Wednesday, 11 October 2017

‘Nice end to first GMED shift in Aboyne’

A beautiful photo taken by one of our GPST1s finishing their first OOH GP session in Aboyne, a peripheral centre 26 miles West of Aberdeen.

Dr Mike Anthony GPST1, Albyn Medical Group

Married Mountain Rescue Medics


Enjoy Mountaineering. You could follow in the footsteps of this adventurous couple who live, work and volunteer within the beautiful Cairngorms National Park.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Feedback from Day Release........

'actually being able to learn from each other'

'completely open forum in which to debrief on difficult/challenging situations'

ST1 Group work

In the first half of our small group session today, along with our facilitator Lorraine, we had a wide-ranging discussion about managing issues surrounding signing patients off sick, and the patient’s expectations regarding this, especially from a long term plan point of view.

This kind of discussion obviously provokes lots of thoughts and opinions from all group members, which highlighted how our own views and attitudes towards sick leave, benefits and entitlements play a role in shaping how we deal with such patients.

The conversation developed into a broader discussion about the changing attitudes of people across generations, in how taking responsibility and ownership of illness is changing with alterations in perceptions of life as a whole, with more focus on perfection; likely exacerbated by modern lifestyle and social media. 

Dr Mike Anthony, GPST1, Albyn Medical Group, Aberdeen

ST3 CSA Training.....

Following on from their induction earlier this month, the ST3s had a session on the CSA and how to prepare for this. 

We were pleased to have a local RCGP examiner – Dr Ruby Watt come and do a presentation on what the CSA entailed.  There was then a chance for the ST3s to write their own cases and role play these in small groups. 

The feedback from this was very good, the ST3s felt they had a better understanding of the type of cases and how to go about tackling them. 

The afternoon was then rounded up with some hints and tips from Ruby and also the team who were helping including tips from recently qualified GPs who had passed the CSA. 

Dr Lorraine Sinclair, Career Start GP in Medical Education

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

New blog feature - Feedback from Day Release......

'a safe and confidential space to discuss problems and issues - professional and personal'

'hearing interesting cases from peers and thinking - how would I approach it?'


Day Release Group Work

Today we welcomed the new ST1s and ST3s to their first session of Day Release Group Work.

The session started with an introduction by Dr Graeme Brown and a snippet from the movie 'The Wit', during which the main character is given her advanced cancer diagnosis. Certainly something to generate discussion.........

The groups then went off with their facilitators to begin building the foundations of their groups for on going learning throughout their GP placements. The small group facilitated sessions are an opportunity to meet and discuss with peers challenges in General Practice, ethical problems and clinical conundrums.

After a break for coffee the groups split again to undertake some self directed learning using the NES CONNECT PBSGL Modules.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

ST2 Induction

This week it was the turn of the GPST2s to be welcomed back to their new year of training.  A break from their hospital posts, they had a chance to have some discussion about how to succeed through their ST2 year. 

The morning session focussed on the AKT exam and we were pleased to welcome Dr Sally Harkness – an RCGP examiner, who led a very informative session on how the exam is organised, the practicalities and how to prepare for it.  They then got a chance to complete a mock exam which was followed by feedback on the answers and tips on exam technique and avoiding common pitfalls.

A break for lunch gave them all a chance to catch up with each other and the various members of the team.

The day then concluded with a couple of sessions on requirements for the year and the various opportunities available to help maximise their learning – condensed curriculum guides, core workshops and group teaching sessions to name a few.

After a brief Q+A session they went away armed with lots of information and enthusiasm to tackle the year ahead!

Dr Lorraine Sinclair, Career Start GP in Medical Education

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

ST3 Induction

It was a pleasure to meet the GPST3's at their induction.

It only feels like yesterday that they all started their training 2 years ago.

We discussed how to progress successfully through the year- trying to avoid the common pitfalls we see.

We had a very interesting session on "Trust" and how to earn this followed by how to use social media appropriately!

