Training Practice

We have been an enthusiastic Training practice for over 30 years and this is reflected in the wealth of experience that is offered to every GPST by each member of our practice team. Four of our current GPs have trained in the practice Dr Toleman, Dr Kane, Dr Kirk  and Dr Vanessa McEwan.

We operate from two surgeries, the Avon Medical Centre in Larkhall and the Cander Centre in Stonehouse, a semi-rural area. This provides an opportunity to experience two different practice populations. We look after one nursing home, Avonhaugh in Stonehouse. Both surgeries are very easy to commute to and from Glasgow with the motorway. There is also a train station in Larkhall barely 5 minutes walk from the surgery. Larkhall has many shops, pharmacies, eating outlets and a gym with a swimming pool, which has been appreciated by our GPST over the lunch breaks.. There is always access to a room with a computer for personal study over the lunch hours. Practice meetings take place regularly on Monday lunchtimes and GPSTs are welcome to attend to gain insight and exposure to important aspects of clinical governance.

We believe that learning takes place everywhere in the practice, not only in the consulting or tutorial room. As a team we aim to make every GPST feel welcome and to provide an inspiring and supportive learning environment. Everyone in the practice is approachable and happy to help. We strive to provide excellent and quality training to each GPST in order to equip them well for safe, competent and confident independent practice by also ensuring exposure to as wide a range of patients, diverse social backgrounds and medical conditions as possible. The feedback we have received from our previous GPSTs has been very positive. All our GPSTs have gone on to enjoy a career in General practice.

The induction for ST1s and ST3s is very structured covering general and personal learning needs.

The weekly timetable for ST1s and ST3s includes 3 hours of protected tutorial time tailored to the GPST learning needs and objectives, including 1 hour with their Educational Supervisor and the other 2 hours with other GPs one of which with be another Educational Supervisor. Our nurse Practitioners and our practice manager are also experienced in giving tutorials and may provide 1 hour if and when required.

Consultation intervals are adapted to the GPST’s professional development, generally starting with 20 minute appointments after initial induction time in ST1. House-calls are done initially on a shadowing basis and later independently as second on call during ST1 and with regular weekly first on call commitment in ST3.

We are very pleased to report that all ST3s have passed their work-place based assessment based on the new GP curriculum, the AKT and the CSA within their allocated training time. All ST3s passed their CSA at first attempt.

We are a team of 3 GP Trainers: Dana Foster-Kucera. Sarah Toleman and Hamish Kinnon.

We are also a training practice for FY2 (Foundation Year 2) doctors.   Dr Mark Kirk is the lead trainer for our foundation doctors.

If you are considering joining our practice as a GPST and wish to look around the practice or have an informal chat please phone Lorraine Thomson (Practice manager) or one of the Trainers on 01698-552930.


GPST feedback 2023-
“Excellent practice overall. Feel incredibly well supported. A great culture has been fostered by current partners - everyone,
including all the admin staff, are approachable. Trainers give good feedback and feel my time is protected appropriately.”
One trainee requested more structured feedback – “I'm really keen to know how I can improve and to discuss my decision
making / prescribing activity. I’d recommend this practice to anyone applying for GPST in Lanarkshire as a great place to

FY2 Feedback 2023
“Body of GP partners and trainers who are committed to providing excellent clinical care and also fantastic training”.
“The whole team (GPs/ANPs/administrative team) were very keen to make me feel as one of the team. The GPs were always
willing to help when I needed assistance. My educational supervisor was excellent throughout”.
Dr Kirk is aware of the need to demonstrate meeting the requirements for Recognition of Trainers via annual appraisal.


 "I completed my GP training at the Avon Medical practice and really enjoyed my experience here. I found the patients very understanding and accommodating to having doctors in training working here and this made my learning a very positive one. The staff are all very friendly and fun to work with. Having moved on and had experience of other practices I can confidently say that the practice manager is wonderful, she has the ability to sort out any problem and is definately an asset to the practice. The doctors are all very supportive and have made me the GP I am today for which I am very grateful"   .............. Dr Punam Krishan

"I would heartily recommend this very trainee friendly, well established teaching practice for future GP ST's. The surgeries are based in two villages in a semi rural community in South Lanarkshire with excellent transport links, and both practice centres lie only 5 minutes from their respective M74 exits, making travel from Glasgow or Lanarkshire a piece of cake. There is a broad-based population of varying socio-economic backgrounds typical of many inner-city practices but with a community feel. The trainers are approachable and well experienced with the challenges of the nMRCGP and have an excellent success rate in past years and I have felt free to reduce my appointment times / take on house calls as my confidence grows rather than feeling pressured, and have had helpful feedback throughout. There is also a robust, thorough and flexible in house teaching/tutorial programme involving all GP's, the practice nurses and beyond, which really compliments the day release regional teaching. I am very glad I decided on Larkhall and Stonehouse for my training and would commend it to anyone coming to Lanarkshire (or even the SE Scotland Deanery as a whole) as one of the easier decisions involved in GP training today."........... Dr Lewis MacKinnon

“I completed both years of my GPST at the Avon medical practice and would strongly encourage others to do the same. From day one I felt like a part of the team being welcomed to attend practice meetings and be involved in decisions. The training team is wide with diverse interests and a variety of teaching styles and supported me endlessly through exam preparation. The admin staff are friendly, knowledgeable and are always ready to help with any day to day issues that arise. The practice has a number of trainees at different stages at a time and has helped a number of trainees in the past from other practices who have required additional time to complete examinations. Being a split practice allows for exposure to a variety of demographics and backgrounds both rural and more urban.  I enjoyed my time here so much that when I was asked to stay on as a salaried doctor I jumped at the chance and I would recommend this practice to any trainee applying in the area.” Dr David Gordon

Training Practice Information for Patients

We have been a training practice for over 30 years and are committed to high quality GP training.   GPSTs (General Practitioner Speciality Trainee) are fully trained, qualified Doctors who have specialist training split between Practice attachment and time in different hospital posts.   The Specialist training lasts 3-4 years and GP Trainees work in the practice for 6 months during year 1-2 of their training and also the last 12 months of their training.  Some GP trainees require extended training and our practice also provides this type of training from time to time.   GP trainees are qualified to have an active part in patient care and adequate supervision is provided.  Training will include shared surgeries with the Trainer and GPST sitting in surgeries or sharing home visits.   They also have to take part in a patient satisfaction questionnaire and patient help is greatly appreciated.

The Practice appreciates the support our patients give us with GPST training and welcome any feedback.   If you have any comments of suggestions regarding GP training please contact:  Ms Lorraine Thomson, Practice Manager or Dr’s D Foster-Kucera, S Toleman or H Kinnon 01698 552930.