I have always wanted to practice medicine since I was young with the promises we used to say
back in time “ when we grow up who we want to be”.
Occupation: Registered Clinical Officer
Speciality: Critical Care and Emergency
Place of work: Private Practise
Years of Practise:
Esther: Thank you for taking time to share your story with us Allan. Before we begin, please tell us a brief history about yourself.
Allan: My name Allan Too. I am an Emergency and Critical Care Clinician, currently practicing at a Private
Hospital in Nairobi. I Started Schooling at Kimalel Primary School in Baringo, thereafter I joined Kapenguria Boys High School (2007-2011). I later Joined KMTC Nakuru to pursue My Basic Diploma in Clinical Medicine and Surgery(2012-2016). 3 years after completion I pursued a Higher Diploma in Emergency and Critical Medicine at KMTC Nairobi 2019-2021.
Esther: Thank you Allan. Onto my first question, what motivated you to practise Medicine?
Allan: I have always wanted to practice medicine since I was young with the promises we used to say
back in time “ when we grow up who we want to be”. But my elder Sister who is this field as well
was the one who really motivated and made my dream come true, through her family physician
role at home she inspired me. When people would get sick at home they would look upto her and
consult her on the management and the way forward.
Esther: Wow, that’s amazing. Why did you choose Medicine and not other fields such as Nursing or
Allan: I Chose Medicine and Emergency medicine in particular for me I can say it’s an exciting and self-rewarding choice of career for people who like saving lives under intense situations. Personally I got attracted to the variety of challenges we face at the ER with different patient presentation and the timely solutions we offer to save their lives. To outsiders the ER may appear chaotic, but with competent ER clinicians and nurses who love their calling coordinating these complex situations, depending on each person to do their jobs at the right time, is itself fulfilling and motivating. And when all this happens our patients are well cared for, and the ED hums along a steady rhythm, and that to me that is heaven on earth.
Esther: I just love how passionate you are towards your job. That would lead me to ask, have you tested your motivation?
Allan: Yes I have, during my early years of practice, I practiced as a clinical officer in the slums of Kibera and being in that environment really taught me alot, handling emergencies ranging from physical traumas, to obstetric and other medical emergencies in a low resource setting was tough, but by the little knowledge I had then in this field and God’s grace. I never lost a patient through the timely
interventions I made including even making timely referrals when necessary after stabilizing them from the life threatening issues they faced.
Esther: Excellent! What if you were not accepted at medical school, would you have an alternative career plan and still pursue your motivation?
Allan: I would have perhaps done something on IT or computer science as I am interested in technology as well but it wouldn’t have fully fulfilled my motivation as it is today in medicine, perhaps if it would have been something on medical technology the better.
Esther: How do you visualize using your medical education?
Allan: I see good health of the mind , body and soul , as a precious gift which we should be grateful for and we should guard it with all that it takes ,like our lives depends on it, because it does.
Esther: That’s a very clear vision. Which other field would you like to pursue and why?
Allan: Catering. I personally like Good and healthy food and as they say “if you don’t take food as your medicine. You will take medicine as your food”, and I would like to achieve this by having the skills and knowledge to cook healthy delicious food.
Esther: I love that. I am also interested in catering services. I make a good home chef too! Anyway, back to our questions, how have you been able to handle work-related stress and time management considering that you’re balancing between family/individual and work?
Allan: I haven’t had much trouble achieving this as I am still a bachelor and my immediate family is away from me but I do manage to call them almost everyday even through video calls we see each other. And as well I do take my time offs seriously and detach from work ,at least twice a week i remember to take care of myself as I can’t pour from an empty cup, I go out with friends or alone, to recharge and refill before of a busy week ahead.
Esther: Tell us Allan, what do you do for fun?
Allan: I like playing football, hiking and visiting new places.
Esther: That is great. What role has your family played to influence your decision in pursuing Medicine?
Allan: As I had mentioned earlier, my elder sister besides my sincere passion to be in this field was the
one who influenced me fully to be in this field. And a big thanks to my parents and also especially to my big brother Jackson who really supported me to this far in pursuing this career of medicine even further during my specialization in emergency medicine. Financially, emotionally and by their prayers and good will am forever grateful to them.
Esther: A very supportive family you have right there. What have you achieved in your career course?
Allan: I have been able to acquire skills in basic and advanced life support among others which I have applied to navigate through difficult situations in patient’s resuscitations and management. I was able to come out with better outcomes in their disease progression. That to me is more fulfilling and satisfying more than any salary being offered.
Esther: Congratulations on your achievements. What are the experiences you have had working with sick people?
Allan: I have had my highs and lows in working with patients, there are days that were good and others not so good. But all in all i can say teamwork and understanding and being good at one’s person’s role in your set up, including being empathic to the patients has come in handy many a times. Especially when trying to explain and be comprehensive to patients or their relatives in the different turn of events during their management in a manner that they feel satisfied. Even when things didn’t go as planned the response from most of them has been encouraging. As for the many that turned out well I was happy and grateful to be of service to their well being and making their lives bearable and fulfilling.
Esther: What exactly excites you about medicine in general?
Allan: The Dynamism of Medicine overtime and even as new infections and pandemics emerge, there has been quick researchers across the world who came up with solutions to mitigate their spread. And also the evolving medical technology as well that have aided in the diagnosis and management of conditions that were previously not easily and timely managed. POCUS is a good example of these
technologies among others.
Esther: Do you keep yourself updated with the latest medical trends?
Allan: Yes I do, through attending CMEs in different sites like medscape, Daktari online of Emergency Medicine Kenya foundation and reading online articles from different health websites such as Pubmed, Google scholar etc.
Esther: Amazing. What do you see as challenges in the health sector in Kenya today?
Allan: Some of the challenges we are facing is inadequate trained staff in our public and private facilities. The ratio of healthcare workers to that of the patient is uneven, including demotivating of the existing staff through poor working conditions, inadequate facilities and healthcare resources leading to poor services being received by the patients.
Esther: And how do you think these challenges should be addressed?
Allan: I think the Kenyan government can start by implementing the proposed policies from the different healthcare task forces including honoring collective bargaining agreements with HCWs starting from the primary level to tertiary. Our health care ministry and different ministries as well are aware of what is ailing our sector and have made good proposals but the only issue is implementation.
Esther: Thank you. We are almost winding up. What is the vision of healthcare in Kenya?
Allan: To provide equitable and timely healthcare care services needed to every persons without having
to suffer financial hardships
Esther: Last but not least, what is the vision of healthcare in East and Central Africa?
Allan: To strengthen and specialize east Africa’s healthcare services to aid those in greatest of need without having to travel abroad in search of these services.
Esther: Thank you so much for your time Allan.
Written by Esther Mugo.
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