Last year I took to wandering to some of the local geos. In pupping season the seals gather together, and I was hoping to see gorgeous fluffy babies. Which I did. I also saw a couple that hadn't survived, and I wondered about the grief a seal mother feels at the loss of her baby, and the responses of the rest of the group to that loss.
And I watched as a mother, hauled up beyond the rocky beach onto the grass behind, flopped around in pain before the ballooning of her back end ejected a beautiful pup into the world. The only medical support was somewhere on a clifftop, camera in hand (no informed consent sought...) and entirely surplus to requirements.
This rotation has challenged and taught me loads (and as I move into GP land in February, the learning curve is going to go completely haywire!) - but I think this will be the favourite memory I take from Caithness: the one where no medical intervention was needed at all.
Dr Alison Lievesley
GPST2, Remote and Rural Programme