Ten years after arriving in Canada from Ghana, Ananda Kuatsidzo is now a doctor.
The 28-year-old got a scholarship to study at Dalhousie University in Halifax after high school. She got her Bachelor of Science degree and worked for a couple years before continuing her medical journey at the University of Manitoba.
Kuatsidzo is among the many taking part in the 139th Annual Spring Convocation at the U of M, as graduates of the Max Rady College of Medicine and the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences receive degrees Thursday.
“It feels absolutely amazing. The four years have been pretty challenging. You go through a lot of tough situations,” Kuatsidzo told 680 CJOB. “To actually be a part of the class of 2018, that all the hard work is paying off, it’s pretty gratifying.”
Four years of medical school is difficult for anyone, but there was an extra hurdle for Kuatsidzo this year: she gave birth her son, Elorm, ten weeks ago.
“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family,” Kuatsidzo said. “The university has actually been helping me tremendously, moving my schedule around and accommodating all of my personal needs so that I could graduate on time. It’s taken a whole village so I’m really, really grateful.”
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Next up for Kuatsidzo is an internal medicine residency in Winnipeg, and as an immigrant herself, she wants to contribute to the community of newcomers in this city.
“Language is the number one barrier, because if you can’t communicate with people in your environment, there’s really nothing you can do,” Kuatsidzo explained.
“I’ve worked with a lot of immigrants, and I’ve noticed the positive change that happens when they’re actually able to talk to people, to find jobs and pursue their dreams. Some of them need someone to advocate for them, to point them to where resources are, so I’m really passionate about that.”
Another new doctor is Janine Grenier, who grew up in a small town and was inspired to get into medicine by her local doctors.
“Just seeing how passionate they were about helping the community and how much the community relied on them and was really proud to have these physicians, it’s hard not to want to be a doctor in a small town when you see that growing up,” Grenier said. “Just being able to contribute to my community like that is really important to me.”
Grenier will now do a rural family residency in Portage for the next two years, after which she hopes to open a rural practice of her own.
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