Record Number of Medical Students Graduate Cum Laude
A record number of 18 Medical students graduated cum laude through UKZN’s College of Health Sciences this year.
They are Dr’s Shannon Keshnie Pillay, Joedene Chetty, Krisantha Moodley, Rumaisa Hassim, Neliksha Singh, Ulisha Naidoo, Lisha Narayan, Nazeerah Kajee, Verushka Singh, Yugeshni Naidoo, Shamima Dokrat, Kgotso Lawrence Sambo, Lindokuhle Wiseman Ndaba, Rodney Govender, Vidaisha Naidoo, Babuse Ndlovu, Adebayo Ojewole and Brian Odhiambo Odindo.
‘I feel great and am still in disbelief about my achievement,’ said Sambo, who struggled to explain the cum laude significance to his family. ‘They don’t know what this cum laude thing is all about. They were happy that I completed the degree in record time but I don’t think that they fully appreciate what it means to complete with such honours.’
Sambo loves teaching and was involved in academic mentorship programmes on campus. ‘I would love to become a lecturer someday. I hope to study further and specialise in Internal Medicine or General Surgery.’
Said Kajee: ‘It feels amazing, really. I could not be happier after all the hard work that went into it.’
Also the first doctor in her family, Kajee said her achievement had brought an immense amount of happiness to everyone close to her. ‘I couldn’t have achieved this without the continuous support of my parents and family. I am grateful that I have made them proud.’ Kajee wants to specialise in Internal Medicine but is keeping her options open.
‘Graduating cum laude in Medicine certainly stands out from my other academic achievements and puts me in a good place for my postgraduate endeavours,’ said Singh, currently doing her internship at the Pietermaritzburg Hospital complex.
Singh received numerous academic awards in high school and held several leadership positions. ‘In my spare time I enjoy creative work be it decorating a cake or working on my scrapbooks. I also enjoy ice skating, playing board games and spending time with friends and family.’
‘With dedication and hard work you can achieve almost anything,’ said Ulisha Naidoo. ‘The six years of hard work paid off.’
Naidoo hopes to discover what to specialise in during her internship and community service years. As a student, she enjoyed Internal Medicine and Dermatology,
She advised other students, including her sister who is doing third year at Medical School, to stay focused, believe in their abilities and not to be afraid to ask for help. ‘At the end of the day we are studying not merely for the mark but for our patients – don’t lose sight of that,’ she said.
‘I am glad it’s over,’ laughed Ndlovu. ‘I am over the moon. It was always my desire to get great results but that hope sort of faded away half way through the degree.’
Ndlovu says the achievement symbolises God’s faithfulness and unfailing love, ‘It also reminds me that I can do anything I put my mind to.’