Scottish medical students committee

The SMSC (Scottish medical students committee) represents and acts on issues relevant to medical students in Scotland. Find out more about our priorities, members and meetings.

Location: Scotland
Audience: Medical students
Updated: Tuesday 22 September 2020
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​The SMSC (Scottish medical students committee) represents and acts on issues relevant to medical students in Scotland. We also campaign on behalf of our constituents on a variety of issues, including education, finance and welfare.

We report to the BMA Scottish council and the MSC (medical students committee), who we work with closely on behalf of medical students across the UK.


Our priorities

Student welfare in medical school

The pressurised situations and responsibilities that medical students will experience while studying can be uniquely stressful and, in some cases, can contribute to mental health problems. It is essential that medical students are well-supported during their time at university and that assistance and advice are readily available.

SMSC have an active position on the GMC/NES Scottish Wellbeing of Medical Professions Advisory Group, who will be developing a mental health service for all medical professions including medical students. In addition, the committee will be looking into the minimum standards of hospital accommodation. A survey was carried out in May-June 2019, which found that hospital accommodation as surveyed by medical students was not up to the standards set by the BMA.

The BMA also provides confidential support and counselling 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Read more about our counselling and peer support services

Student finance

It’s important that students are aware of the financial support available to them. SMSC have published a finance guide, which is updated annually, to help medical students in Scotland feel informed about the loans, grants and bursaries available to them.

SMSC continues to push for clarity on all student expenses (for example, understanding the cost of placements and being fully informed of reimbursement policies) and transparency of funding.

Widening participation

SMSC believes that students from all backgrounds should be able to study medicine, and supports the implementation of the recommendations made by the Commission on Widening Access’ (CoWA) final report: A Blueprint for Fairness.

While the committee supports the work of the Scottish Government and universities to implement initiatives to reach more students from diverse backgrounds, the committee continues to push for more to be done.

Other priorities

As well as the above priorities, SMSC have identified additional priorities for the 2019-20 session including: local engagement, equality and diversity and general practice.


Our people

The SMSC has representatives from all five medical schools in Scotland, as well as representation from other BMA committees such as Scottish council, Scottish junior doctors committee and UK MSC, NIMSC and WMSC.

The chair and deputy chair are elected annually at the first SMSC meeting of the session (usually held in September).

Matthew Murtagh
Samuel Watson

Deputy chair:
Lewis O‘Connor


Our meetings

SMSC meets four times a year to discuss the latest issues impacting medical students in Scotland. These meetings are open to the elected members of SMSC, but non-members can apply for the BMA committee visitors scheme.

Upcoming meetings:

  • Saturday 3 October 2020 (10.30am to 1pm)
  • Thursday 10 December 2020 (2.30pm to 5pm)
  • Saturday 20 March 2021(10.30am to 1pm)
  • Tuesday 18 May 2021(2.30pm to 5pm)

All our meetings take place either virtually or at:

BMA Scotland
14 Queen Street


Get in touch

If you are interested in finding out more about the work of the SMSC, please email us or call 0131 247 3003.​