LISBURN doctor who recently retired after almost four decades as a general practitioner in the city has thanked all his patients for their support over the years and said it had been an honour to have been their GP.
Dr Sam Moore spent almost 37 years as a general medical practitioner in Lisburn. After qualifying in medicine at Queens University in 1969 he spent three years as a junior hospital doctor in the City Hospital before coming to Dr. McClelland's practice on 1st August 1972 to complete his training for general practice. At that time the practice was based at 68 Bow Street.
On completion of his training Sam was invited to become a partner along with Drs. McClelland, McCartney, Porter and Jefferson. In September 1978 the practice moved to its present home in the health centre at Linenhall Street.
Dr Moore didn't always want to be a doctor. "Having been brought up on a farm in North Antrim I had decided I wanted to be a veterinary surgeon but at the age of 16, after receiving a kick from a cow on my home farm, I changed my mind," he said. "I felt that human patients wouldn't be so rough on me and my decision has proved to be the correct one."
Dr. Moore has seen many changes over the years, most notable the fact that when he joined the practice all the doctors were male but now there are three women. He has also seen the effect of computerisation in medical records and medical care.
"Treatments have improved and there are now many drugs for the treatment and prevention of chronic illness," continued Dr Moore. "Many more people are on medication and people are living much longer. In 1972 I had very few patients over 90 but now many people live beyond that. "Life expectancy at birth has risen by 10 years since 1972. Few of these elderly patients are in hospital now, most live in their own homes or in nursing homes.
"Improved housing has been a factor in better health but I feel the break up of traditional family units has led to more stress and psychological ill health. "Whilst treatment for cancers has greatly improved I am still concerned about the numbers of people smoking and the increase in alcohol and illicit drug related illnesses."
Apart from his work as a GP, Dr. Moore has been involved in training young doctors for general practice for several years and has had 19 full time GP registrars before handing this role over to Dr. Ian Wales.
Always an enthusiast for continuing medical education, Dr. Moore sat on several medical committees during his career. He was active in the Royal College of General Practitioners for over 20 years and had the honour of being made Provost of the Northern Ireland Faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners in 2003/4.
Although not yet 65, Dr. Moore felt that after almost 40 years as a practicing doctor this was the best time for him to retire. He celebrates the 40th anniversary of his graduation this summer.
"I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all of my patients who sent me gifts and cards with their best wishes on my retirement," concluded Dr Moore. "It has been an honour to have been the general practitioner to so many Lisburn people both alive and long since gone and to have been able to help them in some small way."