I had a neighbour who was a doctor. We grew into good friends and every time we would meet, he would proudly share the experiences he had while practising medicine. Time by time, I grew fond of his devotion and passion towards his career. On realising how passionate and interested I had become, he slowly nurtured me and would invite me to his private clinic for simple medical procedures before I joined a medical school.
Name: Ezekiel Maina
Occupation: Clinical Officer, BsCM
Place of work: Plainsview Hospital, Ruiru
Years of practise: 9 Years
ESTHER: What motivated you to practise medicine?
Ezekiel: I had a neighbour who was a doctor. We grew into good friends and every time we would meet, he would proudly share the experiences he had while practising medicine. Time by time, I grew fond of his devotion and passion towards his career. On realising how passionate and interested I had become, he slowly nurtured me and would invite me to his private clinic for simple medical procedures before I joined a medical school.
He remains my role model and I always consult him in case of complex medical cases.
ESTHER: Amazing. Why did you choose clinical medicine and not other fields such as public health or gynaecology?
Ezekiel: I believe clinical medicine is a dynamic field. Over the past years in my practise, I have been the first primary caregiver when patients come in. I’ve always wanted to be the first to handle a patient, give the correct diagnosis and best options for treatment there can be.
ESTHER: Have you tested your motivation?
Ezekiel: Yes, indeed I have tested my motivation. Everyday in my line of practice in that I offer services to my clients/patients with all my heart and dignity.
Nothing satisfies me when I treat/manage a patient and they go home even better than they came in. This has kept me going.
ESTHER: Amazing. What other course would you have taken and still pursue your motivation?
Ezekiel: I believe in speaking on behalf of the voiceless and the less fortunate in the society and representing their interests to the relevant authorities. I love politics, healthy politics.
If I never studied medicine, I would have opted to pursue political science and law.
ESTHER: Alright. So, how do you imagine the future using your medical education?
Ezekiel: I visualize using my medical education in servicing my clients, and sharing the medical knowledge I have with others and colleagues in different cadres as we exchange ideas. What is important is for us as HCPs is to join our efforts in ensuring that our patients are getting better.
ESTHER: Amazing. What other course would you pursue and why?
Ezekiel: Other than the medical field, I would pursue politics. I just love politics and taking any opportunities that arise to show leadership.
ESTHER: How have you been able to handle work-related stress and time management considering that you’re balancing between family and work?
Ezekiel: Handling work related stress is not easy but I try sharing with colleagues and in a way I find the stress subsiding. Balancing family and work too is not an easy task. But either way, the two are important and thus I try to be with my family any time I am not on duty to the maximum, and at times make them understand the kind of service I offer.
ESTHER: Great. What do you do for you?
Ezekiel: For fun, I enjoy watching football, following political journals and catching up with friends. As a political fan, interacting with people is a major thing. We exchange ideas as well.
ESTHER: What role has your family played in support of your decision to pursue medicine?
Ezekiel: My family has played a great role in influencing my pursuing medicine. They have always been there for me in all the ups and downs I have experienced throughout my whole medical journey.
They have supported me psychologically, spiritually and financially. I still look up to them even in my practise.
ESTHER: That’s a supportive family there. What have you achieved in your career course?
Ezekiel: In my career, I have achieved a number of things among them to have a good range of skills and knowledge in the medical field.
Working as a first respondent or care giver to patients has molded me into being who I am today. However, seeing a patient’s positive outcome from treatment has been my greatest achievement.
ESTHER: That is amazing. What are the experiences you have had working with sick people?
Ezekiel: The experience in working with the sick is quite a challenging one. You come across patients who have given up on their health especially for patients with long-term medical conditions and you do a lot to convince them and assure them plus supporting them in the best way possible.
But seeing them accept and getting better everyday is what encourages me to continue with my practise.
ESTHER: What excites you about clinical medicine in general?
Ezekiel: The fact that I am mostly the first medic to come into contact with the patient, take a detailed history from the patient, carry out both physical and systematic examinations, request for laboratory workups, interpret and explain the results to the patient and give treatment plan which could be either prescriptions as outpatient, admit for inpatient treatment or referral to specialists for further examination and management.
ESTHER: Do you keep yourself updated with the current medical trends?
Ezekiel: Yes I keep updating myself with current trends in medical field via reading of new books, attending workshops, following online classes in various social media platforms, attending to CMEs, updates from MOH and regular visits to websites for current management of different medical conditions.
ESTHER: What do you think are the challenges facing the Kenyan healthcare system?
Ezekiel: Challenges in health sector in Kenya are among and not limited to
a, lack of enough research bodies in different medical fields
b, under-informed society
c, poor strictures of our government hospitals and lack of some important and key machination within many hospitals
d, corruption in health sector which at times leads to lack of essential equipments, drugs and non pharmaceutical goods within the hospitals
e, the price of treatment is much expensive in some hospitals where some class of patients can’t afford
ESTHER: How do you think these challenges should be addressed?
Ezekiel: These challenges among others can be addressed by our government putting strict measures to ensure it has supported the health sector in providing all the essential goods including adequate human resources and make a strict law to govern the entire sector both public and private sectors
ESTHER: What is the vision of healthcare in Kenya?
Ezekiel: The vision of the healthcare sector in Kenya is to ensure that all Kenyans from all walks of life are provided with equitable health services despite their social status and offered quality care which all can afford.
ESTHER: And what is the vision of healthcare in East Africa?
Ezekiel: Majorly is to provide healthy, productive and competitive nations in ensuring investments in building progressive, responsive, affordable and sustainable healthcare system within the entire East Africa region to the citizens of these regions.
Written by Esther Mugo.
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