We finished by bringing in a selection of GPs with differing roles to discuss the different job opportunities available to GPs once qualified and out in the big bad world. A very enjoyable morning.

Dr Vicki Guthrie, TPD, Grampian Programme

ST1 Induction 30/8/17

So with the first week of September came the chance for us to welcome the new Grampian ST1s.
They had a busy but enjoyable day looking at different aspects of their GP training. 

The day was broken up into several sessions designed to help them succeed throughout their training.  They came up with some great ideas for roles, challenges and qualities of GPs. 

There were also sessions on the eportfolio and requirements for satisfactory completion.  Looking at the different requirements and having a discussion about these let them discuss challenges that may arise and how they would overcome these.

The breaks throughout the day also gave them a chance to get to know each other and the postgraduate team.  Then following their long but enjoyable day at Foresterhill some of the trainees headed to the Atholl Hotel where they met with some RCGP committee members.

Dr Lorraine Sinclair, Career Start GP in Medical Education

Maryhill Practice set for the small screen...

Red Sky Productions have been filming at Maryhill Practice in Elgin to produce a three part BBC documentary series. 
They have been particularly interested in the journey of the GP Trainees attached to the practice, and how they maintain an appropriate life-work balance during the transition between training and working independently as GPs.
The production team have been impressed by the broad range of clinical services provided, and the level of supportive team-working among all the staff.
We hope that the programmes will highlight the very best qualities of General Practice. Look out for the series in Spring 2018.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Great Aberdeen Run...a Great Success

This weekend the Granite City hosted the inaugural Great Aberdeen Run with 8,000 competitors taking part across the day and around double that number cheering the competitors on from the roadside.

With a family fun run, 10k and Half Marathon there was something for everyone!

The event was a great success and there is hope this will become an annual event in Aberdeen.

Perhaps you could be there next year if you choose to train in Aberdeen.....

News from the North - Caledonian & Rural Track GPDR

GP Day Release (or GPDR) is the core of our educational programme in Caledonian/Rural track. We have seven groups operating; five largely based in Inverness, one in Fort William/Oban, and one for more remote GPSTs.

Sessions take place over a whole day, once per month, and over a two year cycle cover the whole of the RCGP curriculum.

The aim of GPDR to develop individual knowledge, skills and attitudes in a group setting, with an emphasis on communication, personal effectiveness, planning learning/education/facilitation, reflective practice and e-learning. There is encouragement of group synergy and ambition as learners that “anything is possible."

Each group has its own identity, influenced by the facilitator and the ST’s themselves. Working in small groups is the most important aspect of the educational programme because it encourages: mutual support, mutual challenge, learning from each other, understanding diversity, learning about teamwork, learning tolerance and mutual respect, sharing responsibility, and the opportunity to raise problems whilst in hospital and practice posts.

These are skills for lifelong learning, and for life in general practice; they are also skills assessed by some of the components of MRCGP. The groups create a safe space in which difficult or uncomfortable issues can be discussed in confidence. 

Content of the sessions is learner-needs driven. Novel use of Practice-Based Small Group Learning (PBSGL) modules provides a key component of peer led resource. All GPSTs receive training in small group facilitation skills via the PBSGL framework.

In Facilitator led sessions you will have opportunity to explore recent journal articles/critical appraisal/relevant guidelines/CSA practice (part of the MRCGP assessment)/challenging cases. Discussion of these help group members develop skills in dealing with uncertainty, complexity, handling problems, supporting colleagues, giving feedback and developing emotional intelligence. 

GPSTs gave really positive feedback on their GPDR experience this last year, and we have an evidenced track record of responding to ST feedback to help ensure we continue to strive for excellence and make GPDR experience as awesome as possible!

Dr Rod Sampson, Associate Advisor, Inverness

Friday, 25 August 2017

New ST1 Cohort and Induction Fever

Preparations are well under way for the North Region Induction Programmes which start with the ST1 group next week. 

All of the team are looking forward to meeting our new recruits.....

Keep your eye on the blog for some photos next week.

