When I was young, my dream was to become a great doctor and have a great family!
But, because I come from a rural family that does not believe in a career for a woman or marrying for love all these seemed impossible. I decided to study very hard so that I could be the best and get government sponsorship for my medical school.
I worked as a general practitioner at one of the rural hospitals. I was disappointed and frustrated every day because people were dying due to lack of emergency medicine expertise. I wanted to quit, so I applied for a Job at Muhimbili National hospital cardiac unit since being a cardiologist was what I wanted. To my surprise I was assigned to the emergency department and this was the first time in my life that I even heard of emergency medicine as a specialty! I cried and asked to be assigned anywhere else but not ED! Because emergency medicine had only been a specialty for 2 years in my country, I never got a chance to learn this in medical school, so I thought that all the critically ill patients that came to MY ED were going to die just as it happened at the rural hospital. But here, I found a group of young, dedicated physicians who were so committed and every day they were doing interesting things to patients including successful CPR which I had never seen before in my life except in movies! I looked at them and thought to myself, ‘I don’t know where these people are going but I am going to follow them anywhere because they are just amazing, and I want to be like them!’
My first month in the ED was the most interesting experience of my life. I loved it and changed my dream of cardiology and decided to make emergency medicine my career. I did EM residency with the financial support of EM physicians from the US. My EM residency is what introduced me to research! When I started, a lot of things were unknown! EM physicians were trying to create solutions for our problems that fit our setting! I decided to do research when I realized the impact my research could have to my community!
I am so happy my biggest dreams came true! Right now, I am an amazing doctor at the nicest hospital in the country, I just love going to work, it’s my passion. Guess what! 11 years ago, I fell in love and got married to a man who loves me and supports my work every day, we have a blessing of 2 lovely kids! I have an awesome family! I have so much respect for all men who support their wives career growth, YOU ROCK!
I know career in emergency medicine, and kids, has always been a challenge, but here is a perspective of where I come from! I live 29 miles from the hospital where I work which may not sound like a lot, but it takes me up to three hours to get to work because I drive through rough roads and very heavy traffic every day! Sometimes when it rains, I must change my timetable completely because there is no way to get to hospital from my home. I deal with frequent loss of power and internet connection which makes it so difficult to work as a researcher. My husband is an agricultural specialist and I come from a family of farmers, I spare time for farming and I even keep chicken at my house.
So, if you put it all together, you would think my life is chaos, but it’s not, simply because I I learnt important principles that govern my daily life!
- PASSION: Find it, follow it! Do something you love, it’s easier to commit succeed
- ROLE MODELS: very powerful, people whose behavior serves as an example, you want to be like them
- ORGANIZATION: plan your days and respect your plans, learn to say no when your plate is full
- CONSISTENCY: be consistent! If you do anything regularly as a habit, you will end up getting results, good or bad.
- PERSISTENCE: it pays off! There are many obstacles to achieving our career goals as women! we should keep going despite difficulties or opposition
- MENTORSHIP: choose mentors and learn from them because ‘an apple doesn’t fall far from the Tree’
- MAKE IT WORTHYWHILE: Be good job at your job! When you are with your family, really be with them. Pursue your dreams for the sake of those who sacrifice so much to support our busy life, don’t let them down!
Watch the FIX18 talk below!