Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Looking to relocate?You could live, train and play in Moray....

A new recruitment video aimed at attracting talented and ambitious individuals from all backgrounds to come and work in Moray has been launched.

Dr Eric Janousek, GP and Educational Supervisor at Culbin Medical Practice in Forres, features in the video and said: “We have a real diverse collection of GPs from all over the place. There seems to be a number of factors that draws people here – one is the innovation which is possible in a small area.”

Moray has a lot to offer in terms of being a great environment in which to work, live and enjoy leisure time. We hope that once people see the video they, too, will be touched by the magic of Moray and consider making the move here.


Discover GP Scotland Conference

Having just finished my 5th year GP placement in a rural Practice in Argyll, which confirmed my desire to become a GP, I was excited to attend the Undergraduate GP Conference in Edinburgh to learn more about what a career in General Practice could offer.  Several of us travelled down from Aberdeen for the event – it was an early start for some who got on the bus down at 6.30am!  It was great to see so many students there from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee Universities and also from the Queens University in Belfast and to share our enthusiasm for General Practice with them.   
Dr Carey Lunan, the RCGP Scotland Chair opened the conference with an inspiring talk about her career to date and how GPs can make a difference in patients’ lives.  Throughout the day we listened to various GPs talk about how they felt privileged to work in General Practice as they valued the continuity of care and the variety of opportunities available to them to expand their “portfolio career”.   
Throughout the day, we were split into groups to attend different workshops including: consent and confidentiality in General Practice, learning how to do CBT, speed dating with GPs and triage in General Practice.  These gave us the opportunity to discover the variety of paths a career in General Practice can follow and enabled us to ask questions to GPs about what their jobs involved and their favourite aspects of being a GP.   
In the afternoon, there was a Question Time style event with MSPs (most of them former doctors) from the Scottish political parties who answered questions on several topics relating to General Practice, including the new contract, funding and recruitment.  Even though there was a large focus on recruitment and funding issues during the debate, it has not put me off becoming a GP! 
Overall, the conference was a great opportunity to learn more about the variety of options available in General Practice in a “portfolio career” and it was lovely to meet other students interested in General Practice. 

Fiona Cowie 
5th Year Medical Student at the University of Aberdeen 

Easter in the Highlands

Easter weekend and looking for a way to get three young boys and a couple of parents with cabin-fever out and about and away from chocolate eggs, the Xbox and inactivity. After a frustrating car packing and packed lunch readying we headed down to Kingussie and found something for everyone with a spectactular walk around and over Creag Bheag  (487 m) above Kingussie. A 3 mile circular path took us up to the summit with a short detour around the picturesque Loch Gynack. Great views towards the Monadhliath and Cairngorm Mountains and clear blue skies to offset the majestic vista in all directions. On the way up we saw red squirrel and crested tits as we walked along the Gynack Mill path through the Caledonian forest. The weather being so enticing we walked a 'Dad detour' around Loch Gynack and predictably lost the path. My folly was only rescued by a stray Osprey headed north over the loch, perhaps a new male for the lonely EJ recently arrived at Loch Garten, who knows... As we climbed Creag Bheag a Golden Eagle circled in from the bigger hills and a few mountain hare sprinted for cover, more from the kids than the eagle I suspect!

The summit brought a further view of Kingussie village and thoughts drifted to William Pickles and his practice in Aysgarth, walking th
e hills surrounding the practice and thinking on the patients and problems contained within them. What an amazing place... However these idyll reflections were soon interrupted by an impromptu snowball fight which was sure to end in tears and did.

A great day out for all the family which ended in style with a fantastic pizza tea in Aviemore and smiles all around.

Dr Mark Taylor, GP and Trainer, Kingsmills Medical Practice, Inverness
GP Associate Advisor, NES, Inverness Office

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Enjoy running? Like malt whisky? This could be the place for you....

Third Place in 'Best 10K' in UK Running Awards. Come and feel the 'Spirit of the Glen' in 'The Most Beautiful Run in Scotland'. The 8th Glenlivet 10K promises to reach capacity entry early once again this year and be bigger and better. Set in the stunning landscape of the Glenlivet Crown Estate in the Cairngorms National Park with all facilities based at the iconic Glenlivet Distillery. Suitable for all standards of runners and joggers and a race chip timing system is provided. 'A run not to be missed...'

