Dan O’Leary

Country: Ireland
Sector: Higher Education
Job title: Student
Subject of study: Medicine
Year of graduation: 2021
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

University of Exeter

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

I am still currently a student at the University of Exeter. I will be finishing an intercalated degree in BSc Sports and Exercise Medical Science this year. Following on from this I will be studying the final year of BMBS Medicine. From this, I hope to pursue a career in orthopaedic surgery.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I chose this career as I have always had an interest in surgery. I find both surgical techniques and the surgical environment fascinating. I especially like the fact that you can greatly improve somebody’s quality of life after one day of surgical intervention. Orthopaedic surgery appeals to me as many of the cases involved come from sports backgrounds.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

While in Exeter I was involved in quite a few groups. Within my course, I was involved with several medical-based societies, including the surgical society and the paediatrics society. I was heavily involved with MedSoc as well. Outside of the more curricular based societies, I focused on sport. I have played for the Plymouth and Exeter Medical Rugby Club for 5 years. This is a collaboration between Plymouth and Exeter’s medical teams, which is due to the medical schools previously being the one Peninsula Medical School. I have joined the Medics Hockey team on their annual trip to Southampton for the coveted Tournament In The South. I have also represented Exeter in powerlifting at both a national and international level, coming third in the World Powerlifting Cup in 2019.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

I really enjoyed the clinical aspect of the programme. You are given experience within a clinical environment from very early on. The largest highlight was probably finishing our main practical exam at the end of fourth year and the celebratory refreshments that followed.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

Honestly, I just really enjoyed living in Exeter. The city has everything you’d ever want as a student, and the university has facilities that cater to everybody. The sporting facilities are among the best I’ve ever been to.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I chose to study here because I had heard great things about the medical school from a previous graduate. On my open day, I decided that it was the place for me (my admission may have also swayed my opinion).

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

I think it all comes down to your relationship with other people. Intercommunication skills are so important, and I can’t think of a single job or career where your ability to communicate with others wouldn’t make that job easier. Talking to a broader range of people from many different backgrounds has taught me more than any lecture or PowerPoint ever did.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Just keep chipping away. Staying consistent is key if you want to stay on top of everything, but don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself along the way.

What are your plans for the future?

Hopefully to continue progressing through and finish my studies in Exeter. After this, I’m planning on applying to work for the NHS in Northern Ireland for my medical foundation years. From there your guess is as good as mine!


Similar Alumni

Matthew Howells

University of Exeter. I have completely the first 4 years of my BMBS Medicine degree and I am currently completing an intercalated BSc in Sport & Exercise Medical Sciences.

Richard Colling

University of Oxford. I currently work as an academic pathologist and researcher in Oxford.