A POPULAR doctor is set to retire after nearly three decades at Marazion surgery.
Dr Alistair Hamilton has witnessed many changes in general practice since he joined the surgery in 1986.
At that time, doctors were responsible for the practice at night and weekends as there was no out-of-hours service or mobile phones.
The GP recalled a time when his wife Joy, who has supported him throughout his career, found herself looking after two children and answering patients' phone calls when they called the couple's home.
Dr Hamilton reflected on his time at the surgery ahead of his retirement this month.
He said: "I am not sure where the past 27 years have gone. On reflection I have been extremely fortunate to be a GP in this lovely part of Cornwall. A family doctor is a very challenging and responsible job. You see all the various facets of medicine relating to life and death, while caring for friends and acquaintances in your community.
"You share the sadness and the joy, while at all times being a professional. As one patient said to me, 'Alistair, you're a normal bloke doing a pretty tough job'; I think that sums it up. The whole Marazion team are a pleasure to work with and I am proud to have been a part of that team."
Dr Hamilton qualified at Aberdeen University in 1979. He worked in obstetrics and gynaecology for two years in Manchester, followed by a GP course in North Oxfordshire, gaining his MRCGP in 1984. He worked as an inner-city GP in Manchester before moving to Cornwall – a place he knew well as his father-in-law was a Penzance man.
Dr Hamilton wanted to thank those who have sent kind words of support and best wishes for the future.
He added:"I hope to spend more time with my wife, seeing more of our daughters and hope to travel more."