Staying in Britain
Andy Morris finds working in Fort William a unique experience
When you tell people that you are planning an elective in Fort William, the response is similar to saying that you collect Star Trek videos. “Why do you want to go to Britain's foremost medical backwater?” asked one incredulous friend. It doesn't have the sex appeal of an American trauma team or the exotic aura of Outer Mongolia, but it does provide a unique experience in the United Kingdom's health service. The provision of care to remote areas is as specialist as the disciplines traditionally associated with the term “specialist,” but like family practice, its specialism is generalism.
The care model at the Belford, Fort William's two ward, 30 bedded hospital, is dramatically different from the teaching hospitals and district general hospitals that I was used to. It is a truly consultant led service; there can be few other places where you get a surgeon, with 30 years' practice under