This month I want to share my feelings and tell a story, a story of sacrifice, of learning, of friendship, and life lessons: a story that began 13 years ago. I decided to study medicine to relieve the pain of the most afflicted because medicine is a career in which we are at the service of our neighbor as well as our own advancement and self-improvement. Deep inside my soul had been planted the seed of a vocation for medicine. I did not choose medicine, it chose me. I knew I had all the qualities to be a good doctor.
All my life we lived sheltered by the warmth of our homes, but the time came to leave. Holding back tears we tried to change the sadness of leaving for the hope of pursuing our longing. We filled a bag with memories, hope, and courage. After a strong embrace with our family, we closed our eyes and set them on our goal. We were warned that the days ahead would be hard, that we would spend long sleepless nights and we would say goodbye to our social life. We arrived in a new land. Many of us knew nothing and no one. We were in a new culture, new traditions, new places. Meeting the enrollment requirements was already a challenge and we were surprised to find that many aspired to the career we wanted. The competition was difficult in the introductory course but we finally managed to enter the program. We were officially only 30 students at that moment and we were privileged. When the first day of classes arrived, we had only one classroom and the library was very limited. It was there where we met our first classmates who gradually became friends, then sisters.
When we first entered the medical program we thought the career would be done with two years in URACCAN University at Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas and then the rest at UNAN University in León. Then we were informed that it would not be that. Many of us were discouraged to the point of crying together. It seemed that our wonderful dream of becoming doctors would be cut short because, in our region of east Nicaragua, a full medical program would be impossible. How wrong we were! We became the first generation of medical students from the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua! Our enthusiasm and desire to learn pushed us forward, even taking classes under the trees. We were strong and brave and enthusiastic women who would not give up. And there were people who always motivated us to reach our desired utopia. Today we are infinitely grateful for the trust of both professors and people who noticed our effort and thirst for knowledge. They encouraged us and they supported us.
In the medical program of URACCAN University we learned the intercultural approach and we saw the need to serve our people with quality, love, and warmth. We managed to understand that the health and disease processes in people start from different perspectives. We learned to respect the worldview of each of our patients and to solve their discomfort with scientific knowledge. The road was quite long. A moment I will never forget was the first time a patient said, “Thank you, Doctor.” I could not hide the smile on my face. That “thank you, Doctor” was my best payment and became my new source of motivation. I not only became a doctor, I also learned the meaning and the weight of responsibility, punctuality, respect, formality, discipline, companionship and, above all, humanism.
In 2019 I pursued a new experience away from my region. At the university in the city of León I managed to qualify for the specialty of Pediatrics. Three years have passed and in all this time I spent away from my family, the strength I built with faith in God was truly great. My conviction is that with perseverance, faith, and constancy, dreams can be fulfilled. On March 25 I graduated as a Pediatric specialist. I dedicate this great triumph to God, to Sister Ann McKean, and to my family. Thank you for teaching me in the most difficult moments to trust myself. Adelante Mujer! You are more powerful than you think!
This photo was taken on the day I graduated as a pediatrician.
Doctor Ana C. ~ May 2022