By Richard Bhainie
With no intention of pursuing a career in medicine, a young Ashwant Mohabir sought the guidance of his mother to aid his decision-making on what career path he should choose.
Ironically, it was his mother’s guidance which resulted in Mohabir becoming the best graduating student from the doctor of medicine programme at the Texila American University (TAU) in 2022.
Speaking to the News Room at his graduation ceremony which was held at the university’s Providence, East Bank Demerara campus on Friday, Mohabir said that his mother “knowing him more than himself” led to his accomplishment.
“When I asked my mom what she thinks I should pursue, she was like we never had a doctor in the family so maybe you should consider giving it a go and my mom would always say that she knows me better than I know myself, today was a testament to that,” Mohabir said.
The 27-year-old described the start of his academic journey at TAU as simple, noting it was not hard since most of the work was theory based, however as he progressed and entered clinical rotation years, the programme got tough.
“Working at the hospital all the tiring hours, early morning for rounds – it took a toll on you.
“Sometimes you would get a two or three hours sleep, sometimes none at all preparing for exams, so towards that end it was very tough,” he said.
However, Mohabir was adamant that it was the “tough end” which he enjoyed the most as those years are the ones he believe contributed mostly to his growth as an individual and moulded him to deal with any future challenges.
While delivering his valedictorian speech, Mohabir reminisced on the continuous effort and struggle it took to complete his degree, something which he said paid off “tenfold.”
“If there is one thing about these efforts and struggles that we have endured is that they have paid off tenfold and now we stand in the precipice of joining one of the most noble professions in the medical field and giving service to something greater than us – humanity,” he said.
What was intended to be a four-year course ended up being six years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, overall, Mohabir said he “thoroughly enjoyed” the programme as he made lifelong friends and precious memories.
He thanked his family and friends whom he described as his support system throughout his journey – something which played a major role in getting him where he is today.
Mohabir will now proceed to complete his internship at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) before continuing his studies in a specialised area of medicine. So far, he has considered the field of orthopaedics.
“My mind is focused on orthopaedics, that’s where I have a little more passion, a little more love for or something surgical wise, because something about bones is just fascinating to me and the surgeries, they all look tedious,” he said.
He encouraged prospective and current medical students to “always keep pushing ahead” and to believe in themselves because even though the journey may get tough, the end results are fruitful.