Obstetrics and Gynaecology


Head of School: Mr Sanjay Rao

School Manager:  Chris Quinn

Specialty Co-ordinator: Laura Trainer

Why choose Obstetrics & Gynaecology?

The specialty focuses on the care of the pregnant woman, her unborn child and diseases specific to women. It is a broad specialty, allowing progression of both medical and surgical knowledge and skill.

This is a run-through specialty which has a very well structured programme developed by the RCOG with a detailed and constructive e-portfolio.

Trainees are very well supported at all levels in Obstetrics and Gynaecology as is shown by the excellent feedback on supervision in the speciality from local and national surveys. Support continues outside of normal hours allowing trainees to progress at a challenging rate while still feeling secure and ensuring patient safety.

As a trainee what can I expect from my training programme?

The School of Obstetrics and Gynaecology provides high quality training to enable trainees to progress to CCT.  Training is available for the full 7 years, ST 1-7 and the region provides a number of approved sub specialty training programmes, in maternal/fetal medicine, gynaeoncology and reproductive medicine.

Trainees will rotate on a 12 month basis. ST1 is typically spent in one of the smaller units in the region allowing a broad introduction to the specialty. At ST2/3, we aim for trainees to spend 24 months in the same larger unit. This allows trainees make a smooth transition from first to second tier on-call. Most training units encourage ST2 trainees to ‘act up’ in preparation for ST3. At ST6/7 level trainees undertake 2 ATSMs in areas of interest they wish to pursue as consultants. Examples of ATSMs include ‘Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery’, ‘Advanced Labour Ward Practice’, ‘Benign Abdominal Surgery’, ‘Acute Gynaecology and Early Pregnancy’, ‘Maternal Medicine’, ‘Subfertility and Reproductive Health’, ‘Urogynaecology’ and ‘Fetal Medicine’.

There are links with universities including Newcastle and Teesside. Some trainees enter academic training programmes often including laboratory-based research in Newcastle. The Centre for Life in Newcastle is one of the leading centres for fertility research in the country. Most units in the region actively recruit patients into clinical research trials, and trainees are strongly encouraged to be involved in research training and recruitment.

Throughout the region there are great training opportunities. There is a nominated programme director for each of the Basic, Intermediate and Advanced levels of training, who coordinate a protected teaching programme, mapped to the relevant core RCOG curriculum requirements. Pass rates for exams have been high, with a trainee from the region recently being awarded the Gold Medal for MRCOG Part 2.

The region has an increasing availability of simulation training with most units having access to laparoscopic, obstetric or ultrasound simulators. The school provides an innovative and extremely well received mandatory cadaveric laparoscopic training course, and has introduced a blended basic ultrasound course – combining US simulation with ‘real life’ scanning and clinical scenarios.

HEENE has a very active trainees committee which represents all levels of trainees, and has members representing less than full time and academic trainees. The trainee representative voice is very important to the school and helps us mould the delivery of training for our doctors.

What our trainees say:

‘Through the programme you obtain supported, high-calibre training. The ultrasound teaching/training we receive is well organised and there is an eagerness within the programme to deliver this. We are at the forefront of O&G – national experts in laparoscopic surgery, genetics research, busy maternity units, and formidable cancer centres.’

‘There is no typical day when working in O&G but I have plenty of supervised experience in major and minor operating lists, clinics, labour ward. The thing I love about O&G is working with senior obstetricians and midwives to deliver a well baby to a well woman. It is so varied and rewarding – looking after women in labour, problems in pregnancy, symptoms that significantly affect quality of life.’

Current vacancy information

Rotation information

To find out more about our region please visit Find Your Place


For information on the Community and Sexual Reproductive Health overview programme, please see this link

Information for Current Trainees

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Potential Applicant

Visit our Recruitment website to find out what it's like to be a GP trainee in the north east and north Cumbria.