Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Introverts vs. Extroverts at GPST day release...

www.youtube.com
The world is full of noise and those that are the loudest are the ones we tend to follow but what about the quiet ones? Author Susan Cain shines a spotlight on ...

To start GPST Day Release today we watched the animated video clip based on Susan Cain's TED talk on introversion.

She argues that modern society often undervalues the introvert and favours the extrovert especially in teams and small groups.

There were several heads nodding in agreement today but also a healthy debate with those who considered themselves more extrovert.

Rather than considering these as conflicting traits, there was the feeling that the distinction lies in where you draw your energy from.

Introverts tend to require privacy to think and reflect whereas extroverts prefer connecting with people and doing their thinking aloud.

Managing these traits in groupwork can be challenging but rewarding for all  when successful.

We'll keep this conversation going over the coming weeks.
 
 

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Orkney

Orkney, not quite the most northerly spot for UK GP training but close. A short flight from Inverness or 2.5-hour drive to Scrabster and then a ferry across to the picturesque fishing village of Stromness on ‘mainland’ Orkney. Whether GP training or holidaying, as we were, what a fantastic and friendly place. So much to see, do and enjoy. A well organised archipelago of islands, we received daily updates of island activities via email and so missed nothing of the busy islands goings on. With years of history embedded into the body of Orkney we were tripping over brochs and burial chambers, WW1 & WW2 lookout posts and Viking farmsteads on walks to the beach!

Great cycling around the smaller islands with short ferry trips to start the days adventure. We had a great trip round Rousay and visited the digs that are currently excavating Viking ‘patios’ and Pictish villages. Just the week before the handprint of a Pictish coppersmith had been excavated and the excitement of the archaeologists was palpable. Our 3 boys of 11 & twins of 8 were less than excited however by the broken pottery finds but were intrigued by the fish bones sucked by Vikings!
(1000 year old hand print found - https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jul/24/pictish-coppersmith-1000-year-old-handprint-found-in-orkney)

Having taken a cottage just north of Ophir we had a fantastic view of the Island of Hoy and were able to cycle around the island leave the car abandoned for most of the holiday. Each evening we were visited by a pair of Hen Harriers displaying their acrobatic hunting in front of the house and gave great delight and competition to the television which like the car was abandoned for the entire holiday. On the one rainy day we visited Kirkwall Parkrun and followed this with a swim at the The Pickaquoy Centre. Fantastic island facilities and what a playground for holiday fun. 
(Short YouTube clip on what Orkney has to offer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekYtsSubUJ4)

While on holiday I was drawn to think what a fantastic place to train as a GP. Orkney NHS Trust are currently building a fantastic new hospital due for completion in May 2019 and there are two great training practice The Skerryvore Practice, Kirkwall and The Surgery, Dounby. Orkney NHS Trust also run GP care of the islands with The Orcades Practice consisting of 5 island branch settings. I was tempted to relocate but lost the family vote 4 to 1 with a unanimous consolation vote for a holiday in Orkney next year.


Dr Mark Taylor ES & GP Associate Advisor, NES, Inverness Office.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Achieving success in the AKT and an amazing lunch at GPST2 Induction!

Induction time brings a chance for the ST2 trainees to all catch up from their hospital posts, and there was certainly plenty of chat and laughter to suggest they were making the most of the opportunity.  The ST2s were put through their paces in the morning trying out some mock AKT questions during a session focussed on achieving success in the AKT.  This session was led by Dr Sally Harkness, GP and RCGP examiner and it was well received by all the trainees with great interaction during the question debrief.

The feedback shows the lunch provided by the RCGP was “Great!” and there was certainly lots of great networking and socialising as the ST3s had arrived for their CSA session.  It was great to see the interaction between all the trainees from both year groups.  

After lunch they had informal interactive sessions to support their journey through the rest of the year.  With opportunities to ask questions and receive valuable information they left, fuelled with resources to help them achieve success this year.

