Love Island's Dr Alex George on the 'difficult' decision to leave his job as an A&E doctor
Former Love Island contestant Dr Alex George says he has left his job as an A&E doctor as his "purpose has changed".
The Welsh medic and TV personality said he moved on from his London-based role last summer but wanted to explain why, adding: "I've hinted towards it a little bit... but I haven't really discussed it that much."
In a social media post, he told followers: "I loved being an A&E doctor. For me, it was my dream growing up. Taking the decision to leave the career I love was incredibly difficult, but my purpose has changed."
The Carmarthenshire-born 31-year-old then followed up with a video, in which he elaborated on his decision to switch paths.
"It wasn't an easy decision," he said.
"I love being an A&E doctor. It's something that I trained all my life to be. But I basically got to the point where I was burning out."
Dr Alex has been a passionate campaigner for children’s mental health since he lost his younger brother, Llŷr, to suicide in 2020.
In February 2021, Dr Alex was appointed Youth Mental Health Ambassador by the UK Government - an unpaid role that sees him champion children’s mental health education and support in schools.
He added: "I'd taken on the role as Youth Mental Health Ambassador a year ago. I'd been flat out with campaigning; volunteering; making sure I was running [my] business. All the other things that were going on. And I was also working in A&E.
"To be honest, I was burning out - and I don't think it's very good for a Youth Mental Health Ambassador to allow themselves to burn out and not look after themselves if you're promoting good health.
"So I made the difficult decision that something has to give. I have to make a decision here. Either I continue with my mental health campaigning and I leave A&E - or I have to drop that work and just stick with medicine, and stick with the pure hospital work."
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Dr Alex eventually made the decision to leave A&E and focus on his mental health advocacy work.
"I made the decision - look, I need to do this," he said.
"And it was scary, if I'm completely honest - it's scary leaving something you know.
"When I left Love Island, I went back to the hospital because that is what I knew. And now I'm putting myself in a position where I'm so out of my comfort zone and I'm entering a world where I don't have guaranteed pay, I have to think month-to-month what's going on - I have to basically leave everything that I know.
"But deep down, I know in my heart, when I get up each morning the thing I'm most excited about is this.
"So yes, leaving last summer - leaving A&E and going, 'I'm no longer going to be an A&E doctor' was incredibly tough. But I don't regret it at all. And that's because I've been able to look after myself better, I'm not burning out any more - and I'm able to put my effort into this space and achieve what I want to achieve."
Dr Alex, who first worked for Kings College Hospital in 2015 then Lewisham Hospital from 2016 onwards, said he is "amazed" by how much mental illness medics see on a day-to-day basis.
He told followers that his "number one goal" is to campaign for mental health support hubs so that young people can access help earlier.
"I'm not going to give up and I am absolutely relentless on this mission," he added.
"Will I go back to A&E? I'm not sure. But right now, I've got a public mental health masters to start in September and my focus on the campaigning has got to be my number one goal."