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Former Wymondham GP dies, aged 69

PUBLISHED: 11:00 22 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:39 02 July 2010

Michael Pollitt, obituaries editor

Former Norfolk GP Corinne Groom, who became one of the county's leading specialists in acupuncture, has died aged 69.

Former Norfolk GP Corinne Groom, who became one of the county's leading specialists in acupuncture, has died aged 69.

For more than a quarter of a century, she treated patients with conditions including migraine, fear of flying, spiders and pre-menstrual tension from a surgery in Wymondham, where her GP husband, Neville, was in practice.

After watching a 1981 edition of the BBC lunchtime programme, Pebble Mill, featuring acupuncture with David Payne, she wrote expressing an interest. He agreed to train her and over the years went on to help hundreds of patients as a qualified medical acupuncturist.

Once, when she had sprained her ankle, she used acupuncture techniques to help. “She was absolutely dead scared of spiders and after her treatment went into the cloakroom and saw two enormous spiders there. She had no hesitation, swept them into a dustbin and threw them out. Before she would have screamed the place down,” said her husband, who is a fourth generation GP.

So she did get a name for herself for treating phobias by acupuncture, he said.

Mrs Groom, who went Notre Dame High School in Norwich, had also worked in general practice in the city. She studied medicine at Sheffield University, where she met and later married a fellow student on March 9, 1968. She later held hospital posts in Sheffield and Norwich before working in general practice in the city.

“My parents had moved to Hoveton and I met Corinne in Sheffield. I had to go 160 miles to meet a girl who was living across the river in Wroxham,” said her husband.

She gave up work as a GP after about six months after marriage to concentrate on bringing up their four children. But the TV programme led to her resuming her medical career, which she continued until relatively recently. She had inherited mitochondria from her father and had battled the affliction for the past 20 years.

As a teenager at school and aged about 16 or 17, she contracted TB and was sent to an isolation hospital at Stoke Nayland. And it was her treatment, which inspired her to train for a medical career.

Their eldest daughter, Tamsin, who is a consultant in Glasgow, is the fifth generation in medicine. She leaves a widower, Neville, who is a retired GP, and three children, and three grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at Wymondham Abbey on January 29, 2.30pm.

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