Satisfactory progression, Mentoring ans CSA case writing at GPST3 Induction

It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again, induction fever has hit.  The ST3 sessions were split over 2 days with the first day incorporating sessions on “satisfactory progression in ST3”.  This gave them lots of useful advice about the year ahead and the resources available to them.  Following this, they had an interactive session on how to make the most of ST3, with the benefits teaching and mentoring as a trainee has to offer.  There was lots of keen enthusiasm following this for the various opportunities on offer.

This was followed by a careers session which the trainees rated highly, giving them a chance to speak to a variety of different GPs.  This generated lots of great questions and discussion about the various opportunities available to give them ideas about what life after training can offer them.

The following week they had a chance to meet and socialise with the ST2s for lunch provided by the RCGP.  This set them up well for a fantastic interactive session led by Sally Harkness, GP and RCGP examiner.  Focusing on the CSA exam they had a chance to find out all the practical aspects and tips for achieving success in the exam.  Getting a chance to write their own CSA cases brought the exam to life and they have all left more reassured and with great enthusiasm for the Nairn CSA course in a couple of months.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

The GPST 3 Course begins…

The education season for GPST3’s got off to a flying start at Centre for Health Sciences in Inverness this week. The course began with translating emergency situations in primary care for GPs.

Dr Alison MacLeod ED consultant and her team delivered a great ‘hands on’ start to Day 1 with 6 facilitator led scenarios - meningococcal septicaemia, asthma, trauma, gastroenteritis with shock, status epilepticus and choking. No mannequins were harmed in the session and all survived, growing up to take up medical career choices influenced by the positive experience of the care they received. 

The 2 days progressed to a paediatric masterclass with sessions around Feeding, Allergy and Nutritional problems in Children, General Paediatrics for the GP and case-based Community Paediatric problems. Day 2 was enhanced by local RCGP faculty support and sponsorship providing refreshments, lunch and goodie bags (as pictured above).

On day 2 we received 2 great sessions in Orthopaedic and ENT problems for GPs, interactive sessions with time to ask all the questions we need to ask and address all the learning we didn’t know we didn’t know. 

In starting off the training year Day 2 was further enhanced by a getting started session for CSA preparation. ‘The Journey Begins…’ presented and led by Dr Neil Bennett, GP and CSA examiner.

A successful start and enhancement to the final year of GP training in Primary Care. More of the same to follow in December, January and April as the finishing school approach takes shape for the Caledonian & Rural Track Training Programme for GP training in the North of Scotland. 

Dr Mark Taylor ES & GP Associate Advisor, NES, Inverness Office.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

GPST1s welcomed to Grampian Programme

Forestgrove House in Aberdeen played host to the new GPST1s starting their training in the Grampian programme.

The trainees started with 'getting to know you' Bingo, disappointingly no-one quite got a full house but Hannah filled the most squares and seemed please with her winning prize of a box of Maltesers!

The day continued with lots of discussion about the training programme and opportunities for learning. Dr Vicki Guthrie then gave a snappy presentation on the pitfalls of social media in the PechaKucha style.

Coffee time included some home baking and this was then followed by a small group work covering the many 3 (and more) letter acronyms associated with GP training. A delicious lunch was provided by the local RCGP faculty and then the small group discussion continued.

The day seems to have gone really well with lots of positive feedback.

"Interesting and thorough summary of what to expect in the next 3 years, especially regarding e-portfolio"

"Informal, tutors were very approachable and friendly"

"Relaxed friendly, enthusiastic speakers"

"Helpful to see the e-portfolio, go over mandatory components the curriculum and competencies"

"Found it very beneficial to hear from GPST3 with regards to hints/tips for training"

"Chatting and getting to know other GPSTs"

"Really enjoyed meeting everyone and good having the chance to chat and get to know a bit about the other trainees and members of team leading the training programme"


Supporting the Curriculum at the start of the Caledonian GP Day Release Programme

GP Day Release takes place once a month on a Wednesday for the Caledonian GP training Programme with a trainee led session in the morning and a facilitator led session in the afternoon.

