New Role for TV Actor: Real-Life Physician

Peter Wingfield, an actor known for his work on television and in movies, graduated Sunday from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, at age 52.

"It has been an absolute privilege to be a part of this class," Wingfield told his fellow students during a speech he gave at Sunday's commencement in UVM's Ira Allen Chapel. "Let us go into the world and show them what doctors from the University of Vermont are made of!"

Wingfield was a busy character actor for more than 20 years in TV shows including "Highlander: the Series." He also has appeared in episodes of popular series including "CSI: Miami" and "NCIS: Los Angeles," as well as in feature films like "Catwoman" and "X2," from the X-Men film series.

"I played a doctor on television many times," Wingfield noted.

Wingfield said while he enjoyed his years in the entertainment industry very much, it was time for a change for him, and that he felt a deep-seeded passion to help others through medicine. The actor worked for four years to receive his M.D. from UVM's medical school.

"It felt like I was completing a circle," the Welsh-born Dr. Wingfield told New England Cable News.

Wingfield started that circle decades ago when he started training to become a doctor in the United Kingdom. As a young man, Wingfield gave up the pursuit of a medical career in favor of pursuing acting.

"I absolutely feel like this will be a more meaningful life for me," Wingfield said.

Dr. Bill Jeffries, UVM's associate dean for medical education, said Wingfield connects with people really well, so expects he'll have a kind and compassionate manner with patients.

"He'll be a great doctor," Jeffries predicted. "You can immediately see how he would have a rapport with patients and produce a wonderful outcome."

From Vermont, Wingfield said he is off to Southern California for his residency, and expects to specialize in anesthesiology. He told necn he hasn't ruled out the occasional acting job, but said serving others meaningfully through medicine is the part he was born to play.

"I've never regretted the choice," Wingfield said of his decision to return to medical school. 

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