Shameless plug, she’s my little sister!!! 🙂
**Who is Ndeye?**
Ah, I really hate this question. I usually have to answer it in this formatted elaborate elevator pitch so I’m going to take this chance to just freestyle. I’m a 24-year old Senegalese woman who has an immense hunger for human interaction and a thirst for success. I was born and raised in a small town in Senegal called Ngaaye, Meckhe until the age of 7 when we moved to the U.S. My dad was a Calculus professor at the time and my mom was the quinsecental housewife and mother extraordinaire. We started in Florence, Kentucky and soon ended up in Cincinnati, Ohio where I spent my teen and early adult years. I’m currently in medical school in Atlanta, GA. I like to think I’m the type of person who puts my mind to something and doesn’t stop until it manifests for me. This has lead me to be where I am today but also serves as one of my greatest weaknesses and entering my 20s was the slap in the face I needed. Having spent literally my whole…entire…life… in school, I reached a point where I began to have better discernment in what I place value in and what really makes me feel good. This explains my need for human interaction, for meaningful relationships and experiences, for meaningless activities, for a closer relationship with Allah, for the need to just lay down and do nothing. So yeah, thats me. I just be chilling, though 🙂
**Who is your role model?**
My mother. She embodies strength in every fashion and form. She’s become my best friend in my adult years and I see myself in her in so many ways it’s actually funny to me now how much we argued when I was younger. She works harder than anyone I know and would do anything for her family.
**What do you do currently?**
I’m currently in my third year of medical school wrapping up my clinical rotations. Essentially this means I’ve gotten a snippet of some of the major fields in medicine including surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, to name a few. I have been able to participate in the care of patients in inpatient units, in the OR, and in clinic. A little over a year from now I can call myself Dr. Guisse!
**How did you become passionate about medicine?**
I was always good at math and science and I love to use my hands and stay busy (to a certain degree) so once I realized human beings are actually not so bad (lol), I found medicine to be the perfect fit. I think there’s something special about human interactions because they stick with us in a very memorable way. Medicine for me was where I felt I could both be challenged and stimulated by tough clinical decisions while forming relationships with patients. Additionally, traveling back to Senegal I saw opportunity to give back to my home which only strengthened my passion.
**Scaling things back to Africa/Senegal, what’s your biggest qualm about how medicine is perceived/practiced?**
There’s a lot of mistrust in the medical system in Senegal, a lot of which is merited and based on anecdotal experiences. Healthcare is simply not a priority in the way that it should be and that coupled with all that comes with being a underdeveloped nation AND questionable government policies leads to an infrastructure that is not for the welfare of the people. It’s unfortunate but it’s a problem that won’t be solved overnight and I hope to contribute in my own small way to hopefully make an impact to even a small population.
**What practical advice do you have for anyone who wants to get into the medical field? Actual steps they can take and some non-negotiables like standardized tests, expected test scores, etc.**
When it comes to the medical field and medical school, there are so many things that are out of your control.The best advice I can give is to identify things that you can control and be excellent in them. For example, if you are studying for the MCAT or board exams, understand that it comes with sacrifice and it takes time to learn how to approach these tests. Give yourself the necessary 2-3 months to study for these exams and stay focused. It’s helpful to understand early on that there are just going to be things that you may want to do that you will have to miss out on but it will make your life easier down the road. For the Black prospects reading this, you will feel defeated often and it’s easy to beat yourself up or question if you’ve earned the merit to be in these spaces. The key is to recognize that it is okay to feel that and process that, but you have got to pick up and keep going. One of the best ways to do this is to identify mentors of all types and keep them a phone call away. I could go all day but every student is different so you all know where to find me!
**In leveraging your education, what do you want to be your contribution to the development of Senegal?**
I think about this almost every day. I think Senegal, like any developing nation, has a true need for tertiary care. I’ve seen in my own family and loved ones unfortunate outcomes due to the lack of adequate healthcare and resources. My goal is to aid in the alleviation of this through organizations and collaborations providing medical devices and excellent surgical care as I feel an inherent responsibility and desire to see my home country grow. First, I have to pass these boards though, lol.
**When I think about medicine, I think of human life and the value attached to it. What does medicine mean to you?**
Medicine to me means opportunity to empower and to connect. There is an inherent power dynamic because of how vulnerable patients are with their physicians and this is why it’s important to build genuine rapport with your patients but the beauty in all of it is that you get to help a fellow human being get back to feeling like themselves. I’ve learned so much about human nature just through my few years as medical student and I can’t begin to think about all of the things I’ll learn from my future patients as a surgeon!