Your career as a doctor


NHSScotland is one of the largest healthcare employers in the world. Regional diversity within Scotland allows you to choose between working in small rural communities or within large urban areas. Hopefully doctors will want to remain in Scotland after training, working as GPs or Consultants, depending on their chosen career pathway.

The following websites provide information about living and working in Scotland:

  • TalentScotland is the official site for working and returning to Scotland.
  • AboutScotland is the official gateway to Scotland website.

Working hours

It’s not uncommon for doctors work long hours and this can include nights and working at weekends, often to cover out of hours requirements. European legislation states that doctors can work no more than 48 hours per week.

Continuing professional development

Throughout their career, doctors are required to keep their knowledge and skills up to date to help maintain professional standards. As a doctor, you'll need to show evidence of your education and learning, as this contributes to appraisals and revalidation.

Medical revalidation

Revalidation aims to give patients confidence in their doctor’s knowledge and performance. It also helps ensure doctors are aware of the latest developments in their specialist area of medicine. Through annual appraisals, feedback also helps doctors reflect on how they can develop their skills, as well as how they interact with patients and colleagues.  

All licenced doctors are legally required to be revalidated every five years in order to continue practicing medicine in the UK. Annual appraisals are reviewed to ensure the General Medical Council’s core guidance for doctors is met. Doctors who successfully revalidate can continue to hold a licence to practise.

Disclosure Scotland PVG

The Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme was set up by the Scottish Government to improve disclosure agreements for those, such as doctors, who work with vulnerable people. The scheme is managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland.

As a doctor working with children or vulnerable adults, you would be expected to become a PVG Scheme member.