The year kicked off last week with the help of a session from Highland Health Promotion Specialists and some personality profiling. Fortunately, all participants were deemed to have boundless personalities as we divided up into the behaviour profile headings of Driver, Enthusiast, Amiable and Analytical.

Small group work in the afternoon took the format of the usual starter for 10 with icebreakers, group rules and planning for the forthcoming year.

Group 2 attempted to 'Support the Curriculum'. As pictured, we split the group into 2 teams of 5 (2 volunteers and 3 helpers) and with the help of the helpers the 2 volunteers attempted to support the curriculum statements between each other. No curriculum statement was to touch the other and the paper was not to touch the floor.

The winning team was the one with the most curriculum statements supported. As you can see only a few of the rules were broken!

Hopefully everyone's eportfolio will be as good at capturing and supporting the curriculum statement headings as our volunteers were....

Dr Mark taylor
ES and GP Associate Advisor, NES, Inverness 

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

First para athlete's at Mey Highland Games...


This weekend the far North of Scotland staged the first ever Highland Games to include para athletes.  The Mey Highland Games took place on Saturday showcasing the usual traditional events alongside the first ever Invictus style Highland Games which attracted 60 para-athletes from far flung destinations including Australia and the US. 

This is one of only two Highland Games in the country to attract Royalty, with Prince Charles attending annually as chieftain of the games.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-45082519

The sun shone on three fantastic days of live music and entertainment last weekend, at one of Scotland’s Premier music festivals.  Situated near Beauly, in the Highlands, Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival attracted crowds of around 20, 000.  From the big names of Amy MacDonald, Paloma Faith and Primal Scream to all the up and coming bands there was something to suit all tastes and plenty to entertain the whole family.

As well as attracting popular bands from afar there also local bands who wowed the crowds with modern twists on traditional music.  A true showcase of what the North of Scotland has to offer.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Grampian Group Work Feedback


We got some really great feedback about the GPST group work in Grampian at the end of the last Academic year.
There were a number of key themes, here are some quotes from the theme 'Learning'

"Safe Learning Environment"

"Opportunities to discuss complex/difficult cases"

"Openly discuss cases"

"Useful to discuss PBSGL modules"

"Guidance on different resources"

"Discussing challenging patients"

"Identifying and addressing learning needs"

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Mock Recruitment - Wednesday 19th September 2018

 
Are you applying, or thinking about applying for GP Specialty Training for February 2019?

If so, this course is for you. You will spend an afternoon finding out what to expect at the Stage 3 Selection Centre of GP Recruitment and get an opportunity to do some hands-on practice in a safe and supportive environment.
     
The course will be held in Room 1&2, Forest Grove House on Wednesday 19th September from 1.30pm-4pm.
          
If you wish to attend, please e-mail Linda Crawford, Training Programme Leader at linda.crawford@nes.scot.nhs.uk

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

I'm definitely in the right job!

I'm definitely in the wrong job! One of my patients today told me he climbs up wind turbines for a living. Ok, so I belatedly realised he climbs up ladders on the inside rather than swarming up the outside, palm tree style - but since he then told me he climbs out on the windmill arms I remain deeply envious!

Other jobs that I wouldn't be so keen on however include cruise shop doctor. I imagine the job to involve an awful lot of indigestion masquerading as heart attacks interspersed with a few heart attacks masquerading as indigestion. I know some of the ships are amazingly sophisticated, and even have HDU facilities - but then again they also have morgues...

Most of the (healthcare) world gets a winter crisis and a summer lull. Here in Orkney, however, summer brings tourists and those cruise ships, and the hospital is of course a well known tourist destination. 

Fred (obviously not his real name) came from a ship with 200 passengers and 200 crew (our biggest visitor carried about 4500, nearly half the population of the main town), and was brought to the department by the ship's doctor. Fred was easily sorted; the doctor invited us to come on board next time he was in town (I wonder if he ever followed up on that?!) and also asked if there were any jobs going in the hospital. So we must have done something right.

