Foundation Doctor’s Guide to South East Scotland

Edinburgh, the main city in the South East region, is a beautiful capital city. It has a deep history, a superb cultural scene, with many theatres, galleries, pubs and restaurants. That’s without mentioning the infamous Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where the whole city transforms into a month-long arts & culture festival bringing in visitors from across the globe.

St John’s Hospital, one of the two tertiary centres in the region, is the regional centre for radiology, plastic surgery, burns, max-fax & ENT. The other being Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, a major trauma centre, and the only hospital in Scotland that specialises in liver, pancreas & kidney transplantation. It also has a dedicated paediatric hospital next-door too.

Scotland is one foundation school but split into 4 separate regions: East, North, South East & West. Most of the spots available are in West (around Glasgow) & South East (around Edinburgh).

Messly wants to help doctors make evidence-based decisions about their careers. We’ve put together a short guide to the South East region of Scotland Foundation School to help you rank your rotation programmes. Below is a snapshot of hospital ratings and reviews from the Messly community of doctors together with information about the geography of the region. Sign up to Messly to learn more – we’ve got over 40,000 junior doctor ratings for you to explore.




Click on the hospital to see in depth reviews & GMC ratings on its specialties.

Quick Reviews


  • Friendly environment, good senior support, lots of learning opportunities within acute medicine, wide variety of clinical exposure.
  • Weekday evening out of hours shifts can feel unsupported and incredibly busy due to demands of the bleep and trying to balance managing acutely unwell patients with tasks.
Top tips

Make the most of shift spent in medical admissions and primary assessment, as there are lots of learning opportunities and knowledgeable seniors to learn from and receive feedback from.

Foundation Year 1, General Medicine – St John’s Hospital


  • Time spent covering gynae triage gave good exposure to gynae emergencies. Some protected time for going to clinics. Well supported.
  • Lots of time spent covering the antenatal postnatal wards, no continuity of care, just doing ward jobs for patients you don’t know well. Limited educational value. Heavy rota with lots of nights/weekends.
Top tips

If you are thinking of doing GP training, wait until GPST to do this rotation as GP trainees get more time in clinics than FY2s.

Foundation Year 2, Gynaecology – Royal Infirmary Edinburgh


Explore our Training Navigator to learn more

We’ve created the Training Navigator, a tool designed using the GMC National Training Survey data, which allows you to compare deaneries and rotations based on 40,000 junior doctors’ ratings and reviews. It’s free to use – click below to sign up, and give yourself the full picture.

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