A warm Welsh welcome in a place I now call home.
Originally from Canada, Dr Craig Beaton (33) grew up in Asia before coming to Wales as an international student to study medicine at Cardiff. Craig is at the end of his dual training in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthetics in North Wales. He explains:
“My family left Canada when I was three and moved all over Asia during my childhood. When it came to choosing a medical school for my degree, I was in Hong Kong and had no idea where to go. My Chemistry teacher proudly recommended Wales. His eyes lit up when he talked of his home there - the people, the community and the countryside he clearly missed.
“Totally inspired, I followed my teacher’s lead and came to South Wales as an international student to study medicine at Cardiff University. I was first exposed to critical care as a foundation year doctor in North Wales where I stayed to continue my core medical training. I’m now doing dual training in anaesthetics and intensive care medicine. Wales has welcomed me from day one and I’ve now lived here longer than I’ve lived anywhere else. I’ve cycled around lots of great places, climbed mountains, picked blackberries, savoured Welsh sloe gin and enjoyed the warmth of friendships freely offered. I might be biased, but I love it here and wouldn’t want to live and work anywhere else.
“In my training I’ve been well taught and spoilt by a number of Consultants who have gone the extra mile to teach and support me and my colleagues. Wales has a surprisingly varied population, and so the clinical presentations vary quite considerably. I’ve also been privileged to work alongside military colleagues in the Army Reserve and been fully supported by the Welsh NHS to do so.”
“Wales wins out on the practical considerations too. Houses are affordable; we were able to get a house and garden with a beautiful view which we really enjoy, just on the edge of a historic market town. We are very well connected to the big cities, but for days when we don’t need to be in a city, traffic is non-existent, the air is clean, and countryside is just the other side of the fence.
“Training, working and living in Wales has been a delight – though I’m glad most people don’t realise just how good we have it here. It can remain a best kept secret a little longer.”