Josephine (also a random alias) got a food bolus stuck in her throat at the evening meal, and arrived with us about an hour before the ship was due to leave. The consultant agreed to endoscopy; I explained to the patient that she wouldn't make the sailing but we'd get her to the next port of call; and I left work for the night. 

Turns out we're not the only nice people in the universe - following successful endoscopy she'd made it back to the ship after all, as the captain had delayed sailing for just over an hour to get her back on board! Sometimes it's great to be wrong.
 
Dr Alison Lievesley, GPST1, Orkney

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Coming soon to a Recruitment Centre near you......for February 2019.......Round 2 GPST Recruitment....

 

Looking towards a career in General Practice?

The Round 2 Recruitment advert goes live on 19th July with applications being accepted from 31st July.

https://gprecruitment.hee.nhs.uk/Recruitment

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

GPST Experience of Medical Student 'Rural GP Life' taster.....

I volunteered to take part in an event for first year medical students out in Ballater. 

This event was part of a series of activities organised for first year medical students that had opted for a taster of rural GP life as part of their Student Selected component block. It took place out in Ballater hostel and I was one of seven GP trainees who had headed out for the evening. 

The event included an initial ice-breaker, dinner and a speed dating type event during which medical students moved round in pairs asking questions from each trainee for roughly 10 minutes each.

This was a new experience for me as I'd never been provided with this opportunity at medical school but I found it really rewarding. 

We had really positive feedback from the first year medical students saying how they enjoyed being able to ask anything and everything about training. Additionally they appreciated our honesty and general enthusiasm we had for the specialty. They also benefitted from the range of GP trainees present from part time to full time, from just beginning to final year. 

We spoke to the students for a total of probably 1hr and a half but the time flew. I also found it really easy to chat to them about my career because the more I spoke I realised how genuinely passionate I am about GP training in Grampian.

Esther Reaves GPST2


Make-Do Osprey Chicks....

In-service days loomed large and prompted the question what to do together for fun and excitement
for the long weekend? The first weekend in June always holds some interest at the Osprey Centre at
Loch Garten, osprey chicks should have hatched and the RSPB reserve is usually teaming with
interest and new life.

So, we headed down to the Abernethy, 50 square miles of wildland stretching from the River Nethy
to the top of Ben Macdui, Britain’s 2nd highest mountain. The area boasts ancient Caledonian pine
forests, sweeping moorland, vital wetland and dramatic mountains. The mountain bike tracks are
numerus and well maintained and the wildlife is varied and unusual with Crossbills, Capercaillie and
Crested Tit thriving in this protected environment. The reserve boasts the stronghold for the
countries Red Squirrel population and we tripped over sightings of these delightful and comical
mammals throughout the weekend.
 
The first day took us on a 20mile cycle via the Osprey Centre at Loch Garten. Our promises of Osprey
Chicks should have been backed up with better research as our arrival at the RSPB reserve was met
with somewhat sombre wardens. The nest had three eggs unincubated and unhatched. EJ the
resident 21-year-old female had found new love in a new mate, George and laid three eggs, but had
then been left hungry on the nest by this fly-by-loch, inexperienced male and had had to go off to
find food for herself leaving the eggs to go cold.
 
Further tragedy had hit the centre as the ‘Duck-Cam’ was duck-less. The Goldeneye duck, Britain’s
only tree nesting duck was missing in action, her nest and 10 sky blue eggs were left as a plaintive
reminder of nature’s unpredictability. Staff teased us with video footage of previous years fledging
and the kamikaze jumps from the nest box. They commented that this is the weekend this spectacle
is usually witnessed. If interested please click on the link below and fast forward the ‘build up’ to
3:47 to see the action…
 
So as the rain came on and we prepared to cycle back to Nethy Bridge we had to make do with a
photo of our own make-do osprey chicks and demands for appeasement ice creams… Unfortunately,
we could not avoid the inevitable with the observation that Ospreys only eat fish!
 
We were 35 miles from our home in Inverness, but minutes away from two fantastic GP training
practices in Aviemore and Grantown on Spey with this wilderness playground of interest and oddity
on their doorstep.
 
