English text below.

Hazel Michie er en allmennlege i spesialisering i distriktsmedisin på øya Isle of Sky på vestkysten av Skottland. Hun har akkurat har vært to uker på studietur i Troms som del av denne spesielle ekstrautdannelsen, som kommer på toppen av spesialisering i allmennmedisin. Fire ulike legekontor tok henne imot: i Karlsøy kommune, Birtavarre i Kåfjord kommune, Sør-Lenangen og Lyngseidet i Lyngen kommune.

Under forteller hun litt fra oppholdet, men starter med å forklare hva hennes spesialiseringsopplegg “rural GP fellowship” går ut på. Noe liknede finnes i andre land som Australia, Canada og Sverige. En slik påbygging i tillegg til vanlig spesialisering, har vist seg å virke stabiliserende på leger i distriktene og var et tema på vår internasjonale konferanse i oktober.


Pictures from Lyngseidet.

From the left : Ingeborg Karlsen, Ann Hariett Berglund, Hazel Michie, Gro Tønseth, Carine Enoksen and Martin Bruusgaard Harbitz

Hazel Michie , GP in training, Isle of Sky: In Scotland, like in many health boards, there has been difficulty in recruiting medics to work in isolated communities. As a way to tackle this problem, each year up to a dozen newly qualified GPs are employed by NHS Scotland as rural GP fellows, engaging in a 12 month job position aiming to tempt Doctors to pursue a career in remote and rural practice when the fellowship ends.

The fellowship comprises of working in remote and rural practices and 3 months protected study leave to engage in a learning programme based on individual fellows needs. Educational time is spent attending courses, clinical attachments in both hospital and primary care, studying, and out of area experience.

I am currently the rural GP fellow for the Isle of Skye, the small isles and Localsh, in the North West Highlands of Scotland. The local culture is enhanced by the mountains, islands and musical tradition. Local economic drivers of the area include tourism, fish farming, forestry, outdoor sports, crafts, fishing and public services.


Pictures from Birtavarre in Kåfjord. Hazel and local GP Anita Pedersen to the right

As part of my “out of area experience” component of study leave, I contacted Helen Brandstorp, who very kindly met my request to pay a visit to rural GPs in Northern Norway with enthusiasm and encouragement. I was put in contact with 4 GPs; Dr Gry Berntzen (Hansnes), Dr Anita Monsen Pedersen (Birtavarre), Dr Christian Schousgaard (Sør-Lenangen), and Dr Martin Harbitz (Lyngseidet) and I was kindly invited to spend a few days with each of them in their GP offices to learn a little of the rural GP system in an area I have found to hold many of the same medical challenges as the Scottish Highlands.

Hazel and Anna Engström(doing her foundation year) showing off the defibrilator and motinor in Kåford

I have been warmly welcomed by each GP and the medical teams they work with, and have had a great experience here, and will be returning to Scotland inspired by the positive and pro-active approach to rural general practice I have witnessed. I have found the rural GP offices to be truly generalist, carrying out many more practical procedures onsite, spending time to address the holistic approach, and ensure good communication within the multidisciplinary team. I have also found a healthy outlook on work life balance, optimising opportunities to appreciate the diverse and beautiful area of Northern Norway.

Hazel together with GP and public health officer  Gry Berntzen i Karlsøy.

Thank you for a fantastic trip!

Hazel Michie: hazel.michie@nhs.net

Følg gjerne The Rural GP fellowship på Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ruralGPfellowship/

Her er en liten filmsnutt fra en annen rural GP som er del av fellowshipet i Skottland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1hIdOOdMCc