Dr Fatima Gaya is a recent graduate of the Bayero University Kano where she studied medicine and surgery. In this interview, she talks about her journey and how she never contemplated giving up despite ‘medicine being a tough study’.
How does it feel after achieving your goal?
I feel great and excited; it’s a dream come true. Alhamdulillah.
How would you describe the journey?
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It was a tough journey with many hurdles. Medical school is hard physically, mentally and emotionally, and the duration of the training is quite long, especially with the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ‘infamous’ ASUU strikes. Not just the studying, the little or no holidays, and the frequent exams. It requires dedication and hard work.
Was there any point at which you felt like giving up?
No, I love medicine. I am passionate about the profession. It is something I want for myself because I have a genuine desire to help people. It is one of the most intense and rewarding experiences in life; it is not easy, but it is worth it.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
I want to be a good doctor. I have not yet decided on the specialty I want to go into, but whatever I choose, I hope it will be the best for me. I want to be successful, hopefully, a professor one day.
What advice do you have for young students hoping to emulate you?
They should make sure it is something they truly want and not just to live someone’s dream; if not, they are in for a tougher ride. They should pray hard, work hard, trust the process, and believe in themselves.
How supportive were your family?
Alhamdulillah, my family was very supportive throughout my medical school years. I wouldn’t be here today without their full support, du’a and encouragement.
What advice do you have for parents who are sceptical about educating girls?
Parents should really look at the positive side of their female children’s education. I believe girl child education is necessary. As commonly said, when you educate a girl child, an entire nation benefits, as women are the foundation of society.
Evidence has shown that women with formal education have better knowledge and understanding of health practices. Also, the need for more female doctors in maternal and child health cannot be overemphasised. These, in the long run, benefit the economy and society at large.
What are your final words?
I want to thank my parents and siblings for all their love and care, the support that they provided is a real treasure. My mum whom I wish was here, may Jannatu Firdaus be her final abode.
I will like to thank my teachers and lecturers who taught me well, they gave me inspiration to strive for perfection.
My classmates, ‘The Pacemakers’, I want to remind you to never stop learning, and never forget that medicine is an art practised by doctors.
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