GMC National Training Survery - Results 2017

The GMC National Trianing Survey Results were published a few weeks ago.

The North Region was rated 2nd out of 20 in the UK for GP Training in Secondary Care and 3rd out of 21 in the UK for GP Training in a GP Practice.

Click on the link to see the full results:

Thursday, 22 June 2017

End of an Era......

Last week we said goodbye to the STs on the Grampian Educational GPST Programme on their final day of group work. The STs were joined by their group leaders for a final feedback session - with obligatory cakes!!

The feedback from our GPSTs is hugely important to us and the time taken to complete the feedback is very much appreciated. The feedback will be used to develop and strengthen the Grampian GPST education programme.

Our plan is to publish the results of the feedback on the blog (watch this space!!!), on Moodle (the North Region Training forum) and on visual displays here at NES in Forest Grove House in Aberdeen.

We'd like to wish the ST3s all the very best as they embark on their future careers in General Practice and look forward to welcoming back the ST1s when they return to practice in a years time.

Dr Graeme Brown and Dr Jenny Craig (Associate Advisors, NES)

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

By Royal Approval.....

If it was good enough for Queen Victoria.........

The fantastic weather continued on Sunday, an opportunity for a beautiful walk round Loch Muick, located 8 miles South West of Ballater in Aberdeenshire, the Loch is part of the Balmoral Estate.

Super Sunny Cycling Saturday

Amazing weather in Aberdeenshire this weekend...22 degrees and beautiful blue sky, perfect for a wee cycle along the Deeside Way.

The Deeside Way runs from near the centre of Aberdeen, oil capital of Europe, to Ballater, in the Cairngorms National Park, famous for it’s Victorian Heritage and links to Balmoral Castle.

The path is suitable for walkers and cyclists and is Route 195 of the National Cycle Network.

The route follows the line of the Old Royal Deeside Railway from Aberdeen to Banchory, through woodland and farmland to Kincardine O’Neil and then re-joins the old line from Aboyne to Ballater, total distance 41 miles.

Along the way there are many opportunities to see remains of the old railway infrastructure as well as stunning views over the River Dee with the Cairngorm Mountains as a backdrop.

The Deeside Way offers the opportunity to explore a beautiful area of Aberdeenshire with its changing landscape from sea to mountains.

 Information from:

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Scottish Traditional Boat Festival @ Portsoy - 24th & 25th June 2017

Packed with brilliant moments, the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival engages the local region, bringing together boats, music, crafts, food and drink to celebrate the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Cheer on the crews as the take part in competitive racing and sailing on the opens seas, enthralling the crowds gathered by the harbourside who watch on in excited anticipation.

Breathe in the aromas of fresh cooked fish, meats and other fine foods, which may prove too much to resists as you wander through the Festival drinking in the atmosphere and the many activities and melodies around you.

Watch skilled traditional craftsmen and women carve, weave, knit and sculpt wonderful creations, many of which you can take home as a reminder of the wonder of Portsoy and its authentic charm.

With up to 16,000 people descending upon Portsoy over Festival weekend, be sure to come along and join the celebrations.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

GPST Finishing School

Today we welcomed Louise Peters from Johnston Carmichael Chartered Accountants to GPST Group Work as part of our 'Finishing School' programme.

Louise, a Business Advisory Partner with Johnston Carmichael since 2004, has specialist expertise in the medical and healthcare sector. Louise was recently nominated as the AISMA (Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants) member for the firm of which there are only a small number of members in the North East of Scotland.

She gave a presentation to the trainees covering a variety of aspects of accounting and finance from becoming a partner, being self employed and working as a locum. She even brought along some colour co-ordinated Jelly Beans!

