Catherine House Surgery

Tel: 01803 862073

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Professor Nick Cooper
BSc MMEd MBBS (Royal London Hospital 1976) FRCP FRCPCH PFHEA FAcadMEd  GMC: 2347910

I was born in Nottingham and grew up in Liverpool - the place to be in the 60s! From a young age I expressed a strong desire to study medicine and in 1970 followed in my brother's footsteps to The London Hospital Medical and Dental College.

As a student I developed an interest in child health, spending a three month elective period at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore studying paediatric neuro-development. Following qualification I worked in paediatric departments at Guy's and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals, achieving college membership in 1979.

Wanting to be more involved in continuity of care, family practice, and also the meeting of my wife who is from Somerset, led to me re-locating to Exeter in 1980 to train as a general practitioner. Two years later I was offered the opportunity to take over a long-established single-handed practice here in Totnes from Dr Barry Shelmerdine.

Since this time the practice has grown considerably, moving from Bridgetown to the centre of town in 1983, then building Catherine House in 1987, and the addition of three doctors - the latest actually being my son.

I have a passion for helping the development of future generations of doctors and have been involved in GP training for 30 years, and since the opening of The Peninsula Medical School in 2002 the practice has welcomed medical students at various stages of their training.

Alongside practice commitments I hold key roles in the development of the medical school in undergraduate and postgraduate education. This includes work as an examiner at several medical schools and The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. I spent some time at Harvard Medical School in 2010 and was recently appointed an Associate Professor in Clinical Education. I am a Director of The Academy of Medical Educators.

I consider myself immensely fortunate to have lived and raised a family in such a beautiful area. During my spare time I enjoy walking our Cavalier King Charles spaniels, collecting antique maps and following the variable fortunes of Everton Football Club.


Dr James Cooper
BMedSc MBChB (Birmingham 2006) MRCGP DRCOG   GMC: 6135437

After completing my A-levels locally at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School I moved up to Birmingham, a city with which I have strong family connections, to start medical training in 2000.

I have always wanted to be a general practitioner - doubtlessly influenced by my dad’s boundless enthusiasm for the job - and my experiences at medical school did little to sway me from this career path. I invariably sought out opportunities to better my understanding of community healthcare, including spending an elective period at a GP surgery in the remote environment of the most northern tip of mainland Scotland.

While I grew accustomed to the bright lights and hustle and bustle of a large city, I never lost my desire to work ultimately in a more rural area and this led me to undertake my GP specialty training in and around Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

When the chance then arose to return to the picturesque and friendly surrounds of my hometown of Totnes, I immediately seized upon it with both hands.

While I consider myself to be interested in all aspects of general practice, including student education and surgery management, I do harbour a particular passion for medical history. I was fortunate enough to undertake a BMedSc degree in the subject, largely involving primary-source research into so-called ‘quack’ practitioners operating in 18th-century Georgian Birmingham.

When not at work I enjoy playing any sport requiring a racket, honing my DIY skills and trying unsuccessfully to keep an eye on my mischievous collection of cats who were ‘adopted’ after being born to a stray mother in the garden of my former Birmingham home.

Dr Sally Sheppard
BM (Southampton) MRCGP DRCOG PGCME Diploma Sports and Exercise Medicine  GMC: 3279595

Sally qualified from Southampton University in 1989. She has been a GP for 25 years working in Ivybridge and Tavistock before joining Catherine House Surgery in 2016.

She is particularly interested and enthuasiatic about musculoskeletal medicine and sports medicine and was lucky to work at the London 2012 Olympics as a Sports Doctor for Handball in the Copper Box Arena. She has a post-graduate qualification in Sports and Exercise Medicine. 

She really enjoys seeings patient with joint and muscle problems, making diagnoses, performing joint injections as appropriate and prescribing rehabilitation exercises for patients of all ages from children to older adults.

Sally also enjoys training the next generation of doctors and healthcare professionals, from medical students through to F2 doctors, and physician associate students.


Dr David Jones
MBChB MRCGP LLB(Hons)   GMC: 2561488

David qualified at Bristol University in 1982 and after eight years in the Royal Navy, where he served in the Falkland Islands and Hong Kong, he began a career in General Practice in Plymouth. In 2005 he moved to Ivybridge before joining Catherine House in January 2020.

He has a special interest in palliative care and end of life medicine as well as occupational health and diving medicine. 

He also works Out of Hours shifts for Devon Doctors and is involved in training GP trainees as well as Foundation Doctors and medical students.

Whilst now part time he is learning new skills renovating an old property and enjoys travel, diving, cycling and a range of outdoor pursuits.