"Survey return from Alex R. Duguid"
Alex R Duguid was a medical practitioner in Kirkwall.
Kirkwall was a parish (with St. Ola), burgh, seaport and town on the Orkney Islands. It had multiple connections to Lerwick and Leith. The harbour was very good and there was much trade and export. In 1831, the population was 3721. Most of the inhabitants worked in fishery or manufacture.
1. How long have you practiced in the locality you at present occupy?
2. What are the ordinary and what the greatest distances which you have to travel in visiting patients?
The distance varies from one to twenty miles.
3. What means of conveyance do you employ in going long journeys?
Horses & Boats
4. What is the state of the roads in your neighbourhood?
In general bad.
5. Is the position of medical men in general in your quarter improved, or otherwise, of late years?
Certainly not improved. When I settled
here, & for many years after, the medical men
had all the dispensing of medicine. Now there
are druggists, who interfere very much with the
emoluments of the professional men.
6. Supposing the people of the Highlands and Islands were generally able to pay for medical
advice, according to rates usually observed in other parts of the kingdom, what extent of
country in your locality would you regard as sufficient to occupy a single practitioner
Perhaps a circle having a radius
of six or seven miles
7. Mention, if you please, any special hardships incident to your situation, such as you think
might be remedied by some general measure or enactment?
I know of no hardship requiring to be received by any enactment.
Alex R Duguid M.D.
15 Sept. 1851
P.S. I may mention that I regard the
Orkney Islands as abundantly supplied with
medical men. There are eleven regularly [1 word illegible]
practitioners in them, to a population of 30,000,
and there are no inhabitants more than 7 miles
from assistance, tho’ no doubt some of the islands
suffer inconveniences at times from stormy weather
preventing them from sending boats across the ferries.