Former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary doctor becomes 'Flying Doctor' in Australia

A medic, born and trained in the Capital, has taken on the adventure of a lifetime as a flying doctor down under.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 12:30 pm

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Catriona Williamson grew up in Edinburgh, attended Queensferry High School before studying medicine at Edinburgh University and going on to become an A&E consultant at the Royal Infirmary.

Proud father Cliff Williamson said his daughter has always had an “adventurous spirit” which has led her to apply for a role as a Registrar with Careflight.

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Mrs Williamson working with the Careflight team in Sydney.

Careflight is a critical care aeromedical service and charity based in Australia that rescues critically ill people from some of the remotest parts of the country.

Ms Williamson, who now lives in Sydney, starts her day at 5am in the morning and carries out a 12-hour shift that can see her called out anywhere in the New South Wales region.

Speaking to the Evening News about his daughter’s day job, Mr Williamson said: “Adventure is very important to Catriona and we sometimes get a bit blasé about what she does for a living, but I’m very proud of her. She felt that if she didn’t do it now, she never would. She is that type of person - she lives life to the full.”

Recently, Ms Williamson sent pictures home to Scotland of her about to board the AW139, a twin-engine 15-seat helicopter, designed for search and rescue missions.

AW139, a twin-engine 15-seat helicopter.

Shocked to recognise the air ambulance, Mr Williamson soon realised his daughter was flying on a helicopter he helped build through his work with the Edinburgh based aerospace company Leonardo.

He said: “She sent a picture of herself with the helicopter in the background and I recognised it.

“I think it is quite a dangerous job, so I was very nervous at first, but knowing she was in one of Leonardo’s helicopters, which has made me feel more relaxed about it. I have spent my whole life working in engineering and I have seen the technology grow and it is something to think that your daughter is flying in the helicopter and relying in its performance to keep her safe.”

A message from the Editor:

Catriona Williamson rescues critically ill people from some of the remotest parts of Australia.

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