Join the Caledonian GP training Programme and this stunning scenery and many malt whisky distilleries could be on your doorstep......

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

A different kind of Rural Medicine.....

We seem to have had a PE epidemic recently (admittedly the one with the ragingly, apparently diagnostically high D-dimer turned out to have no PE but a genuine anaphylactic allergy to exercise, but I digress). It doesn't do much for your confidence when you're about to embark on a trip to rural Thailand. 4 plane journeys out; and 3 plus an overnight bus on the way back - for the first time I actually tried to stave off the clots.  

The rural idyll I was heading for? A refugee camp on the Thailand/Burma border, home to about 40,000 refugees for the last 30+ years. And interloping among them were 40 students, ethnic Karen from inside Burma who've crossed the border for three months of their training as village healthcare workers and medics. Some have finished primary school, some secondary; all of them work unpaid to provide healthcare in their communities. 

I'm among them for a week, with another GPST from Brighton (who seriously considered Orkney for her training) and a retired Singaporean doctor. We're a good team: Emma and I do solid, practical, interactive sessions ranging from poisoning to calculating medicines administration, finding patients in the camp hospital for them to clerk and examine, and teaching them to inject and cannulate; Seet covers the pharmacology that we've forgotten. By the end of the week they can safely give insulin and vaccines to bananas, and  most can cannulate real live people. Steff and his team from Hope 4 the World have created a curriculum with the Karen Department for Health and Welfare and we stick to it carefully. There are different trainers every week, some new ones each year - so hopefully this attention to detail means each new group of students will come out with the same basic knowledge. It's my fourth time teaching the course, my sixth visit to the border - I've worked in one of the clinics for 4 months altogether - and after a few years' absence with my travels it feels like coming home.  

I remember: this is why I do medicine. Each trip back to the border reminds me of the struggles the ethnic groups still face, hidden behind a heat haze, miles of jungle, and media disinterest. It isn't a 'sexy' struggle; the border camps are going nowhere; the village voices are restricted - but I'm a small cog in the team that plants well trained medics among them, training them a little more reach year. Maybe one day I'll even get to visit some of their clinics and train them there - I can dream. 

For now, it's back to Orkney again. From 35°C back to 0°; From cool showers to cool me down back to cold water swims to... um... freeze me? 

2 'homes', 2 loves. 

This, too, is rural medicine. 

This, too, I love.
Dr Alison Lievesley,
GPST, Orkney

GP Fellowship Posts

Unsure what to do after GPST? How about a 1 year GP Fellowship post?

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

GP Speciality Training Committee Meeting

Hello everyone,

My name is Uma, and I am a GPST1 currently at Inverurie Medical Practice. I volunteered for this meeting which was advertised via email. I had no idea what it was all about!

On the day of the meeting, I turned up and was surprised to see that I was the only 1st-year trainee in the room. The rest of the people were all the “who's who” of the GP training world in the North of Scotland! I greeted everyone and took a seat. I think it is safe to say all the most influential people involved in the chain of organisation for training were present. 

My responsibility at this meeting was to represent trainees and share their opinions regarding training. I am unsure how well I did in this regard as it was quite unfamiliar territory. 

Despite this, I was excited to be there and listen to the plans and effort put in to ensure our training runs smoothly. I soon realised that running the GP Programme is quite a complicated and daunting job!

At the same time, it was reassuring to see the competent people working in our interest. 

There were significant benefits of attending the meeting. I got to learn about opportunities after training, information commonly shared with ST3s, and we ended up agreeing this could be very useful for ST1s, as it affords people better opportunity and time to make up their minds about what they envisage their career after training to be.

I guess one of the most important things I want to say is that the Training Programme Directors are very approachable and open to ideas. They encourage trainees to share their thoughts on how best the programme can be run.

If you have any suggestions to improve the program in North of Scotland, please do not hesitate to contact me (uma.abelega@nhs.net), or your program directors: Vicki Guthrie and Monica Milne for Grampian Programme, Rod Sampson for Caledonian Programme and Calum Urquhart for the Rural Track Programee. I am confident that your suggestions and opinions will be given adequate consideration.

The next GP STC meeting is on the 20th of February 2019. I would be delighted to forward your opinions or concerns to the board for discussion or perhaps I might see you there!

Dr Ngu-Uma Abelega
ST1, Inverurie Medical Practice