NHS Fife has welcomed 30 newly qualified doctors who graduated early to boost the frontline workforce during the coronavirus pandemic.
The new recruits will be deployed across departments at a time when staffing levels are under increased pressure because of Covid-19 admissions.
Professor Morwenna Wood, NHS Fife’s director of medical education, said: “The new medical graduates beginning their careers in Fife today will be applying the skills and knowledge they have garnered over a number of years of training, and are very well equipped to support the local efforts to tackle Covid-19.
“While they will undoubtedly be tested in the coming months, they are highly skilled medical professionals and will be able to draw upon the experience gained over numerous clinical placements during their extensive training.
“Importantly, they will also be able to rely upon the support and mentoring of experienced clinical colleagues over the initial weeks and months.”
Having completed their exams early, the freshly qualified doctors will take to hospital wards 10 weeks sooner than they would have in normal circumstances.
Final year medical students have been allowed to register early with the General Medical Council to help hospitals cope with the influx of seriously ill Covid-19 patients.
Fife’s new recruits all volunteered to help with the response to the pandemic and started in their new posts on Wednesday.
Each new graduate has undergone six years of intense medical training and will be mentored by an experienced clinician in the early months of their new role.
They will initially be based at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy and Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline.
NHS Fife’s medical director Dr Christopher McKenna said: “We are delighted to welcome our newest medical graduates to NHS Fife.
“The clinical teams working in our hospitals and communities have put in an incredible effort over recent weeks to adequately prepare healthcare services for the anticipated rise in demand – they have done this whilst continuing to provide a high standard of care for those patients who need it most.
“Over the coming weeks and months, our new medical staff will gain invaluable experience they can draw upon for the rest of their medical careers, and will quickly become key parts of the clinical teams across our various wards and departments.
“We’re really pleased to have them join the team here in Fife and look forward to working with them over the coming months and years.”