The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) Intern of the Year is Dr Mohammed Sallu.
This morning, Dr Sallu received the award from the Deputy Chairman of the QEH Board, Dr Abdul-Rehman Mohamed, for his outstanding performance during his one-year internship, which ended in June.
The young doctor told members of the media that he was feeling great about his achievement.
“The journey wasn’t an easy one, obviously. From before, a lot of past interns told me it was going to be a very difficult experience including lots of sleepless nights, which is true.
“The reality only kicked in about the difference between a medical student and an intern, when you realise that you are no longer sheltered behind your seniors and you are actually the first point of contact with patients,” Dr Sallu said as he reflected on his experience.
The Intern of the Year said he enjoyed all of his rotations. However, he said he had an especially good time in the surgery department.
“I am waiting for a spot to open in surgery. I plan to apply for the surgery programme and hopefully get through,” he said.
If you have an interest in pursuing a career in medicine, just go ahead and do it, Dr Sallu advised.
“It’s really worth it. It is a very enjoyable field with a vast variety of specialties and there is so much you can do in medicine,” he said.
There were four other outstanding interns who were honoured for their hard work and dedication. They were Dr Elsa-Ruth Arthur, Dr Kimberley Banfield, Dr Daniella Estwick and Dr Tyra Waithe.
Dr Banfield told members of the media she was happy to be recognized for her hard work. She said it was an extremely difficult year working every three to four days on call.
“It is extremely stressful, but you just have to try your best and dedicate yourself to your patients. I love pediatrics so I really enjoyed taking care of the babies in NICU [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit] and on the ward,” Dr Banfield said.
Dr Banfield, who indicated that she would be working outside of QEH at this time, said she was looking forward to taking external examinations to go overseas to specialise in pediatrics.
Meanwhile, Dr Arthur who also stated that it was a difficult year, said she always placed patient care first. Dr Arthur thanked her family, friends and colleagues who remained at her side and encouraged her to keep going.
“I came into medical school wanting to do obstetrics and gynaecology and that is still my goal. I enjoyed that rotation during my internship and I hope to continue in that direction,” Dr Arthur said.
Dr Daniella Estwick, daughter of former Member of Parliament Dr David Estwick, said though the internship was “extremely difficult”, it was still fun.
“We were one close-knit year. We all leaned on each other. Without each other we don’t think we would have gotten through this. But the experiences we gained were priceless.
“I am actually very proud that I had a great mentor. He was with me throughout it all. He taught me what to do, and what not to do. He still let me make my own little mistakes and learn from them, but without him it was not possible, so thank you, daddy,” Dr Estwick said. Adding that she enjoyed her rotation in the internal medicine department.
Internship Coordinator Dr Clyde Cave congratulated the interns who had to work long hours. He said choosing those who were awarded for their outstanding performances was not an easy task since it was a competitive race.
“The selection committee [comprised] the chief residents from all of our four major departments and the heads of departments. Left to them, I think our shortlist was down to eleven and we had to work really hard to cut down that number.
“Each one of you has been outstanding in many ways. Every doctor has his or her own bedside manner, for lack of a better term, to bring something special to the profession and we are really very proud of all of you. We expect you to do good things as you continue in a career that is going to be very demanding and will take a whole lot out of you,” Dr Cave said. (AH)