Goldeneye chicks leap from the nest box - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hc-S7xNEvxk
 
Dr Mark Taylor
ES & GP Associate Advisor, NES, Inverness Office

Last Day of Group Work.....


It’s that time of year again...the final session of group work for our current cohort of trainees.
 
The animated chatter over coffee was a great reflection of the bonds that have formed throughout the year. A light-hearted video followed and the trainees then had a chance in their groups to reflect on their journey over the past year and the future to come. 
 
Thanks to the trainees for completing feedback, this really is very valuable to us. Our programme is constantly being updated and adjusted on the basis of your feedback.
 
We would like to wish all the trainees all the best for their futures; for the ST3s as they go on to new adventures and to the ST1s who we will have the pleasure of welcoming back in due course!

Friday, 8 June 2018

Living the High Life....

Over five thousand of us recently took on the Loch Ness monster. Not the mysterious, creature-kind, but the formidable etape. For those unfamiliar with this beast, it's a 66 mile cycling event circling the world-famous Loch Ness. 

Despite travelling this road umpteen times throughout my life, I was still completely blown away by its beauty. Having the road car-free​ made it all the more enjoyable, with plenty craic along the way Just putting it out there: maybe the best cycle I have ever done. Reaching the bagpiper and the top of The Hill, I could not have felt prouder to be a Highlander. What an amazing place to balance work with life. To be welcomed at the end by a cup of Cromarty Brewery beer, and a Harry Gow dream ring, I challenge you to finding a better finish line crossing!

Being Invernesian may make me a tad biased, but I cannot think of a place I would rather live and be a GP.

Keep balancing!
Dr Lisa Rennie,
GPST3, Kingsmills Medical Practice, Inverness
Caledonian Programme
 

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Big Catch


18 months ago I was reading this very blog. In the midst of application turmoil, I was weighing up the pros and cons of leaving known comforts in England for adventure and a better work life balance up North.

There was the risk of isolating myself in Inverness for three years, where I didn't know anyone, away from family and friends. On the other hand I had chosen medicine partly because I wanted to travel and work in interesting places. Places where I could spend my free time indulging in the outdoors and concentrating on important things such as fishing. In the end fishing won.

For less that the price of a London bed-sit, I've rented a farm house in beautiful countryside, easy cycling distance from my GP training practice in Nairn. Nairn is an idyllic seaside town which benefits from a friendly GP practice, stunning beaches and easy commuting to Inverness and the airport. More important Nairn has a fantastic little salmon river which conveniently runs behind the field next to my house. For a very modest fee you can join the Nairn Angling club and fish 8 miles of this river from March to October.

The fish in the photo was caught in mid-April. For those interested it took my own hand-tied "Cascade" fly in a turbulent river pool, a 5 minute walk out my back door on a beautiful spring evening after work. My first salmon and one of only a handful caught on the river so far Not something I could have done in Leeds! Still buzzing from the "fight" I returned the big fish to continue its journey upstream to spawn.

Now finishing my GPST1 year I can say my initial fears were unfounded. The locals and trainees couldn't be friendlier. I've seen plenty of my southern mates thanks to a great airport 10 minutes away, making it stress-free heading south or having them visit for trips in the hills or West Coast.

Dr Marc MacMillan,
GPST1 Nairn Healthcare Group,
Caledonian Programme
 

 

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Mountain Bike Madness in Fort William



This weekend saw thousands of Mountain Bike fans from around the World descend on the slopes of Aonach Mor and the Nevis Range Downhill track near Fort William for the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

The glorious sunshine was broken only for a short while by a tropical shower as the Elite of the mountain bike world sped down one of the longest downhill tracks on the World Cup circuit.
If you join the Rural Track Programme you could be training here.

http://www.uci.ch/mountain-bike/

New Uni places to promote General Practice


Extra places on 'innovative' medical courses have been funded to get more students in to GP careers.

The Scottish Government is paying for 85 places at 3 universities which are designed to make General Practice more attractive to medical students.