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DOCTOR’S PROFILE: Magdalene Maritim

Welcome dear subscriber to yet another existing episode where we share doctors stories! Magdalene Maritim is a medical student from Kenya Methodist University. Let’s listen to her story!

Esther: Thank you so much for having us and allowing us to share your story. First and foremost, please tell us, in brief about yourself.

Dr Magdalene: My name is Magdalene Maritim, a sixth year medical student at Kenya Methodist University. I was born in Bomet county and spent most of my childhood there. I did my KCPE exams
in Rorok Victory Academy, Elgeyo Marakwet County where I performed well and joined Moi Girls’ High school, Eldoret.

Throughout my schooling I enjoyed being part of the drama and music activities. I was also a member of St. John Ambulance in high school. I joined Kenya Methodist University in 2017 to study Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of surgery.

Motivation behind practising medicine

Dr Magdalene: I grew up around medical professionals and the hospital; my mother being a nurse was
one of the greatest reasons for me getting drawn into the medical field. From a young age, I was drawn to helping people and wanting to alleviate their suffering. I could say that medicine chose me because any chance I got to learn first aid skills, I took it. I always wanted that opportunity to be part of the solution for people and fixing whatever was ailing them.

Esther: Amazing, and why did you choose Medicine and not other fields such as Public Health or Nursing?

Dr Magdalene: I believe that medicine is where I can fulfil my potential. I’ve always admired the ability
to determine the cause of a patient’s condition from their description of their symptoms
and make decisions in order to give them the best possible outcome.

My interest in surgery was also a motivating factor in choosing medicine since it puts me in a position
where I can explore that interest.

Esther: What do you like most about practising medicine and why?

Dr Magdalene: During my elective period, I had the chance to admit a patient and be part of their
management to the point where they were discharged. That was the best feeling; getting to see the patient progressively getting better and knowing that I was part of the process. That also gives me the motivation to keep going whenever I feel overwhelmed, knowing that I can make a difference in someone’s life.

Accomplishment and vision in medicine

Dr Magdalene: My goal is to grow my skills and be the best doctor I can be and be a motivation to

Esther: Speaking of visualisation, how do you visualise using your Medical education?

Dr Magdalene: There are four ways in which I visualise using my medical education:
a)First, to educate people on healthy lifestyle practices and prevention of diseases
b)Using knowledge gained to treat illnesses and manage patients
c)Influencing health policies to ensure best possible healthcare is provided
d)Finally, research to figure out new and improved way to provide health care.

Esther: Wow, that’s a very well articulated vision. Keep up!
Which other medical field would you want to pursue and why?

Dr Magdalene: I would like to go into surgery because I think that is where my strength lies. Another
reason is, I really enjoy studying anatomy and surgery. Moreover, it is a challenging field that demands a lot and teaches one to perform under pressure and I would like a field that pushes me to reach my full potential.

Collaborating to improve patients outcome

Dr Magdalene: What I’ve learnt throughout medical school is that medicine is a team sport. Therefore I
make it a point to be willing to listen and learn from all the healthcare providers I interact with and I’m not afraid to ask questions where I need clarification. Knowing what is expected of me and ensuring that I play that role also helps those around me to trust that I will do my part as they do theirs. Respect is also an important part of all interactions.

Esther: How do you approach diagnoses and treatments for patient?

Dr Magdalene: Taking a good history and doing investigations to guide in making a diagnosis. Treatment
can be based on the symptoms or cause of the illness.

Esther: As a doctor, what is your philosophy with medicine and treating patients?

Dr Magdalene: My philosophy is to treat every patient how I would want to be treated. Recognizing that
every patient has emotions too and giving them the best treatment emotionally and

My other life

Esther: Working as a doctor can sometimes be exhausting, how have you been able to handle work-related stress and time management considering that you’re balancing between family/individual and work?

Dr Magdalene: Coming up with a daily routine and ensuring that I follow it has helped a lot. This helps
me allocate adequate time for each task. However, this requires a lot of discipline ensure
that I have accomplished what was set aside for that day. When I feel overwhelmed or
exhausted I take a step back to rest especially during the weekends before resuming my
day to day activities.

Esther: And what do you do for fun?

Dr Magdalene: I love adventure, which entails travelling to new places and learning new skills when I
can. I also crochet and knit. Other than that I also enjoy reading novels and watching movies.

The medical career

Dr Magdalene: Medicine is an ongoing learning experience and it is at times challenging to find the time
to keep studying and updating my knowledge in medicine while also going about the day to day activities. It is an ongoing process trying to figure it out but I am taking one day day at a time, improving consistently each day.

Esther: Over the years, what have you achieved in your medical career course?

Dr Magdalene: My achievements this far are getting to the final year of medical school which is not an
easy feat. I’ve also grown my interpersonal skills a lot. The main ones being empathy and patience. Empathy is the ability to understand someone’s situation from their perspective.

For that to happen, it requires patience to listen to what the other person has to say. Since I’ve also been a patient before, I realised that it makes a big difference when the doctor actually listens to what you have to say.

Esther: What are the experiences working with sick people?

Dr Magdalene: It is a fulfilling experience since at the end of the day I feel like I have contributed in
helping someone. However, it can be challenging since not all outcomes are usually positive

Esther: What excites you about medicine in general?

Dr Magdalene: The chance to be part of the solution to someone’s problem therefore making a difference in their life. A patient coming in at their lowest and being able to help them through it until they feel better is fulfilling. The ongoing learning experience is also exciting, since there is something new to discover everyday

Esther: Do you keep yourself updated with current trends?

Dr Magdalene: Yes, I do. I do this by reading journal and keeping up with the current advancements in

Challenges in the medical field

Dr Magdalene: One of the major issues facing doctors today is mental illness such as depression which
could lead to suicide. This can be triggered by heavy workload, poor working conditions, unemployment and loss of patients.

Doctors are affected by loss of their patients since even after giving their all in management of the patient, anything could go wrong. A clear paradox is despite hospitals being understaffed and doctors being overworked, there are people who are still unemployed

Esther: How do you think these challenges should be addressed?

Dr Magdalene: The government needs to employ as many doctors as possible. This will reduce working
hours and give the doctors time to take breaks which is good for their mental health. In line with that, more resources should be put in place to support doctors psychologically.

More funds should also be allocated into healthcare to help with the resources and improve quality of healthcare

Esther: Where do you see Kenya in terms of Healthcare in years to come?

Dr Magdalene: I had the privilege of spending my elective period in an institution that had a paperless
system, that is all their patients’ information were on a portal. The patient’s data was entered into the online portal and could be accessed in different departments only within the hospital.

With the increase in technological advancement, I think most health care facilities will incorporate this to their system. This will help keep accurate patients’ records without the risk of miscommunication or misplacement of information

Esther: Where do you see Africa in terms of Healthcare in years to come?

Dr Magdalene: In relation to technology, I think Africa will grow more in incorporating technology to
healthcare. African countries will link up among themselves and work on improving the quality of healthcare.

Esther: Thank you so much for your time.

African Health Care Professionalsclick here!

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