Natali Gunawardena was a GPST3 in Elgin and has just come to the end of her training. Here are her thoughts on her experience of training in Elgin in the Caledonian program.
My experience of GP training which has involved 3 years based in Elgin has been overwhelmingly positive. I was fortunate to be placed in what I consider to be an exemplary training practice, with excellent support and opportunities to learn and develop throughout my training. Other trainees based in other practices throughout Elgin and the surrounding area report similar positive experiences. We are lucky enough to have a very enthusiastic set of trainers and a very good quality of teaching, though some of this has been via videolink from Inverness.
Some of the less central practices around Elgin e.g. Dufftown, allow the opportunity to experience more rural general practice, while my own practice is one of the largest in Scotland and is placed just across the road from a district general hospital.
I thoroughly enjoyed my 18 months at Dr Gray's Hospital, Elgin, and I believe that I gained more experience and useful training than I would have received in GP training posts in some larger hospitals. It is a small friendly hospital with good facilities considering its size, excellent staff, and the opportunity to work in a relatively senior role which is great experience.
I consider myself very privileged to live in such a beautiful part of the country which is particularly well suited for those interested in outdoor pursuits, as there are opportunities for activities such as mountain biking, skiing and kayaking to be explored in the nearby locality. I plan to continue working here after completion of my training, and at least at the current time employment opportunities in the area are good.