IN JUST over a month, Carnoustie Medical Group will say goodbye to two general practitioners, who have served the population of Carnoustie for a combined 65 years.

Dr Anderson (Sandy) McKendrick and Dr Peter Thornton will be retiring from general practice with Carnoustie Medical Group at Parkview Primary Care Centre at the end of September.

Dr McKendrick, who was born in Edinburgh, travelled all over the world when he was a young boy as his father was in the Navy, and spent two years at school in Virginia, USA, at the height of the Cold War while his father was stationed at the Pentagon.

He attended Edinburgh University, graduating in 1971 after six years of study, and spent three years in Bristol training to be a general practitioner.

In 1975, he joined Dr Mackay at the Auld Nick in Carnoustie as a GP, before the practice moved into the Health Centre in Dundee Street in 1977.

Dr McKendrick is the medical advisor to the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman, a body set up to investigate complaints about the health service. Another role he has is Associate Advisor in General Practice, where as one of four GPs in Tayside, he is in charge of training young doctors.

He also carries out performance assessments for the General Medical Council, a body he has worked with on and off for seven years, where he was on the fitness to practice committee for five years. Dr McKendrick will be continuing to carry out this work after his retiral from Carnoustie Medical Group.

Dr McKendrick married Bridget in 1974, and they have three children, Alistair, who is in the oil business, James, who 'drives the ferry' between Oban and Mull, and Lucy, who lives in Carnoustie.

Dr McKendrick commented that whilst he and Dr Thornton had been GPs for more than 30 years, their wives have also given this service, especially during times of 'on-call' when doctors' wives would need to stay at home one evening/night out of five and one weekend out of five to answer the telephone calls from patients while the doctor was on house visits. He added that this often goes by without recognition.

Dr Peter Thornton, was born and educated in Inverness, before attending Edinburgh University to study medicine. He graduated in 1972 and went on to do most of his training in Perth, with a spell in Edinburgh.

He moved to Carnoustie in 1977, joining Doctors Hamish Leslie and Ian Fraser at 'The Limes' in Dundee Street, before moving into Carnoustie Health Centre, Dundee Street, later that year, on October 10, 1977.

Dr Thornton has carried out a number of important roles over the years in addition to being a general practitioner and, like Dr McKendrick, he will continue with this work once he retires.

He has been closely involved in the education of doctors in training for general practice for over 20 years, and is still involved with the assessment of other training practices in the area, as an accredited trainer in General Practice.

He has also been involved with the Tayside Health Board medical services committee, and has acted as an External Professional Advisor to the Health Service Commissioner for Scotland, now the Public Service Ombudsman. He has been a member of the Tayside Local Medical Committee for 31 years.

Married in 1973, Dr and Mrs Thelma Thornton have two children; Susan who now lives in Andover and Iain, who resides in Glasgow.

Dr Thornton has a great interest in music and plays the organ, deputising in Carnoustie Church, and is involved with choirs, both in the church and the Carnoustie Choir, which he enjoys immensely.

Canon McKay is organising a leaving presentation for the doctors, to take place on September 12.

He has advised that in lieu of any gift, Dr McKendrick and Dr Thornton would like to start a community education project. There are collection points for anyone wishing to give a donation at the Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank of Scotland.