A DOCTOR who was offered jobs in Bathgate, Switzerland and Haddington has “never regretted” his decision to pick the county town as he begins his 40th year in East Lothian.

Dr Ross Langlands has been a stalwart of Haddington’s medical profession since the 1970s.

And he has revealed that he has no plans to hang up his stethoscope just yet.

He told the Courier: “There have been rumours going round the town for the last 10 years that I am retiring!

“I’m not sure if they are trying to get rid of me but as long as I am healthy and got my marbles I will keep at it.”

The 69-year-old has seen plenty of changes since he first moved to the area.

When he started, he was based on the town’s Church Street, alongside one other doctor.

Dr Langlands, based in the town’s Lammermuir Medical Practice, said: “We had two rooms – one was a waiting room-cum-secretary’s room and one was a consultant room.

“We could not consult together and then in 1985 it all came together and we moved to Newton Port.”

Since then, the building, which is home to the Tyne, Lammermuir and Orchard practices, has been extended to cope with an increasing population and is now home to more than a dozen doctors, as well as nursing staff.

It is not just the building that has changed over the last four decades.

Haddington – and the surrounding area – has seen a sizeable increase in residents while medicine has advanced during that time too.

Dr Langlands, whose son Angus is a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP), said that the role of a GP had changed.

He added: “When I came here one of the first lots of surgery I did was for stomach ulcers.

“Now I cannot remember the last time I saw someone having surgery for a stomach ulcer.

“The drugs for that are so much better.”

Before making the move to Haddington, Dr Langlands had been faced with a difficult choice.

The Haddington resident said: “I was at the University of Edinburgh and did my training in and around Edinburgh and West Lothian.

“Towards the end of my training I was offered a job in Switzerland, Bathgate and Haddington.

“Haddington was much the better choice and I have never regretted it. It is a great place to work. The people are great and it is a job I really enjoy.”

Dr Langlands, who has four children – Alasdair, Niall, Caitlin and Angus – and whose wife Debbie is also a GP, at Dunbar’s Whitesands Medical Practice, revealed he had no idea that when he started the job he would still be there four decades down the line.

The GP principal at Lammermuir Medical Practice said: “When I came for the interview it was a November day and I drove to Gifford and the trees were beautiful.

“It was a beautiful sunny day and I thought Haddington was a nice place and I would like to work here.

“But I never thought I would be here for this length of time.

“I still enjoy it and still like the people here – that is the reason I am still here.”

Staff at the medical centre toasted Dr Langlands’ lengthy connection to the town with a celebration meal last week.

Stephanie Currie, practice manager, paid tribute to her colleague’s hard work over the years.

She said: “He is a font of all knowledge in relation to medical subjects and all aspects of life. Dr Langlands likes to remind all staff on a Thursday that it is his last working day of the week by whistling round the reception area!”