Ismail juggles motherhood, master's and medicine

31 May 2010

Dr Majedah Ismail with her son, Maahir, and husband, Dr Moegamad Shukri RabanBalancing act: Dr Majedah Ismail will graduate this week after completing her MFamMed degree. She was photographed with her son, Maahir, and husband, Dr Moegamad Shukri Raban.

A full-time medical master's is time consuming enough - but Dr Majedah Ismail somehow also managed to squeeze in getting married, having a baby, and starting work on the second while completing her MFamMed.

And with all this added to her work-load as a full?time doctor and managing an antiretroviral clinic, it's no surprise that Ismail's road to her master's was more challenging than most.

"It was difficult at times," admits Ismail. "I had to juggle work, getting married to a doctor who was also studying at the time - he qualified as a paediatrician in September 2009 - and having a baby on 17 December 2008. So yes, my hands have been full."

Ismail's master's on how patients with HIV manage neuropathic pain - an extreme leg pain common in patients with HIV - is another achievement in her diverse range of skills, which includes a diploma on HIV and a course on travel medicine.

"I would not have made it this far without the support of my family, my colleagues, as well as my supervisors, Dr Beverley Schweitzer and Dr Jeanine Heckmann, who have been a real inspiration to me and pushed me to go forward when I lacked the energy and motivation to do so."

Now, with her second child expected to arrive sometime this week, Ismail expects her studies to take a back seat - at least for a short while.

"As for future plans, having a baby is priority number one for now," says Ismail. "But then I'm also thinking of what I could study next! Although I did say, 'not again' at the time."

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