A medical practice aims to do something about a shortage of GPs that could become critical as family doctors retire.
Maybole Medical Practice is now taking on medical students from Glasgow University for GP practice placement.
And the practice – run by Drs Eileen Wilson, Jonathan Sheward and Nagaraj Dupakuntla – is also taking on young qualified doctors for their foundation year training.
Dr Dupakuntla is the educational supervisor for the project. And he said: “We have held meetings with our patients’ group to gain their support for this.
“We want to reassure our patients they will continue to be seen by a qualified doctor. But we have asked for their co-operation in having trainees present.”
Dr Dupakuntla added: “I would hope that some of these young doctors might decide to return to South Ayrshire and the Carrick area at some stage in their careers.”
Maybole Medical Practice is one of two operating from Maybole Health Centre.
And Dr Dupakuntla explained that it has been accredited to take on students from Glasgow University, for a period of five weeks per student for their GP practice placement.
The practice has also been accredited for Foundation Year Training – qualified doctors who used to be known as house officers in the past. These doctors would stay with the practice for a period of four months.
Dr Dupakuntla said: “The foundation year doctors are fully qualified, with significant hospital experience, and are then allocated to our practice for a period of GP training.
“The medical students are in their final year of training, and would always be under close supervision.
“After a period of induction, the qualified doctors will start seeing patients independently – but under supervision from a senior doctor who will be available when required.
“However the medical students would always continue to be supervised and would not be allowed to work independently.”
Dr Dupakuntla said patients will be asked if they are comfortable with visiting doctors and students sitting in on their consultation.
He added: The consultations are always treated confidentially. And patients’ wishes will always be respected.”
Dr Dupakuntla pointed out: “This vital and rewarding element of our work brings many benefits to patients and staff.
“But the work involved in tutorials and case discussions does require a significant time commitment from the established doctors in the practice.”