A mother and daughter have made history becoming the first to graduate from medical school at the same time.
Dr Cynthia Kudji, 49, and her daughter, Dr Jasmine Kudji, 26, attended medical school at the same time, kilometres apart but found out they had been placed at the same hospital to complete their residency.
“We were so excited,” Jasmine told NBC.
“Our life has never been planned, and you never know what’s going to happen. It was one of the best moments of my life,” she added.
Cynthia emigrated to the United States from Ghanna when she was two years old and it wasn’t until a family trip back to her home country when she was 17 that she was inspired to work in the medical field.
She told NBC she saw how desperate people were for medical care when a stranger asked her to help treat her ill child.
“It jolted me because her only form of health care was a complete stranger,” said Cynthia.
“I thought, ‘You know what? What can I possibly do to change that, leave an impact, and make a difference?’” she added.
Her dreams of becoming a doctor were put on hold when she became pregnant with her daughter Jasmine as a senior in High School and raised her alone.
So instead Cynthia attended university for nursing school and worked as nurse for nearly a decade before she decided that she still wanted to become a physician.
Cynthia went to the university of Medicine and Health Sciences in the Caribbean while her daughter, inspired by her mother, attended Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans.
The pair have now matched to complete their residencies at the same institution and they couldn’t be happier.
“I always tell people we laugh together, we study together, we cry together. I think medical school is one of those experiences that you don’t truly understand until you’re in it. Sometimes people struggle to find someone who relates to their struggles, so for that person to be my mum was extremely helpful,” Jasmine told Power 1051.
Ready to take on COVID-19
The two are keen to start their residency and aren’t phased by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Despite the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases in New Orleans, I am still very excited to begin my residency. This is an extraordinary time in medical history, and I am proud I will soon be able to help and learn in any way possible,” Jasmine said.
While Cynthia added her “biggest concern during the COVID-19 crisis is making sure that my child is protected, as well as myself”, but she is ready for the challenge.
“I have learned, and I have shared this with Jasmine, that when there is adversity there is also opportunity. This is the perfect time for physicians to show their leadership. This is why Jasmine and I became physicians. We want to be a part of the front-line team that impacts the community that we live in.”
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