Dr. Linda Hacking from Blackpool is the National Association of Clinical Tutors United Kingdom (NACT UK) Traveling Fellow for 2019.
The NACT UK Traveling Fellowship is part of an exchange program with NC AHEC that offers an opportunity to British and American fellows to study health care systems and aspects of continuing medical education in North Carolina and the UK. Dr. Hacking is the 41st fellow to participate in the exchange since its inception in 1976.
Dr. Hacking was born and raised in St. Andrews, Scotland. She studied medicine at the University of Glasgow, where she graduated in 1983. After completing internships at the Southern General Hospital (now Queen Elizabeth Hospital) Dr. Hacking trained in radiology in a number of clinical settings in Glasgow. She joined the Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) in 1990 and was accredited as a specialist in clinical radiology in 1991.
After being appointed as a consultant to Law Hospital in Scotland in 1993, she began practicing at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals in England in 1996. In conjunction with the Department of Clinical Radiology at the University of Manchester, she established the first radiology residency training program in Blackpool in 1999.
“Over the years, my locality has struggled to recruit and retain both trained consultants and general practitioners and to fill placements in training programmes,” Dr. Hacking stated in her fellowship application. “I am keen to study what incentives are employed in North Carolina to retain doctors who have trained in non-affluent, non-urban areas.”
Today, Dr. Hacking is the Director of Medical Education for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals and serves as a subdean for undergraduate medical students at Lancaster University and at the University of Liverpool, where she is an Honorary Senior Lecturer. She is an active member of NACT UK and recently completed a 3-year term on the organization’s council.
“What I have worked out so far is that it becomes harder to fill posts and openings in those areas that are away from the main city centers,” Dr. Hacking shared in the first few days of her fellowship. “Continuing the tradition of embedded practitioners—not just in rural areas, but in coastal areas in both North Carolina and the UK, and in some areas that are even within cities—can be difficult.”
Dr. Hacking will visit North Carolina AHECs in Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Wilmington, and Greenville to learn more about how NC AHEC develops and supports activities and services that respond to rural workforce shortages. She will present her observations at the Program Office at the conclusion of her fellowship.