Born and raised in a developing country where there was a big shortage of doctors, I had to wait long lines and many hours before being examined by a doctor. There as I child, I began to realize the irreplaceable value of physicians and my interest of becoming a doctor sparked.
I trained in medicine in a country where infectious diseases were prevalent. Realizing infectious microbes can be the culprit behind both communicable and non-communicable diseases, autoimmunity and even cancer compelled me to dig deeper in to molecular medicine and immunology. Hence, before starting internal medicine residency, I spent time in doctoral and postdoctoral studies in biomedical research that allowed me to have a zoomed-in understanding of an aspect host-pathogen interactions.
I like internal medicine because it is a field of medicine that is dynamic, interactive and expanding. I feel internal medicine is the mother of all other medical specialties. My short and long-term career goals are to practice academic internal medicine and hospital medicine.
I chose Vidant Medical Center Program at East Carolina University The Brody School of Medicine because it offers a unique and comprehensive opportunity to train in internal medicine. As a large primary and referral medical center, Vidant has almost all the medical specialties and experts. The pathologies encountered are diverse and complex. This makes it an ideal environment for all-round training in internal medicine. Vidant is a place where young doctors get the best training experience to grow professionally. I am glad to be part of this evolving team.
Growing up in Cameroon, Africa, I always wanted to be like the one woman I knew best, my mother. It was her that inspired me to pursue a career in medicine.
As a medical doctor from Ukraine, her blonde hair and green eyes made her stand out in our city Douala. However, it was her dedication to her patients that truly made her special. Although she died young, she left a lasting impact on people. As a child at the time, I did not realize this until a large number of her patients came to pay their respects at the funeral. That level of devotion and commitment to patient care is what I strive for.
While my mother began her medical career as a doctor, I started mine as a nurse in Washington D.C. However, like anyone with big dreams, I came to a point where I had to make a decision about what I wanted my life to look like. Even with the added challenge of raising my son as a single mother, I knew it was time to take the plunge and train to become a medical doctor. A more holistic approach to patient care, and the satisfaction of seeing the difference my work brings to those that come in ill turned out to be the right career move for me.
Being a people person, I chose Vidant primarily for the people. However, the opportunities available to me such as the fellowship programs and the exposure to areas such as the cardiac center were contributing factors. Ultimately, I chose Vidant because I know that here, I can become the best doctor that I can be and closer to my heart, the type of doctor my mother would be proud of.
On my road to VMC, I was influenced to pursue internal medicine. Each patient has a unique story beyond the pathophysiologic processes, diagnoses and treatment regimens. I admired my supervisors who took the time to explain what was going on to the patient. I realized throughout my time in internal medicine that it was not always the treatment that put the patient at ease, but also the communication between the patient and the doctor. I learned that just prescribing was not always the perfect solution. I always want to strive for excellence not only for myself, but also for my future patients. I want to constantly reevaluate myself both as a clinician striving towards perfection and as a person striving towards empathy for my patients.
In Greenville, I saw an opportunity to grow and learn, not only from my colleagues and supervisors but also my patients. At VMC, I knew I had multiple opportunities to be the best physician for my patients. I also felt a great sense of community and friendship within the residency and fellowship program that I felt drawn to.
What I realize now is that life as a physician is not about getting one answer and being satisfied, it is about the challenges and learning opportunities and to never stop learning. Every day is a new journey and chance for me to learn. It is not enough for me to know how to make a diagnosis and provide treatment. I always need to understand the rationale behind a decision that I make so that I may always do what is best for the patient.
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