Trainees on our rural track program get to meet together once a year for a 2 day conference, the venue rotating around our rural track centers. Catherine Brown, an ST4 trainee on Shetland writes about this years conference:-
This two-day event, which is held annually in different Rural Track locations, was held here in Shetland this year. I was slightly apprehensive ahead of it, as I had organised it!! Much to my relief, the event seemed to be enjoyed by one and all. Fourteen trainees in total managed to attend. Before the formal start on the Thursday morning, quite a few of us managed to gather for a meal on the Wednesday evening. And a trip to one of our local pubs for some traditional music.
Thursday morning arrived a few of us ventured into the North Sea for a refreshing morning dip, joined by a few selkie (seal) friends. Needless to say, it was a truly invigorating experience!!
We had a GPwSI theme for the workshop, covering obstetrics, paediatrics, dermatology, women's health and voluntary work abroad. The talks were all given by local GPs. One of our community nursing colleagues spoke to us about healthcare on non-doctor islands, and the role of the intermediate care team. An hour's tour of The Shetland Museum provided us all with a succinct (if compact!) history of the islands, knowledge of the community and appreciation of what life has been like here through the ages.
On the Thursday evening we attended our local GP and hospital consultant educational evening, before thirty of us headed out for dinner. It was really great to see a mix of trainees, GPs and hospital specialists mingling and exchanging stories.
The following day we focussed on rural recruitment and retainment, and video conferenced two of our colleagues in Oban who gave a presentation on their OOPE in Uganda. We then visited our local coastguard station for a tour and talk about what HM Coastguard does in the community here.
On the Friday evening, those of us remaining headed out to the South Mainland Up Helly Aa Viking fire festival. A real spectacle! Not only is there a torchlit procession, but then an evening of acts/ sketches and dancing in local village halls across the region.
This was the first time that I had organised anything like this. It was a big learning curve, and I am pleased that it seems to have been a worthwhile event for those attending.
Here's to the next one!