Kenilworth GP retires after 34 years of treating town's patients

Dr David Rapley has retired from Castle Medical Centre after 34 years.
Dr David Rapley has retired from Castle Medical Centre after 34 years.

A Kenilworth GP who has treated patients for almost 34 years in the town has finally retired from the profession.

Dr David Rapley, 61, called time on his career at Castle Medical Centre on Tuesday September 26, and said the day was an emotional one.

He said: “I will really miss my patients, all the families I’ve helped and all the staff and doctors at the practice. I will always remember the kindness of my patients.

Dr Rapley, who grew up in Leamington, realised he wanted to be a doctor when he was 16 years old and a pupil at Leamington College for Boys.

He then went on to study medicine at Birmingham Medical School.

He started his role a GP at the old Castle Medical Centre in High Street on October 1, 1984 after previously training there as a medical student in 1979.

In his time as a GP, Dr Rapley said many things had changed at the practice, including the adoption of new technology and the increase in pressures on GPs. He said it was not unknown for him to work more than 12 hours in a day.

He added: “I will admit the pressure of work has been somewhat relentless in recent years.”

But he said the role of GPs in helping to ease patients’ worries had stayed the same over that time.

Dr Rapley was also heavily involved with training new doctors as part of Coventry and Warwickshire Vocational Training Scheme in his time as a GP, and will continue to help with training while retired.

He said training new GPs was ‘the one thing that kept me sane’ when the pressure of work became intense. He also claimed developing a ‘black sense of humour’ helped when he was faced with difficult problems.

Now, Dr Rapley hopes to enjoy his retirement with his wife Jenny and their two sons James and Andrew, and is aiming to travel more, take up more exercise and get a dog.