Alex John has change of heart

From one Doctor to another: Professor Sir Lewis Ritchie passed on his congratulations on Alex John's Graduation day. Photo: University of Aberdeen
From one Doctor to another: Professor Sir Lewis Ritchie passed on his congratulations on Alex John's Graduation day. Photo: University of Aberdeen

PETERHEAD man Alex John McLean has recently graduated in medicine, and is looking forward to pursuing his career as a Doctor.

Alex John hadn’t always wanted to be a Doctor however, and after graduating in 2003 from Gray’s School of Art with a BA Honours in Visual Communication, he had his heart set on working in factual programming for the BBC.

“My experience at Gray’s in short film production made this an interesting topic and made it my main ambition when I left University,” he said.

“I worked in Edinburgh to begin with as a researcher and I had applied for a job in television in 2005, however at that time, the job market was very difficult to get into and I had to make a decision about what I wanted to do.

“I’d always been interested in medicine and the help and support I received from the admissions department for the medical school at the University of Aberdeen was great. They suggested I went to college and pick up some extra Highers and whilst I was there, coincidentally, a position came up as a lecturer in HND Photography which was great. I’d be learning Chemistry upstairs then running down the stairs to teach a HND class full of students. And whilst I was at college I got some work experience working in psychiatric hospitals and in care.

“The staff at the University of Aberdeen were excellent and they gave me clear advice on what I needed to do to get me through the course. They took the fear out of the 5 year course even though it was a big challenge. The workload was so demanding and I had to think about 5 or 6 things at the one time, managing my time was a huge challenge and it was a task to stay organised. Luckily, the teaching staff at the University are second to none and the Class of 2011 were amazing. Everyone was so supportive of one another and the unique spirit of the entire class was certainly not to be taken for granted.”

Professor Sir Lewis Ritchie, a GP at Peterhead Health Centre and Community Hospital, and Honorary Consultant in Public Health Medicine with NHS Grampian was also an encouragement to Alex John to pursue a career in medicine and bumped into him on his special Graduation day.

Alex John added: “I’m looking forward to beginning my career in August and am thankful for everyone who has supported me during my studies.”