21 July 2017 10:01

A former salesman has graduated as a doctor after becoming inspired by his fiancée to switch career.

Dean John is the first in his family to go to university which he described as a “foreign environment”. 

His stepfather was a policeman and his mother had warehouse or retail jobs while he was growing up before retraining as an accountant when Dean was a teenager. 

He said there is no way he would have become a doctor were it not for his girlfriend Jo Curran who also graduated from Lancaster Medical School and is now training to be a consultant. 

“There is no one from my wider family with any connection to medicine and I disliked biology at school so the idea was initially quite alien to me and if I'm quite honest I didn't ever think I was capable.” 

He was providing security for local pubs before working in mobile phone sales for six years when he met Joanne, who was then a medical student. 

“I think the fact that I could mention a health condition that a family member had and she would know about it and be able to tell me the treatment at the drop of a hat was quite impressive. And then I also socialised with some of her friends who were on the course and the interest built from hearing about their experiences. 

 “I started reading Jo's books about the trials and tribulations of Junior Doctors, got myself an "Anatomy For Dummies" book from the library, learnt some memory techniques and realised that actually, this crazy idea of becoming a Doctor might well be doable.” 

To support himself at university, he became an Assistant Dean at Graduate College which allowed him free rent in return for helping out. He also worked in security at summer festivals as well as becoming a clinical support worker in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. 

He said switching to Medicine is one of the best decisions of his life. 

“I think overall what attracted me to being a doctor was the fact that there are few jobs that are so multifaceted and rewarding. 

“But mostly I like the fact that you are helping people.” 

He and Jo plan to marry in August 2018. 

“I'm proud of her and eternally indebted to how much she has changed my life, one of the many reasons I asked her to marry me... luckily she said yes!”