I am Kofi Boahene.
I am originally from Ghana. I am the first of seven children and this
is how my journey into medicine started. By Ghanian standards, I came from a wealthy
family but we lost that wealth pretty quickly over a short period of
time when there was coup in Ghana. It was around that same time that I saw
the faith in my parents and they became really grounded in the missionaries
and doing missionary work. I grew up in a country that
healthcare was a privilege. I saw people and from the members die of diseases that in this country is just
a simple thing to take care of. My uncle went into [inaudible
0:01:04] and never woke up. I had a friend who had joined us for some
different reason, was treated for malaria died and so healthcare was a really big deal. One of the things that motivated me to get
into medicine is how I saw physicians to come form abroad to Ghana to deliver care
and the difference they have made in people’s lives. We went straight from Ghana and we meet
students from around the world excited for our new opportunities and then we get on
the train for a day from Moscow to cross. We get accustom to our settlements
for just a day. Classes start the next day and I get
call over the group of people. I was just thinking somebody needs to
know where I am and so I can get to safety. I wasn’t being mistreated but I knew
I want where I supposed to be. One thing I gathered from the experience
of being taken from my classmates is just strength and persistence and this followed
me throughout my stay in Russia. You don’t give up easily. For a foreign student it was almost impossible
to get in to medical school. I finished my pre-medical requirements
in two years. I gained admission to med school.
I was excited about it and then two days before we start school, I am told, you are
a foreign student, we didn’t know that this is a state school, you can’t come and
it was a big, big, big disappointment. I thought you know I got so close but
maybe it wasn’t mean to be so that probably was the darkish moment and then
there was the question how are you going to pay for this.
I knocked on every door. It was more difficult than I thought so
one day, I was just walking home from school and my Chemistry professor
was jogging by. He sees me and says hi and said hey
what are you doing next year. I said I don’t know. So aren’t you going to medical
school? I said yes. I got in but I can’t find the money and he said well do you have the
forms for financially loan. I do but I can’t find somebody to co-sign
for it and he told me to run home and get the forms and meet me here.
I run as fast as I could and met him back at the junction and he got the papers
and the rest is history. It’s been 1990 to 1999, nine years that I
had not seen my mother actually and the first time I saw her was actually at
my graduation from medical school. That was I mean very joyful moment for me obviously. Not only was I graduated, I graduated the
top of my class so definitely obviously she was very, very proud and it was a
moment that I could share with her and with my dad. So here I was in graduation they called
me out, graduating fast, I got big award so I come out.
I gave them a big hug and then I repeated those three words.
I didn’t recall. Meaning I did it.
I did it. Now I find myself at the pinnacle of health
care delivery, the top hospital in the country. I really have come falsetto.
I am doing exactly what I want to do.
I am Kofi Boahene.