FOUR friends, who were in the same year group at Banff Academy, are the pride of their families and the school after they all graduated as doctors.
Aileen Alexander, Daisy Cole, Amy Hall and Cameron Innes were recently awarded their degrees in medicine from Aberdeen University, and Banff Academy rector David Dunn said it was an unprecedented achievement in his 25-year involvement with the school for four pupils of the same age to graduate as doctors.
For Cameron (23) it was a particularly poignant moment, as he is the third generation of his family to go into medicine, following in the footsteps of his father David, who is a GP in Banff, and grandfather George.
Cameron’s mum, Lindsay, said her son was away enjoying a well-earned break before he starts working in hospital posts in Aberdeen and Inverness over the next two years.
She added: "We are very proud of Cameron with what he has achieved.
"He is the third generation Dr Innes to graduate in medicine from Aberdeen. His father David, who is a local GP, graduated in 1981, and Cameron’s grandfather, George, graduated in 1950.
"Sadly, his grandfather died two years ago, but he knows he would have been so proud of him.
"It was also great to see that he was one of four medical graduates who hail from the Banff area and were all friends in the same year group at Banff Academy.
"It is believed that this could be the most graduates in medicine at Aberdeen University who all went through the school together.
"Once he returns from his holiday he will be working in hospital posts in Aberdeen and Inverness over the next two years, and hopes to specialise in cardiology later in his career."
Amy (23), who is from Banff, told the "Banffshire Journal" that she had ambitions to work in accident and emergency when she had completed her probation years.
She said: "It is amazing that the four of us have managed to graduate together.
"We were in the same classes together and are really good friends. It was strange, as we roughly decided at the same time that we wanted to pursue medicine as a career.
"The five-year course was gruelling and a lot of hard work, but definitely worth it in the end.
"I now move on to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, where I will work for my first year, and then Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for my second. I hope to specialise in accident and emergency."
Aileen Alexander (23) is originally from Whitehills, and now lives in Aberdeen, where she will spend her next two years working in the city’s hospital.
She said: "At the moment my plan is to become a GP once I complete my training.
"I will be based at ARI and my first post will be in the accident and emergency department.
"In my second year I will also be based at the hospital in Wick for four months.
"It was really good to have had Amy, Daisy and Cameron on the course. When we first started they were familiar faces and we studied together over the years.
"The course was challenging, and it was brilliant to graduate together."
Daisy Cole (22) moved from Southhampton to just outside Cornhill with her family when she was 10 years old.
At the end of the month she will start her training in ARI’s respiratory ward, where she will be joined by Amy.
She said: "Its unreal that of all the people on the course, I will be with Amy when we start at ARI.
"It will be good because I will at least know someone on my first day at work.
"For most of the two years I will be based at Aberdeen, but in December I will move to Oban’s hospital for a four-month period. I am hoping to become a GP after my training.
"It was a challenging course but all the hard work has paid off. We are really lucky with the programme which puts us straight into work, as a lot of new graduates are struggling to find work in this tough economic climate."
Banff Academy rector David Dunn said of the students’ achievements: "We were thrilled and delighted to hear of the graduation from medical school of our four former pupils, Aileen Alexander, Daisy Cole, Amy Hall and Cameron Innes.
"It is unprecedented in the 25 years in which I have been associated with Banff Academy that four former pupils from the same year group have become doctors.
"At school, all four were hard-working pupils fully involved in the life of the school, and were excellent role models for their younger peers. Their success shows all Banff Academy pupils that with individual commitment and ambition, allied to the support of their teachers and families, there is no limit what young people from our school can achieve."