Archive | Recruitment & Retention

Capturing the essence of rural practice

Dr Kevin Woodbridge, who was the GP for North Ronaldsay in Orkney, was one of the GPs to feature in the original book "Single Handed"

Dr James Douglas, a GP in Fort William, introduces an exciting new project to capture the essence of rural and remote practice in a series of recorded interviews, to complement the “Single Handed” photo-documentary published ten years ago…

The book “Singlehanded General Practitioners in Remote and Rural Areas” was published in 2000 by Rosie Donovan and John Bain.  Rosie Donovan is a black and white photographer and John Bain was Professor of General Practice at the University of Dundee.

Like all good ideas it had a classical simplicity.  John Bain had spotted a medical species which was about to become extinct and had seen some of Rosie’s previous work capturing working people in Canada.  Rosie travelled Scotland to photograph the “GP characters” and capture their thoughts on singlehanded practice.  The stories told themselves and the book became a classic to inform policy and widen understanding of remote practice in Scotland.

The photos even gained a permanent hallowed place in the Royal College of General Practitioners in Queen Street, Edinburgh.  Ten years after Single Handed and the disappearance of single-handed practice, there is a need to capture the thoughts of the current generation of remote and rural GPs in order to guide policy and educational planning in the same manner as the original Single Handed.

While black and white photographs can give an enhanced artistic perspective in portraits there seems to be a need to use new media for a new generation. Thus the recycled idea in a new form!  We hope that this first podcast will be of interest to doctors and students considering a career in remote and rural general practice in the UK.

I would be delighted to get any feedback or contributions to this project!

Dr James Douglas, GP, Tweeddale Medical Practice , Fort William

james.douglas2@nhs.net

Dr Iain McNicol was the GP for Port Appin in Scotland, and a founder member of BASICS Scotland.  Dr Douglas interviewed him during a meeting of the Rural Fellowship project held at Skeabost in Skye, in January this year.

[podcast]http://www.ruralgp.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/mcnicol-interview-mp3.mp3[/podcast]

 

 

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Recruitment & Retention: Scotland & Ghana

During a recent visit, Pam Nicholl and Fiona Fraser from RRHEAL (Rural and Remote Healthcare Education Alliance, Scotland) joined Mr James Antwi, Ministry of Health in Ghana, to present a wide ranging discussion regarding the challenges faced in delivering healthcare in remote and rural areas.  The meeting was chaired by Mike Walsh, chair of the Institute of People-Centred Healthcare Management at Stirling University.

Despite the diversity of the landscapes considered, there are significant similarities in the challenges encountered in both Scotland and Ghana. Play the podcast below to listen to the full discussion.  The latest report from the project is available from this link (pdf).

[podcast]http://staff.stir.ac.uk/kate.hannay/28april.mp3[/podcast]

 

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Rural Week in Nova Scotia

Good luck to our colleagues at the Dalhousie Medical School, in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia.  Today is the first day of their Rural Week,  an organised programme for newer medical students to experience rural practice.

As well as the anticipated effect for recruitment of future rural doctors, they also feel that it is vital that all doctors gain exposure to the challenges of rural practice, so that there is better understanding if they follow a more urban or centralised career pathway.

The video below explains the programme, and has contributions from both staff and students.  Please leave a comment or contact us directly if you know of other projects like this where you work.  A recent article in the Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine by Dr Roderick Cheung highlights the importance of these weeks in providing early inspiration.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjV942e5V48

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Rural Opportunities in Scotland

NHS Education for Scotland has released a new DVD about opportunities for various healthcare careers within rural areas.  It’s part of the Remote and Rural Healthcare Educational Alliance (RRHEAL), an initiative to improve training and development of healthcare teams across rural Scotland.

The first part of the video focusses on dentistry; there are subsequent interviews with Charlie Siderfin (GP Postgraduate Tutor, Orkney), Chris Williams (GP Trainee, Orkney) and David Sedgwick (Consultant Surgeon, Fort William).  If you can’t see the video below, you might need to visit this page on Vimeo.

The next round of GP Rural Fellowships – ideal for recently qualified GPs – will be released soon on the NES website.  You can read more about these fellowships here.

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CultivAiTing Rural GPs for the Future

RuralGP is excited to showcase it’s first slidecast.  These are similar to podcasts, except that the audio can be linked up to a powerpoint presentation – so allowing presentations to be shared easily to a wider audience!

This slidecast is recorded from the RCGP Annual Conference during the launch of the RCGP Rural Forum, on Thursday last week.  David Hogg (blog editor) explains some proposed changes to GP Training, and where rural practice stands to gain and lose.   In the next week, we also hope to feature Malcolm Ward’s launch of the Rural Forum, as well as the videolink with Prof Richard Hayes, giving his insights on how the Rural Forum can learn from experiences in Australia.

RuralGP is keen to host other slidecasts.  It’s relatively simple to do.  If you would like to know more about this, please do get in touch.  We hope to share presentations from future events too.  Many thanks to Dr Soleman Begg for his technical expertise, with which this slidecast has been made possible.

Note that you can expand the presentation to full screen for better viewing.  The comments expressed are a personal view, and not necessarily representative of the view of the RCGP or RCGP Rural Forum.

[slideshare id=2448751&doc=rcgpconferenceruraldhogg-091108015422-phpapp01]

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Study: Rural Placements for UK Medical Students

It’s increasingly recognised that rural practice can offer undergraduate medical students excellent learning opportunities, with higher-than-average satisfaction compared with their urban counterparts.  There can be many reasons for this, not least that students are often forced into immersing themselves in the local community, as a rural placement will normally involve staying within the locality, instead of being able to return home from an urban practice which is normally easier to commute to.

Furthermore, there is good evidence that giving students a good experience of rural practice during the early stages of their careers, stimulates a considerable number of them to seriously consider taking up rural posts once more qualified.  That’s certainly the case in my experience, when a fulfilling 5 week placement at the Group Practice in Stornoway made me think more about rural general practice as a career option.

However, how rural practice is offered to undergraduates, is implemented in many different ways across the UK.  Of course, that is no bad thing, but we are starting to better understand the relationship between early student experiences and later career choice.

This piece of research from the IRH considers the rural practice opportunities for students at Keele University, and reports on some of the key findings from conversations with students who have benefitted from such placements.

>> Rural and Remote Health Journal – View Article.

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