Conventional Raman scattering is a well-known technique for detecting and identifying complex molecular samples. In surface enhanced Raman scattering, a nanorough metallic surface close to the sample enormously enhances the Raman signal. In previous work, the metallic surface was a thin layer of gold deposited on a rough transparent epoxy substrate. The advantage of the clear substrate was that the Raman signal could be obtained by passing light through the substrate, on to opaque samples simply placed against its surface. In this work, a commercially available Raman spectrometer was coupled to a distant probe. Raman signals were obtained from the surface, and from the interior, of a solid specimen located more than 1 m away from the spectrometer. The practical advantage of this arrangement is that it opens up surface enhanced Raman spectrometry to a clinical environment, with a patient simply sitting or lying near the spectrometer. (C) 2014 American Vacuum Society.