Stella finally fulfils doctor ambition

A student who interrupted her medical studies to start a family has now achieved her ambition to become a doctor after completing her studies at Swansea University.

Thirty six year old Stella Seppings graduated from the Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM)  programme at Swansea University’s Medical School at a ceremony held in the City and County of Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall today (Monday 20 July) where she was supported by her proud parents and two children aged 15 and 12 years.

Stella SeppingsStella, who is originally from Newcastle Emlyn and now lives in Uplands, suspended her medical studies at the University College London to start a family before going on to achieve a degree in Music. However as her family grew, Stella wanted to resume her medical studies but thought she would not get the opportunity as most medical schools had an upper age limit of 30.

However, after hearing of the innovative 4 year GEM programme at Swansea, she successfully applied and moved back to Wales with her family to restart her medical studies. Stella said:  ‘We were really lucky that my husband’s company was very supportive and transferred him to an office in Bridgend, which meant the whole family could move back to Wales and we could also be closer to my family.”

She said: “I really enjoyed the course and found a particular interest in obstetrics, becoming the Medical School’s ambassador for the British Undergraduate Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.  I also won a bursary from Wellbeing of Women which funded a trip to a Ugandan obstetric fistula camp where I assisted with operations on women who had sustained injuries during labour as a result of lack of adequate obstetric care.  This was a valuable professional experience which I hope to repeat again in the future. “

Stella’s innovative approach to her studies can be seen in a claymation of heart embryology she made as part of her final year project which received more than 24,000 YouTube views to date and many positive comments while other high points include being twice awarded the El-Sharkawi Prize for best module mark in Doctor as Scholar & Scientist.

Now Stella is soon to begin work as a doctor at Glangwili General Hospital in Carmarthen, spending the first four months in obstetrics and gynaecology where she will work alongside her mother who is a nurse in the same department.

Consultant Surgeon and GEM Year 4 lead, Mr Tim Brown, said: “Stella was exemplary student in her work, her enthusiasm and her application. What is particularly striking is that she has progressed from a situation where she may have felt that all hope of becoming a doctor was gone and where her future seemed very uncertain to graduating with honours from Swansea. I hope her story will help encourage other students not to give up but to persevere and fulfil their ambitions.”