Career Start Appointments

We held the Career Start interviews last week and appointed 5 GP trainees who are about to finish their training.
Career Start is an exciting, innovative salaried post funded by NHS Grampian for newly qualified GPs. It allows a recently qualified GP to work in general practice for part of the week and also gives an opportunity to work in a specialty for 1 day a week. Our 5 newly appointed Career Starts will work in Old Age Psychiatry, Adult psychiatry, Undergrad teaching, Old Age Medicine and Medical Education. Each will work in a local GP practice. This post allows these young doctors to develop into a GPwSI- GP with a specialist interest, as well as developing their GP skills to become a more confident GP. 
These posts will be advertised again in November this year for a Feb 18 start.
Dr Vicki Guthrie, TPD, Grampian Programme

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Killer Wildlife.....

Enjoy the outdoor life and like seeing Scottish wildlife, you could be training in Crimond or Peterhead, just a few miles from this amazing site!
Taken from the bbc news website,

Gearing up for Fort William...

Interested in Mountain Biking? This weekend Fort William hosts the Mountain Bike World Cup and Buff 4 x Pro Tour. Do your training on the Rural track Programme and you could spend your weekends riding these slopes......
Taken from bbc news website,

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Career Start GP Posts - North of Scotland (NHS Grampian)

An exciting opportunity to enhance and develop careers in

General Practice, through an innovative and flexible scheme.

£ 69,341 (for a 40hr wk) pro rata subject to DDRB uplift

Unscheduled Care Aberdeen
Any combination of :GMED,A&E, Paed A&E –more than one post available
General Adult Psychiatry
Ambulatory Emergency care
Undergraduate Teaching
Old Age Psychiatry *
Paediatrics *
Elderly Medicine/Frailty *

Watch the promotional video at

A number of posts are available part time or full time.

The specialities with a * can be split -ie half a year in one and have a year in another

Posts are for one year with a possible extension for a second year and take account of the latest health service priority areas, preparing GPs to meet the challenges of the changing working environments. Posts will be distributed throughout Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray.

 You should be educated to MBChB or equivalent, fully registered with the GMC with a licence to practice, and hold your Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) or equivalent. Excellent communication skills, counselling and feedback skills are essential as well as the ability to travel to various locations.

 To apply:
  • Register and log on to complete your application at
  • You may apply for as many posts as you wish. 
  • Indicate your choice of posts in order of preference- top 3.
  • Send your CV to
  • Detail 3 objectives that you hope to achieve in the Career Start year for your 1st choice speciality/post
Please indicate in a covering letter the following 4 points:
  • Whether you wish to be considered for any post if we are unable to offer you your preferred choice(s).
  • Whether there are any posts, which you would not wish to be considered for.
  • If you wish to work part-time (indicate number of sessions).
  • At least one post will be in Elgin- please indicate whether you are happy to work in this area
For further information, contact

Closing date 28th April 17. Successful applicants will be expected to start in post from Aug 2017 for 1 year though start date can be flexible.

Interview date is 24th May 17.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Aberdeen Medical Students get a taste of GP role

A new project has been developed to allow first-year medical student in Scotland to watch GP consultation for the first time.
Previously, trainee doctors had to wait up to four years to experience the consultation room.
GP Live was developed by Aberdeen University and uses streaming software to enter the consultation room.
Researchers hope it will encourage more students to join general practice and help ease a recruitment crisis.
(Extract from  the bbc news website)

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

GP Training - Round 1 Readvertised!!

Not yet applied for GP Training?? Applications now open for Round 1 Readvertised.....

Forget Cambridge vs. Oxford....see the Aberdeen Boat Race this Saturday!

The Aberdeen Boat Race returns to the River Dee this March, where the University of Aberdeen will face reigning champions Robert Gordon University in an intense battle of skill and determination.
Last year, Robert Gordon University clinched the title for the fifth year in a row in the closest race in the event’s history – with just a quarter of a length in it and both teams smashing the course record.
The race, now in its 22nd year, is sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management and will see the two crews rowing a gruelling 3.5km course through the city – from the Bridge of Dee to Aberdeen Boat Club.
(Extract from Aberdeen City Council website)

Groove CairnGorm - Like snowsports and good could be training near here!!!

