A young female graduate has earned admiration from members of the public for breaking the glass ceiling to set a new record in the field of health professionals in Ghana.
At 21 years, Miss Erica Maame Abena Pomaa Ntiamoah Mensah is probably the youngest medical doctor after successfully completing her medical programme at the Accra College of Medicine.
Prior to the accomplishment, the record was held by Dr Vanessa Aseye Mensah-Kabu, who became the youngest medical doctor for her batch in 2015 after being inducted in Ghana at age 22.
Dr Mensah-Kabu graduated from DaLian Medical University in the People’s Republic of China following her Senior High School education at Holy Child School in Cape Coast.
For Dr Ntiamoah Mensah, she started her education at the CPF Baby College at Achimota and continued to Mary Mother of Good Counsel School at West Airport, Accra.
She completed junior high school at Ridge Church School also in Accra.
She had her secondary education at Achimota School and gained admission to Accra College of Medicine, a private and independent Medical School located in Accra.
Dr Ntiamoah Mensah shared her success story with the Assistant Editor of The Mirror, Hadiza Nuhhu-Billa Quansah (HNBQ), recounting her challenges in medical school and her future plans among others.
Read excerpts from the interview as published by Graphic Online below:
HNBQ: How does it feel being called a medical doctor at the age of 21?
ENM: I’m grateful to God, my parents and the prayers of my grandmother for making this happen.
It was so reassuring and fulfilling when I received a message from the eminent paediatric surgeon, Professor Afua Hesse, congratulating me and ushering me into the medical profession.
I am grateful to all the great people who contributed to my academic upbringing, especially Prof. and Rev. Hesse, for the opportunity, mentorship and training.
HNBQ: What inspired you to go into the study of medicine?
ENM: Growing up, I saw a lot of people around me in the field of medicine.
Therefore, I grew to appreciate the profession and fell in love with it.
I had the passion of helping people in terms of their health which my father introduced me to at a tender age and I would say that has been my greatest motivation for going into medicine.
HNBQ: That is wonderful. Do you have any interest in a specialised area of medicine?
ENM: I have developed an interest in women’s health and assisted reproductive technology.
Women suffer from a myriad of peculiar ailments and need attention and care.
It is my aim to also build on the foundation which my father who is also a medical doctor has laid when it comes to Women’s Health Advocacy.
HNBQ: Did you encounter any challenge during your time of studies?
ENM: Medical School was not a walk in the park.
It was involving, demanding, challenging and at times rigorous but by God’s grace, I was able to surmount all the challenges.
HNBQ: What were your favourite subjects?
ENM: I enjoyed my Obstetrics and Gynaecology rotations so much, I would say that was my favourite.
HNBQ: Would you like to work in a public or private health facility?
ENM: I would like to work anywhere that I would be relevant, and be able to give back to society, be it public or private.
I would also like to pursue academia and work where I can impart knowledge to the next generation.
The focus for me is to work wherever the need is, with the focus of helping people.
HNBQ: What are your future plans?
ENM: I recently had a chat with my father, Dr Eric Ntiamoah Mensah, and he encouraged and advised me to pursue relevance and not money.
I have aligned my thoughts with this advice.
My future plans are to pursue relevance, study more, go higher and endeavour to shine in any field or activity that would make me relevant to society.
It is my desire to positively impact the lives of the underprivileged, women and children.
HNBQ: How do you unwind when you are not studying medical books?
ENM: I unwind by sleeping and watching movies.
In my final year, sleep was a scarce commodity for me, so I always tried to sneak in to sleep for a few hours at the slightest opportunity.
HNBQ: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
ENM: In the near future, I envision myself as one of the people championing the cause of women, children and the less privileged in society.
It is my dream to be relevant to society, especially those who are in dire need of medical attention but are unable to seek such help due to financial constraints.