Thursday, 28 November 2013


Right folks.. so I have joined twitter!

 If anyone has any questions about Rural GP training or life in highlands/islands, please tweet me and I'll try to get back to you! I am new to this though.. so apologies for any slow/lost responses!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Fine Dining and New Friends...

What a week!

Busy week, started with a study day for my diploma in family sexual reproductive health. Great day consolidating knowledge from the e-learning modules in practical sessions and discussion groups. This is a fantastic course which I was supported through with study leave by NES.  

We were lucky to be invited to have dinner with delegates from the Japanese Association for Development of Community Medicine (JADECOM), who were visiting the highlands to look at delivery of rural healthcare in Scotland. The evening gave us a fascinating insight into medicine in Japan and there were interesting discussions about the similarities and challenges in medicine and general practice between the highlands and rural areas in Japan. We also discussed the importance of education and training as part of delivery of rural healthcare in Scotland by encouraging early rural medical student placements, rural GP training programme and the Rural Fellowships for newly qualified GPs. We hope to continue to develop a working relationship between the 2 countries in the future.

The week ended with the 2nd Annual Rural GP training workshop, which this year was based in the Western Isles. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet with other rural trainees in different locations and at different stages of their training. There was a fantastic sense of comradery and we felt as group we had a really strong identity with many shared views and interests. We left as firm friends and look forward to keeping in touch and visiting each other across the highlands and islands from Shetland, Orkney, Wick, Fort William, Grantown-on-spey and Oban.

We also had a great time discussing rural GP issues, learnt more about the forensic side of GP, practice based small group learning and we were lucky enough to be hosted by the Stornoway Search & Rescue Team who kindly showed us around their fantastic helicopter and showed us their medical equipment, discussed the challenges of retrieving patients and pre-hospital  emergency care challenges. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Autumn is here...

Summer has been and gone... big changes here! We moved from the islands back to Inverness, Highlands for our next year of training!

The year in the Western Isles ended fittingly with the HebCelt Festival, a wonderful weekend celebrating music in Stornoway with music, food & Pimms! A highlight for me was local group, Face the West, a new celtic music group who had the whole tent jumping and absolutely blew us all away!

Settling back into life on the mainland has been an adjustment.. all the things we missed while we were on the island such as Marks & Spencers and clothes shopping now don't have such an appeal! We are finding ourselves missing the quiet island life and being able to walk along the beach after work or walking around Stornoway Castle Grounds, excellent fresh seafood! We miss all the wonderful friends we made while we were on the island but look forward to returning for a visit in a few weeks!

Being back in the Highlands is fantastic, we are so lucky to have such spectacular scenery around us and so many things to do! I had a great day out canyoning in the Cairn Gorms with G2 Outdoors.. which for novices like me means suiting up with wet suit, helmet, life jacket (& sunglasses) following a river downstream, along the way you have fantastic pool jumps, natural water flumes and abseiling through waterfalls.. with the bonus of stunning scenery all around!

Work has been busy, re-adjusting to the pace of life in District General Hospital which is quite different from the Rural General Hospital... but many things remain the same! I am very lucky to be working with and supported by a fantastic Paediatric team and learning so much!

One of the reasons I was so excited about the rural GP training programme was the brilliant Out of Programme Opportunity to develop further interests and skills. I am currently planning my Out of Programme Experience, which is 6 months built into my GP training programme at the beginning of my 3rd year.. more details to follow...

So overall... would I recommend rural GP training in Scotland... YES!!!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Summer Is Coming!!

The days are getting longer, the sun is coming out, winter is turning into spring! So we have been out and about making the most of it! We took our first surfing lesson last weekend on the beautiful Dal Mhor beach with our fantastic teacher Cheggs ( Looking forward to more activities to come over the next few months!


We have been joined by a great new group of doctors who have been exploring the island, going on afternoon/early evening walks, enjoying the beaches, seeing the sights and wildlife (plenty of eagles!).

Very exciting news that my first blog photo below (Jumping on Tolsta Beach) has won the Recruit & Retain photo competition and is now being used nationally and internationally to promote working in the Western Isles. See more about the project on

Saturday, 16 March 2013

What A Winter In The Western Isles!

Sorry it's been awhile!! Been making the most of the changing scenery in the Western Isles in Winter as you will see we've been capturing fantastic shots all over the island! My favourite is this shot of the Callanish Stones at sunset. The weather... well, we were preparing ourselves for the worst, we'd heard about the ferocious winds and rains, but we have been pleasantly surprised! We've certainly had a few cold snaps with the occasional high winds and rain but otherwise a fairly mild winter!

There are still things to do all year round here, we've still been doing some walking and hoping to take up the summer sports (including kayaking, surfing, horse riding) soon! Believe it or not the photos above and below were taken in Feb/March! There are plenty of lovely places to keep warm with hot chocolate and food over the winter all over the island.

Work has been busy with a great variety of acute medical and surgical presentations over the winter period and I've gained experience of working closely with coastguard, paramedics and emergency retrieval teams during my Rural General Hospital placement at Western Isles Hospital.

All in all the Western Isles has been everything we have expected and more, we have made friends for life her, have a fantastic work-life balance and have had a brilliant experience working in the Rural General Hospital setting.