Planning your elective - rural Scotland
Andy Morris Experiences medicine in the Scottish highlands
- By: Andy Conway Morris
The Scottish highlands and islands are some of the most beautiful areas of Britain. Towering hills, narrow lochs, and a rugged coastline make it a lure for tourists, climbers, and other lovers of the outdoors. Barrenness, partly due to mass clearances a couple of centuries ago, defines the landscape.
Today it is the most sparsely populated region in Britain while covering the largest administrative area. Its geography, encompassing high mountains and widely spread islands, makes the provision of health care a greater challenge than in other settings. Many people live in small villages and townships, often many miles from the nearest town. There are a few towns such as Oban, Ullapool, and Fort William, and one city, Scotland's newest, Inverness.
The major industries are tourism, fishing and fish farming, and agriculture, with a significant number of people still working the semisubsistence crofting system. There has been a renaissance of Highland