of medical students from Aberdeen” – with the suggestion of fourth year students staying for a 12-month placement.
NHS Shetland welcomes medical students from a range of universities, including Dundee and St Andrews and Dr Diggle said there would be “a massive amount of benefits” to having more students.
He said medical students generally studied either general practice, surgery or medicine when they came to Shetland for placements, though he stressed, “it’s wholly different having students here for six to eight weeks to having them here for a whole year”.
Providing accommodation was a big hurdle, he said and staff would need to be allowed extra time to help deliver the teaching, which would be broader ranging.
“We need to look if it’s actually feasible,” Dr Diggle said, and added, “accommodation could be a complete show-stopper”.
He said the idea would be looked at further in January, and if it was possible some students would be able to start in September.
Though to get eight to 10 students on placement for a year would probably not be possible until September 2018.
Fellow board member and SIC councillor Cecil Smith suggested the council could look at offering assistance with accommodation for students.
• More on story in Friday’s Shetland Times.