ONE of Glasgow's newest doctors has told of the most surprising challenge of working in a city hospital.
Dr Amelia Gunnarson has joined almost 500 junior doctors on wards across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and has just completed her first few shifts as a new medic on Ward 43A, a cardiology ward at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
But, having grown up in Seattle, the medic said getting used to the Glasgow accent is proving a challenge.
She said: “Everyone’s been really nice and chatty, but the accent is quite difficult – there’s times where it must look like I’ve aged 50 years with hearing problems, trying to pick up what’s being said.”
Amelia grew up in the US, before moving to Sweden in 2008.
She arrived in Glasgow less than two weeks ago and is staying in rented accommodation.
The 29-year-old said: “I’m working on a really busy ward, but so far, so good and everyone has been so welcoming.
"It still feels weird when people call you ‘doctor’, but I’m sure that will become part of my identity very soon.
“I’m really looking forward to just finding my feet and my rhythm and making that transition from being a medical student to a doctor with significant responsibility and it is a huge responsibility.
“I’m also looking forward to getting settled in Glasgow.
"I’m currently in an Airbnb, but I’m a bit of a global citizen and I’m used to travelling around. I have one friend here in Glasgow, but I’m sure that will change quickly."
Amelia studied at University College London before starting her medical degree at Barts and the London.
She didn’t set out to be a doctor, but after a human sciences degree, her interest in human anatomy and, in particular, embryology developed before she went on to specialise in prenatal genetics and foetal medicine.
She said she is keen to help expectant mothers and their unborn children.
Another option is paediatric orthopaedics, particularly helping children who may have been affected by genetic conditions and seeing them through their treatment and care pathways.
Some 489 newly qualified doctors are embarking on the next chapter of their medical careers.
The first-year foundation doctors are taking part in organisational, departmental and online inductions before taking on their rotations across hospital departments to learn all aspects of their job.
After completing medical school, junior doctors have to complete a two-year foundation programme in both hospital and primary care, where they experience multiple areas of practice.
After these two years, they will decide their next steps as a doctor.
Dr Jennifer Armstrong, medical director at NHSGGC, said: “Every new doctor joining the NHS has a key role in shaping our recovery post-pandemic.
"They are the next generation of highly skilled, medical professionals who will provide the very best in patient-centred care for the people and communities they serve.
"I’m delighted that they have chosen to join us, as they embark on the next chapter of their careers and I have no doubt they will receive a very warm welcome on the wards from both our teams and patients.”