My Background and Qualifications

Training and NHS practice

I qualified in medicine from the University of Edinburgh in 1979. I then trained in general medicine in the main hospitals in Tayside and in digestive diseases (gastroenterology) at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh. I considered becoming a specialist in gastroenterology but decided to try general practice first. In 1984 I therefore came to St Andrews as a GP trainee with what is now known as the Feddinch Medical Practice. I enjoyed it tremendously and joined the practice as a partner in 1986. I stayed until early 2000, when I left to become Medical Director of NetDoctor.co.uk Ltd.

NetDoctor

In the 1990s a lot of the popular medical information on the web was of American origin and of variable quality. NetDoktor (with a k) had started in Denmark in 1999 as a web site written by Danish medical specialists for the Danish public. It rapidly became very popular and expanded into several other country-specific sites across Europe.

The first English language version, NetDoctor.co.uk, was planned to start in 2000. I got the job of medical director and set about assembling a network of UK medical specialists to write material for a UK audience. As NetDoctor was based in London and Copenhagen I had to give up being a full time Fife GP. 17 years later, NetDoctor.co.uk is still popular, with over 7 million visitors per month in the UK alone. There are sister NetDoctor sites in Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Spain.

After the main work in NetDoctor was complete I continued to provide input on a part-time basis until fully returning to clinical practice in 2003.

Private practice

I opened my private practice, Croftwell Consulting, in 2003. The idea was not mine – it was suggested to me by a patient that I had seen while helping out in an NHS practice elsewhere in Fife. It became apparent that what patients wanted most was time, and I knew well from my 15 years in NHS practice how difficult that was to give to them. It is a luxury that I can provide in private practice.

My academic and medical qualifications

BSc (Medical Sciences) University of Edinburgh 1976
MB ChB (Medical Degree) University of Edinburgh 1979
MRCP (Member of the Royal College of Physicians) 1983
MRCGP (Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners) 1985
FRCP Edin (Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh) 1999

General Medical Council

My GMC Registration Number is 2341419.

You can check my registration – and that of any registered UK doctor – on the GMC website.