Femi Omatara has just completed our 4 year Grampian Program and has been kind enough to share his thoughts on his experiences over the last 4 years.
I have just completed my 4 year GP training program and thought I would share my experience to help others considering doing the same training in the North of Scotland. My journey started in August 2011.
Initial thoughts – a bit of disinterest about the extra year of the training when there were 3yr programmes (coming to Scotland was my choice because of job opportunities for my wife at that time, so that was the price we had to pay).The extra one year turned out to be the “icing on the cake” as I went through various hospital rotations which were just brilliant for a G.P in the current climate.
The distance from friends and relatives in England was also a concern at the time but when you get busy in a positive way, you’ll learn that you can move on with new friends anywhere.
Highlights of training – 6 months @ Shetland doing general surgery posting (actually extending into gynaecology, orthopaedics, minor ED procedures, etc. I was told on starting out there that everybody loves it there and do miss the Island when it’s time to leave, surprisingly it turned out to be true. If you want to know what it entails, "the taste of the pudding is in the eating”. It was a wonderful 6 months learning experience and was extremely productive.
Wide exposure to acute care @ the AMAU, now AMIA, ED at A.R.I, psychiatric emergencies at the Royal Cornhill Hospital and G.P emergencies both in hours at my primary training practice and out of hours at the Peterhead cottage hospital.
More than satisfactory training experience, having the opportunity to gain from the knowledge of some veteran G.Ps, ”learning the art of General Practice and not just the science of medicine”.
Most importantly, passing my exams at first sittings, many thanks here to the deanery who strongly supported our learning, encouraging and facilitating study leaves as much as possible, the RCGP CSA course @ Nairn that ended up being fully sponsored by the deanery was awesome and was the only course I needed to succeed at the CSA exam.
Group work was very good – Problem based study group learning (PBSGL) modules were very good and these meetings provided regular opportunities for “baggage checks” and tension relief at mid-week as the meetings were on Wednesdays.
Down moments – if I said there were none, that would not be true but to be honest they were few. We all know the nature of the job can sometimes get extremely busy but that is the case wherever you work.
Missing my family when I was in Shetland as they were in Aberdeen, but thankfully nothing serious as I can confidently say that Shetlanders are among the nicest people I’ve ever met and they made the rotas work to make it easier for me to travel to Aberdeen at weekends.
Occasionally, unrealistic patients’ expectations generated minor conflicts from my doctor-centred view but I soon learnt how to favour patient- centredness and engage in negotiations with patients which is one of the main points of General Practice training.
Life has now been made easier for foreign graduates at the deanery. Since Aug,2014 those needing visa sponsorship should be able to cover their 3-4 years of training with a single visa which saves a lot of money.
Summary – I have just concluded what could best be described as an ACE training experience, this is after discussion with some of my colleagues who shared their experience at other deaneries across the U.K. and putting into consideration my previous combined 5 years of work experience in Nigeria, West Indies and England before this training.