The incident occurred on May 12 2015 after a 999 call was made saying the young man was seen slumped in the street. Thom was contacted as he was about to leave work for the day and was sent there on his own to examine the patient.The doctor, who has since attended courses on dealing with aggression, told the hearing: “I’m responsible for what I’ve done and I’ve unfortunately assaulted that patient. I had the choice that day of walking away and I chose wrong completely. “I should have walked away and not assaulted that patient. I want to be working as a GP and helping people I don’t want to be assaulting people and I want to continue doing that.”I do out of hours work, am the child protection officer and I’m a mentor for the diabetic nurse. I feel I provide value to the area. I still think about it every day. What I did that day was totally inappropriate, not what I should do as a doctor or a human being. “All I can do is apologise for my behaviour that day. I still feel embarrassed, I should have walked away.”During his court hearing in November 2015, Sheriff Andrew Miller said he noted testimonials saying Thom had been working “in a challenging environment” and that he was under “significant pressures with heavy workloads”. You accepted that you had exceeded the level of force that was justified to deal with the situation before youpanel chairman Michelle Codd Fraserburgh has just one ambulance available to the public and, if it is called out to take a patient to Aberdeen hospital 40 miles away, it can take up to four hours to be available again. The scenario means the community relies on general practitioners to step in and follow up any other 999 calls.Thom, who had already completed a morning and afternoon shift at the surgery when he was called out, was later convicted of assault at Peterhead Sheriff Court and was fined £360. The identity of the victim is not known.At a hearing of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester, Thom, who lives in Ellon, near Aberdeen, faced being struck off.But he was suspended from practise for two months after he apologised, saying he was under stress due to working “in a challenging environment”.Panel chairman Michelle Codd told him: “Your assault was perpetrated on a man whom you had been called upon to assist in your professional capacity as a doctor. Furthermore this was someone who appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and was therefore vulnerable.”By your admission of guilt, you accepted that you had exceeded the level of force that was justified to deal with the situation before you.” The coastal town of Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, has just one ambulance available to the publicBut she said: “It was a mitigating factor that you were required to attend the complainant when you were uncertain about the situation that you would be faced with and whether you would be adequately equipped, although this does not excuse your behaviour.”You have been candid in your acceptance of your wrongdoing, you have apologised and have accepted full responsibility for what occurred. You have not sought to excuse what you did, which you have acknowledged was not how a doctor should behave.”You are highly thought of by professional colleagues and others. It was a recurring theme of your testimonials that this was a one-off incident and was out of character.”You stated that you felt threatened in a situation over which you had no control with no support. You said that the patient approached you and shoved you before punching you three times to your head. You tried to defend yourself. You have no recollection of punching the patient, but you accept that you did so.”You accepted that you should have ensured your own safety by withdrawing, but rather you acted disproportionately and assaulted the patient for which you apologise.”You are held in high regard as a GP in the local area by other professionals as well as by patients, family and friends. A number of the testimonial witnesses stated that they were shocked to learn about what had occurred.” A family doctor assaulted a drunken and aggressive man in the street during a bout of stress after he was sent on his own to treat him at the roadside due to a shortage of ambulances.Dr Martin Thom, 43, had been dispatched to examine the man in the street by a 999 call handler because the only ambulance in town was on an emergency call.But the GP snapped and hit the patient twice in the head and pushed him against a wall when he believed the victim was resisting his attempts to check him over.At the time, Thom – who has worked at Saltoun Surgery, in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, for 11 years – had been on call to deal with medical emergencies in the town, which has a population of 20,000. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.