Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Another view from the other end...

Another view from the other end...

It was an ordinary Friday afternoon in an ordinary surgery in the North of Scotland. I looked down to the latter part of the surgery list and just knew that Tony (not his real name) would be a DNA. Now, just to avoid confusion with acronyms, I mean “Did Not Attend” rather than Deoxyribonucleic Acid. Often, the very mention of DNA raises howls of indignation and tabloid accusations of ingratitude but Tony had a very good reason for not attending. He was dead. He’d died 2 weeks before and this was a legacy appointment, made some 4 weeks ago. Somewhat selfishly, I left the appointment in place (given that it was only 20 minutes away at the time) and used the time to think of Tony. He and I go back a long, long way. In fact I first met him when I was in my hospital training as an SHO (the old equivalent of a GPST2) in 1984 and I still have a letter from myself in his GP notes to prove it. It was fascinating to pause and think of how much our world has changed in a generation and a half, both medically and socially.

I knew that Tony would thoroughly approve of the fact that he’s inadvertently given me a “flanker”* and a wee bit of extra time to cope with my notoriously over-running surgeries. He was always one to champion the “wee man” in life, not in a rebellious flag bearing way, but if he could stick two fingers up at overbearing self-important authority, he would. Interestingly, he always counted me amongst those who stood up for the angry, the lonely and the dispossessed. I valued that greatly. He even forgave me being an Aberdeen supporter against his own background of a diehard “Sellick”** supporter. Tony was no angel and had a pretty chequered history in his younger days but had mellowed substantially with age and wisdom. Happily, for him, his death was sudden and unpredicted, exactly how he’s told me he wanted it. Out of respect for Tony, I did take the time to think back over such a long association rather than catch up. It’s one of those moments which define General Practice and what makes it so special. I’ve been immensely privileged to be part of his life rather than simply his medical adviser.

I’ll miss him.

*“Flanker”- In Scots slang- it’s generally a non-malicious trick or sleight to gain a small advantage.

**”Sellick”- the West of Scotland phonetic pronunciation of Glasgow Celtic FC, where the letter T is routinely dropped from words.

Alex Thain (older GP...)

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

GPST Recruitment Round 2 For February 2017 Start

Scotland is offering approximately 100 places in Round 2 of GPST recruitment for a February 2017 start to training.  Of these 100 places 6 are in the North of Scotland, 3 in the Caledonian Program and 3 in the Grampian Program.  We are currently finalising these rotations and will publish details as soon as we have them.

The timeline for recruitment is as follows:-

Apply from 9 August 2016 {10:00am UK Time}
Closing Date 25 August 2016 {4:00pm UK Time}
Invitations to Specialty Recruitment Assessment Expected by No later than 2 September 2016
Specialty Recruitment Assessment 10-13 September 2016
Specialty Recruitment Assessment Results Expected by No later than 16 September 2016
Invitations to Selection Centre (Interview) Expected by No later than 16 September 2016
Selection Centre Window 26-27 September 2016
First offers from (n.b. by 5:00pm) 03-Oct-16
Hold Deadline 6 October 2016 {1:00pm UK time}
Upgrade Deadline 7 October 2016 {4:00pm UK time}

Further details on applications are available on