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,