Life after the Leaving: ‘I’m getting the whole college experience’

Patrick Canning has no regrets about picking medicine

Patrick Canning (21), from Oranmore, Co Galway, is about to start his fourth year studying medicine at NUI Galway. He also considered veterinary medicine and dentistry, but this course was the first choice on his CAO form, and Canning says he is glad he chose it.

“It’s tough, but it’s not as tough as I would have originally thought. I thought my whole life would be consumed by it, but I’m getting the whole college experience. It’s rewarding as well. I love it. It’s great. I still play loads of sports, enjoy college and go out.”

After only one semester of placements, Canning says it is hard to know which area of medicine he will choose to practice. There are many other placements to come in the programme.

“I haven’t followed GPs yet, and loads of others. I’m going to stay open-minded and decide afterwards.”


One thing he is certain about is that he expects to travel abroad for further training at some point, most likely in the UK, the US or Canada.

For now he has been enjoying his summer placement with a vascular surgeon, Prof Sherif Sultan. He is carrying out research and observing surgeries at University College Hospital Galway.

He was also selected to travel to Sibiu, Romania, with medical students from around the world for a two-week Saving Hearts summer school to learn about preventive cardiology and vascular surgery.