By Laura Passi
Hundreds of GPs have taken part in an ‘online wake’ for Dr Peter Gooderham, a well-respected GP turned medicolegal expert, and regular contributor to Doctors.net.uk and PulseToday, who died suddenly on 9 February.
Dr Gooderham started his career as a GP in 1988 and in his free time, studied law through the Open University. In 2002 he completed his LLB and a year later he gave up his clinical work in order to take up an academic law post at Cardiff University, before becoming a lecturer in healthcare ethics and law at Manchester.
A prolific contributor to Doctors.net.uk, he would give free legal advice to doctors who contacted him via the forums, under the pseudonym ‘Blue Dragon’. He also helped doctors who contacted him via email and would assist in drafting legal letters.
Dr Tim Ringrose, medical director of Doctors.net.uk, said: ‘Peter used his wit and intellect to enormous effect. His wry observations were an inspiration to thousands of our members. Since his death, it’s become clear that he had also devoted a great deal of time to providing advice and support to numerous other doctors – most of whom he’d never met.’
‘Many members have used the forums to pay tribute to him and, at the suggestion of one of our members, 9pm on Friday 11 February saw hundreds of colleagues join together in an online wake. As well as leaving heartfelt farewell messages, many of the participants simultaneously raised a glass in memory of ‘Bluey’.’
Dr Gooderham also supported Remedy UK, and during their legal engagement with the GMC over MTAS, he gave advice and information to their legal team.
A statement from Remedy UK paid tribute to Dr Gooderham, describing him as ‘a genuine and lovely man, intelligent, humorous and human.’
‘We send our deepest condolences to his friends and family,’ it said.
Dr Una Coales, a GP in Stockwell, south London, told Pulse: ‘He has served this country well and has affected the lives of several hundred doctors selflessly with his medico-legal expertise and clarity of thought and mind.’
‘Over 630 doctors on the Doctors.net.uk forum have starred his obituary as a top quality post and left reams and reams of pages of comments thanking him for his help, wisdom, advice – and some have not even met him in real life.’
Dr Peter Gooderham died suddenly just after his 46th birthday. He is survived by his wife Dr Sarah Tiley, a GP in Baschurch, Shropshire.
Dr Peter Gooderham, who died on 9 February Dr Peter Gooderham, who died on 9 February