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
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.