Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Enjoy a good murder? Granite Noir set to return to Aberdeen

The Granite Noir Crime Festival will return to Aberdeen in 2018, with headliners including authors Ann Cleeves and Val McDermid.
Organised by Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA), the three-day event will run from 23-25 February.


Inaugural Group Facilitator Training Day - Inverness 15th November 2017

From bacon roles, lemons and back pockets to talking sticks and the Inverdeen Beekeepers Association, the inaugural group facilitator training day took place in the Centre for Health Science, Inverness on the 15th November.  A gathering of 15 group facilitators from across the North of Scotland met for a day of shared learning. 

The day provided time and space to share experiences and resources with colleagues and a forum to support, develop and strengthen the facilitator role. 

The collective enthusiasm and passion for supporting our trainee GPs and students in the North of Scotland in their group work was clearly evident.

Thanks to Dr Rod Sampson, TPD, Caledonian Programme, for organising and facilitating a very enjoyable and worthwhile event.

Dr Graeme Brown, GP Associate Advisor, Grampian Programme, NES, Aberdeen

Friday, 10 November 2017

North Region Trainers Conference

Last week saw North Region Educational Supervisors from Fort William to Forres, Oban to Oldmeldrum and Lerwick to Laurencekirk meet for their annual educational conference at the Newton Hotel in Nairn.

The 2 day event consisted of educational updates, inspirational talks and workshops covering a variety of topics including spirituality, IT in training, social media and realistic medicine.

A poetry session run by Dr Mark Taylor, GP and ES at Kingsmills Medical Practice in Inverness proved particularly popular, inspiring fellow GP and ES at Cove and Kincorth Medical Practice and GPST Group Work Facilitator at NES in Aberdeen, Dr Lynne MacKenzie to write the following piece....


I see your youth and your wish to live.
I hear your anger at your missed diagnosis.
I feel powerless!!

I see your wedding, an event that should be the beginning but this is almost the end.
I hear your resignation.
I feel powerless!!

I see your Mum in tears.
I hear her ask “ why couldn’t it have been me?”
I feel angry!!

I see your courage.
I hear your family asking me to “make you more comfortable “.
I feel I CAN do that.

I see your coffin lowered into the ground.
I hear silence.
I feel humbled!

I look at the trees and the sky and see SUCH beauty.
I will always treasure that.

North East 250 - route to rival North Coast 500!

A new driving route launched in north east Scotland is aiming to emulate the tourism success of the North Coast 500 in the Highlands.

The North East 250 circular route will take visitors through Speyside, the Cairngorms, Royal Deeside, Aberdeen, the east coast and Moray.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

RCGP Conference

The annual RCGP conference this year was down in the lovely Liverpool and was well represented from the North East of Scotland. The conference is attended by GPs from around the world coming together to share knowledge, ideas and go "forward together" (the theme of this years conference).

The event included large group talks in the auditorium from eminent college members, such as the charismatic Helen Stokes-Lampard (chair) talking about 'Enid shaped care' -  a gripping story about one of her elderly patients and how it was inappropriate to chase targets when it wouldn't improve her quality of life, and other inspirational people such as Sir Ian Smit, founder of the Eden Project, who told us to follow our dreams and think outside of the box!

There were clinical update sessions on a variety of subjects from diabetes to contraception, Level 3 child protection training and BLS and everything in between. There was discussion on consultation models and humour in the consultation and a huge area dedicated to exhibitors both of posters and of products and services.

There was plenty of caffeine and networking, discussing better and more efficient models of care  and there were also social events. Overall a very inspirational few days!

Don't worry if you missed this year because next year is in GLASGOW, so not nearly so far to travel - hope to see you there!

Dr Douglas Naismith, GPST3 Aboyne Medical Practice, RCGP AiT Wellbeing Lead, RCGP Scotland Recruitment Ambassador

Douglas Naismith - North East Scotland AiT Representative

Hi there, I am Douglas Naismith, GPST3 at Aboyne Practice in Aberdeenshire and North East Scotland AiT Representative.

In my AiT role I represent all GP trainees in the North East of Scotland at Local (faculty), Regional (Scottish) and National (London) RCGP meetings. I'm also the Wellbeing representative!

These meetings give me a great insight into how our college is structured and how it functions. I also get to meet lots of very interesting GPs with a vast variety of roles.

Recently I have also taken on a role as one of RCGP Scotland's Recruitment Ambassadors so I get to go to schools and the local University and tell students how amazing, varied and stimulating a career in General Practice can be...especially in the North East of Scotland!

GP Recruitment - NOW OPEN!!!

Applications for National Recruitment open today. If you are looking for a rewarding and challenging life long career get your application in before 30th November.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

From Sudan to Skara Brae......

Funny how things work out. A couple of months ago I finally woke up in hospital accommodation in Orkney. The sun was shining, the sea was inviting - and I was full of the excitement of being exactly where I wanted to be! I'd also just rediscovered an email I'd sent to another trainee to ask about the rural track program, in 2014.........sometimes it just takes me a while to make up my mind....

My winding journey has taken in heroin addicts and street kids in Hong Kong and China; village medics on the Thai-Burma border; a TB program in Sudan; Syrian & Yazidi refugees in Greece.... I've been a med reg and an infectious diseases reg; and I've bound it all up with a lot of swimming outdoors, some running & walking, and a few solid friends that I've met along the way. I started flirting with GP-land back on the Thai-Burma border 6 or 7 years ago, and our relationship went something like this:
"I'm abroad! Ooh, look at all the exciting variety of conditions. I should do GP so that I can understand a bit of everything"
"I'm home. What am I doing here, I should go abroad again!"
"I'm abroad. Ooh, lots of stuff. I'd be more useful if I was a GP"
"I'm in the UK. What am I doing here, I should go abroad again!"
And so on....
And so on....

Until finally the circle of life caught me in a pincer grip and wouldn't let me go until I'd bitten the bullet: that rural GP program that I'd somehow stumbled on and been intermittently considering for years would give me a GP qualification; I'd be able to play in various areas of medicine and still have fun with procedures; I'd have a home base in between stints of overseas work; and I'd be able to swim and run my way around an exciting archipelago.

So here I am, surrounded by Neolithic sites and open sea. I'm seeing almost as much pathology as I'd see in a city teaching hospital - only somehow it seems to be more concentrated! - as well as having to think not only about transfers off our Mainland to the Scottish mainland when necessary, but also about transfers from the outer islands (or, for that matter, cruise ships) into our hospital (and back again). I think I'll be staying!
Dr Alison Lievesley, GPST Remote & Rural track Programme, based in Orkney