Dr Pauline Wilson

Further Information

Primary Position:  Consultant Physician and Associate Postgraduate Dean for Rural and Remote Credential

Place of work:  NHS Shetland and NHS Education for Scotland

My entire postgraduate career has been focused on the area of Remote and Rural medicine. I was appointed by NHS Shetland, in 2005, as a consultant physician and have spent the last 19 years in this post. This has afforded me a detailed working knowledge of remote and rural medicine in terms of health care provision and national policy. I have a working understanding of the challenges of being a generalist in a landscape of increasing specialisation. My day to day job has exposed me to the truly unselected nature of patient presentation as well as well as an understanding of dealing with patient populations out with the scope of training, particularly paediatric patients. In August 2016, I was delighted to be awarded the Royal College Physicians (Edin) inaugural William Cullen Prize for excellence in teaching and service innovatio.

In recent years I have become more aware of the need to articulate the skill set and governance requirements of a generalist who works at the edge of their practice/licence. In September 2020, I was appointed by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) to the role of Associate Postgraduate Dean for Remote and Rural Health. In my role as Associate Dean, I have:

  1. Lead stakeholder engaged across the four nations in order to articulate the capabilities in practice and procedural skills a front line remote and rural doctor should have if expected to provide unscheduled and urgent care to rural populations.
  2. Written a curriculum and overarching governance framework for the Credential in Remote and Rural (Unscheduled and Urgent Care). This was endorsed by the General Medical Council in 2022 and we move towards delivery in 2024.

I hold a passionate view that a career in remote and rural medicine is both a professional and progressive career choice. One of the main challenges is sustainable and safe staffing for the rural  hospital and the need to think more laterally when staffing the hospital with clinicians that have the generalist skills set required for the role.