Tribute paid to well-known Laurencekirk doctor

Tribute has been paid to a well-known family doctor from Laurencekirk who died earlier this year at the age of 92.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 12:01 pm
Dr Alan Lyall was the family doctor in Laurencekirk

Dr Alan Richard Lyall, who was the family doctor of the town from 1959 to 1990, died at his home after suffering from dementia, Parkinsons and frailty.

Dr Lyall graduated with a MBChB from Aberdeen in 1951 before going on to join the Royal Army Medical Corps from 1951-53.

He gained is Diploma of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 1954 and took up the role of Laurencekirk GP later that year.

His daughter Hermione told us: “When my father, aged 30, joined his colleague to become the second member of

the general practice for the town of Laurencekirk and surrounding countryside in 1959, he was on call every other night and weekend, with a half-day on Fridays.

"He remained in that post for the next 30 years.

“The A92, main road from Dundee to Aberdeen, passed straight through the long High Street, and many’s the night, Dr Lyall went out with “Fred” the Ambulance driver to attend her casualties.

“The surgery was in our family home, with morning and evening consulting, all welcome, no appointments.

There were house visits on request, all new mums and babies were seen at home, and all the over 80s had regular visits.

" Early on, the polio vaccine was kept in the fridge cabinet next to the butter.

"He kept a ledger, entering the names and dates for all hospital admissions with his referral diagnosis, then the hospital discharge diagnosis was added and comments recorded – a system of audit, before so named.

“After 30 years of service, retirement in Laurencekirk was a joy, with golf, fishing and friends.

"He had been a well-loved doctor, who knew his families across the generations, keeping their confidences, and their respect.

"Over the last ten years of his long life dementia gradually set in, taking away mind, language and memories, except that he was born in Aberdeen and wished to return to his family home in the North East.”

Dr Lyall is survived by his dear wife Fiona, of 64 years, son Peter, daughter Hermione, grandchildren and great grandson.