THIS BOOK IS A PERSONAL JOURNEY FROM INDIA, VIA SCOTLAND, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, AUSTRALIA, SOLIMON ISLANDS, SAUDI ARABIA AND BACK TO SCOTLAND. IT HIGHLIGHTS MY WORKING AND PERSONAL LIFE AS AN OBSTETRICIAN IN A PRIMITIVE SOCIETY TO THE RELATIVELY SOPHISTICATED IN SAUDI ARABIA BEFORE RETURNING TO SCOTLAND.
WE WERE MET AT THE DILAPIDATED AIRPORT BY A HEALTH DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL WHO CLEARED US THROUGH CUSTOMS AND THE ARRIVAL FORMALITIES BEFORE WHICKING US OFF TO THE BOROKO HOTEL. WE STAYED HERE FOR ABOUT A WEEK WHILE I WAS INTRODUCED TO ALL ASPECTS OF THE WORKINGS OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT. IN THOSE DAYS, THE BOROKO WAS AN ADEQUATE HOTEL BUT STILL RETAINED A COLONIAL MENTALITY. fOR EXAMPLE, AT MEALTIMES, THE DINERS WERE SERVED BY BARE-CHESTED, WHITE-GLOVED, BARE-FOOTED LOCAL MEN DRESSED IN RED FRINGED, WHITE, SKIRT TYPE, ANKLE-LENGTH LAP-LAPS.
Born in India in 1936, schooled in India, Scotland and Australia, I graduated in medicine from Glasgow University in 1960. Throughout my career, I gained the following post-graduate qualifications: DTM &H (Liverpool); D.Obst.RCOG; MD (Glasgow); MFPHM (UK); FAFPHM (Australia). After marriage in 1963, I held the posts of Obstetrician, District Medical Officer and Consultant in charge of the Malaria Programme in the Territory of Papua New Guinea where our son and daughter were born. I returned to Australia in 1969 as the founding CO, Major, 1 Malaria Research Unit, RAAMC, but moved to the British Solomon Islands in 1973 as a WHO Malaria Epidemiologist returning to Scotland in 1976 as a GP and unsuccessful SNP candidate. In 1984, on returning to Australia I was the founding Directore of the NT's Epidemiology and Assessment Units in Darwin and later, the Community Health Physician for the Pilbara in Western Australia, but returned to Scotland in 1988. Between spells as a Consultant in Saudi Arabia in 1988 and 1994, I was Head of the NHS Scottish Clinical Coding Centre based in Edinburgh. We moved to the Isle of Arran in 1996 but I continued to work as an occasional locum General Practitioner until retiral in 1998. Since then, I have been a regular writer to "The Herald" and "Sunday Herald".