A Londoner born and bred, Dr Dave Wilson (34), first moved his family to New Zealand, in search of work life balance, before settling in Pembrokeshire, West Wales in 2010. Now a fulltime GP at the Argyle Medical Group in Pembroke Dock, Dave explains:
“I first followed my girlfriend back to her native West Wales, after graduating in London, to complete my two-year training as a junior doctor in 2005 and marry her. Four years later, we were lured to Tauraunga in New Zealand with the intention of settling down and raising a family there. It seemed like the right choice at the time. We were young, had no children and there were equally good career prospects for GPs over there. But after just 18 months in New Zealand it became obvious to us both how much we missed the close knit oastal community lifestyle back in West Wales. Minds made up, I applied for a GP role back in West Wales and even received financial help from the Welsh Government to relocate back. The move was surprisingly smooth and five years on we’ve never looked back.
“My wife and I live in a small village, near Carew in Pembrokeshire and now have two small children. Pembrokeshire is the perfect place to raise a family AND still pursue a fulfilling medical career. The work life balance here is amazing. My GP working life is very community orientated. My patients are more like an extended family – there’s a very genuine and friendly vibe here. Working in Wales, the birthplace of the NHS, also offers the benefits of a much closer collaboration between medical professionals and the political decision makers. Health policy decision making is a devolved power and GPs are well supported by the Welsh Government in optimising work life balance and in voicing opinion on medical matters. GPs in Wales also get financial support through a General Medical Services contract which helps us make real difference through informing local workforce strategies, supporting a more collaborative approach to community services and improving the overall quality of care. In summary, what’s great about being a GP in Wales is that we are empowered to make a very real difference for the communities they serve.
“When I’m not working, I make full use of the beautiful natural surroundings in Wales by competing regularly in triathlons as well as the annual Ironman Wales which is hosted on my doorstep. I’m also a keen surfer and fully intend to get back into the sea when the children are old enough to learn. As a Londoner born and bred, some might wonder why I’ve swapped the bright city lights for a rural existence but when it comes to a daily packed lunch with a coastal view or a packed tube ride home – it’s a no brainer.”