Dr Richard O'Shea

Dr Richard O’Shea (49), more commonly known as Rick O’Shea the Welsh rugby pundit for the BBC, decided to turn his career around and train to become a GP. Rick, who was born in Cornwall, joined the Graduate Entry Medicine programme in South Wales after working as a Pharmaceutical Representative specialising in diabetes. Now in the final stages of his GP training, Rick explains:

“I always wanted to be a professional rugby player, and back in my hometown I was playing competitively for the Cornwall Pirates. I moved to Wales and attended what is now Cardiff Metropolitan University and graduated in 1987 with a Sport Science degree. Although I returned to Cornwall to work as a pharmaceutical representative it wasn’t long before I returned to Wales to make my life here.

“As I became more involved with the BBC Wales in rugby reporting, I was encouraged to apply for the Graduate Entry Medicine programme in South Wales and to train as a GP, given my interest in medicine. This was perhaps the best decision I ever made. I enrolled onto my Graduate Entry Medicine Swansea University programme in 2008 and I am now a GP Registrar on the Glamorgan Valleys Scheme, not far off qualifying as a fully-fledged GP.

“What appealed to me most about the GP training programme was the election process and the way candidates were considered not only by academic capability, but by their motivation, interest and personality. During my training, I received high-quality support from experienced doctors, and the programme was extremely flexible to work around my family. I am now based in a surgery in the Welsh Valleys, just a short commute from Cardiff, and I thoroughly enjoy coming to work to see my patients and to learn more every day. It’s not surprising that Wales has been voted number one in the UK for trainee satisfaction – one of those votes definitely came from me.

“In my time off, I’m still heavily involved in the rugby scene when I’m not studying for exams. It always amazes me what goes on in Wales – international rugby, premiership football, beaches, countryside and bustling cities. There really is something for everyone to be able to achieve a work life balance. I left England’s number one holiday destination to live in Wales; I think that speaks for itself.”