Groove CairnGorm, which made its debut in 2016, has been set up along the lines of continental snowsports music festivals Snowbombing and Snowboxx.
It is held in partnership with CairnGorm Mountain ski centre and Badaguish Outdoor Centre near Aviemore.
This year's acts included DJ sets by Basement Jaxx and Mike Skinner, also performances by Blonde and The Lafontaines.
(Extract from bbc news website)

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Calling all Beach bums....

A beach in the Western Isles has been named one of the UK's best beaches in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards Luskentyre on Harris has been placed number four in the awards' top 10 UK beaches.

From Cork to the Cairngorms......

I am originally from Cork on the south coast of Ireland. After completing a Biochemistry degree at University College Cork I worked as a development biochemist at Novartis Pharma in Switzerland for one year. I then decided to do a PhD in Cancer Research, choosing to do this at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee due to its excellent reputation for research and to be close to the outdoors. During my time in Dundee I fell in love with Scotland and have been living here ever since. After I finished my PhD I completed a post-doctorate in Cancer Research at Ninewells Hospital. During this time close collaboration with many doctors made me realise I wanted to work more closely with patients. This prompted the decision, at the age of 30, to return to Medical School, graduating from Dundee Medical School in 2014.

I wanted to be close to the outdoors and therefore chose to carry out my foundation year one at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. I then carried out foundation year two in Aberdeen. I decided to apply for North of Scotland GP training as it offers an excellent program with dedicated trainers. Additionally, I am passionate about the outdoors and Aberdeenshire offers fantastic year round opportunities for different activities. These include great hillwalking in the Cairngorm National Park, endless mountain bike trails, road cycling on quiet country roads, sea kayaking along the beautiful East and North Eastern coastlines and skiing at a range of Ski resorts within a ninety minute drive from Aberdeen. There is amazing wildlife with regular sightings of dolphins along the coast as well as some of the best birdwatching sites in Scotland. I was very fortunate to get accepted to the Grampian program which offers training in great locations in Aberdeenshire. We were offered the opportunity to rank our GP practices and I was fortunate to get accepted to the Banchory Group Practice, located in beautiful Deeside and offering a great sense of community. If you are passionate about the outdoors then North of Scotland GP training is a great choice.

Dr Carol Hogan, ST1, Banchory Group Practice, Aberdeenshire

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

An eye opening experience

NES run a number of core workshops in areas trainees may find difficult to cover during their training. 
We recently had an ophthalmology course which was really useful and interesting. 
We are lucky in Aberdeen to have good links between Primary and Secondary care with minimal hassle when referring.  There is an email for advice which is usually replied to within a few hours. 
We also have the Clinical Decisions Unit, which is the Hospital’s telephone referral line and also covers ophthalmology. 
If you are unsure or have a question, you can phone the CDU and speak to an experienced nurse practitioner or ophthalmologist.  They provide advice on how to further manage the patient, whether they need referred and where the most appropriate place would be. 
Grampian also have the Grampian Eye Health Network which allows easy referral between Primary Care, optometry, pharmacy and ophthalmology.  Optometrists in Grampian are well equipped and highly skilled and provide services which many Primary Care centres cannot such as foreign body removal. 
The service is a good one and is a great asset to Grampian, making things easier for doctors and improving patient experience.
Dr Linda White, ST3, Elmbank Group Practice

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

A tribute to our national bard.....

To our ST1s a fond farewell,
As off you go again,
To the darkest depths of ARI,
The Health Village or Woodend,

Remember in the next few months,
Where your heart truly lies,
Stay connected to your practice,
So the hospital time flies!

To our ST1s a warm hello,
An exciting time awaits,
Starting at your practice,
Day release and also cakes! (fruit didn't rhyme!!)

The adventure's just beginning,
We'll help guide you on your way,
Through assessments and the CSA,
Just don't forget to play!

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Mock Recruitment Sessions

Successful Mock Recruitment sessions for the FY2s today, trying out some consultations and looking at the written exercise.
Good luck for recruitment week in February....