This post is the fourth in a series of interviews from women and girls at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) in Georgetown, Guyana.
I’m here in Georgetown, Guyana to conduct interviews with inspiring women and girls and to listen to their stories. Recently, I met Dr. Priscilla Joseph, 30, in the GPHC emergency department. A role model for girls around the world, Priscilla filled me in on why she wanted to become a doctor and who inspires her.
What made you interested in becoming a doctor?
A: I wanted to be a doctor because I love helping people. My parents were also a great influence in my life because they recognized my interest and wholeheartedly supported and emphasized the importance of education in life – but particularly in order to become a nurse.
What is your favorite part about being a doctor?
A: In my opinion, seeing the successful health outcomes and seeing patients survive traumatic accidents and illness is the greatest part about being a doctor.
Who inspires you and why?
A: When I was younger, I read the book Gifted Hands by Ben Carson. Carson is a neurosurgeon and grew up in poverty. When he was young, he never thought success was attainable, but he continued to persevere and was determined to prove himself wrong. Eventually, he became the first doctor to separate Siamese twins. It just goes to show that if you’re disciplined in your passion, you can do anything.
Why is women’s health important to you?
“By working with [youths], I hope to inspire them to become whatever they want to be – and I’m proud of that.”
A: When women have sexual and reproductive health problems, that negatively influences their outlook on life. Not having the choice to choose whether or not to have a baby and not being able to be reproductive are two very different things.
What are some challenges you have faced?
A: Some patients will never accept the fact that a woman is their doctor. This is really annoying. Patients will call you ‘nurse’ and all you can do is correct them or ignore them and continue working. Also, financial restraints are always challenging. I often pull more shifts for the extra money.
What is the one thing you’re most proud of in your career or in life?
A: I can be a great influence to patients and youths. Besides being a doctor, I also work with youth groups in more rural areas. For them, it is uncommon to meet and know doctors, especially female doctors. By working with them, I hope to inspire them to become whatever they want to be – and I’m proud of that.
What advice would you give to young women and girls who want to make a difference?
A: You must find your passion and do your best at what you love.