"You're a lady. Work extra hard." -Dr. Anne, AMO

Based on interviews with Dr. Anne, FAME Assistant Medical Officer

 
Dr. Anne seeing a patient at Rift Valley Children’s Village during our mobile neurology clinic.

Dr. Anne seeing a patient at Rift Valley Children’s Village during our mobile neurology clinic.

Dr. Anne first heard about FAME while she was working part time at a health center in Dar es Salaam. She was scrolling through Google, looking for a full-time job when she came across a listing for FAME. The job description had noted that being a female Clinical Officer was an added advantage. When Anne saw that, she wanted to apply because “I knew they appreciated females.” She submitted her application and came to Karatu for the first time for her interview. She was initially nervous about leaving the big city of Dar es Salaam for rural Karatu, but after her tour and short orientation, she felt at home in the FAME environment. She knew she needed to make a good impression to get the job, so she researched FAME and prepared herself for their questions before going in front of a panel of six to eight FAME employees for her full interview. She joined the team shortly after in 2012 as a Clinical Officer (CO). In 2016, FAME offered Dr. Anne a scholarship to return to school to become an Assistant Medical Officer (AMO). Prior to Dr. Anne, FAME had sent Dr. Ivan and Dr. Ken to the same two- year program to upgrade from CO to AMO. Dr. Anne was a bit nervous about going back to school, so she reached out to Ivan and Ken for advice. “They told me, ‘You’re a lady. Work extra hard.’” She followed their advice. Dr. Anne reflected on her two years filled with a lot of studying and very little sleep. “When I got to school, everything looked difficult. Then I really knew [Ken and Ivan] were right; I needed to work hard. I only had four hours of sleep most nights.” Her diligence paid off when she received her final marks. She finished the program #1 in her class. “I didn’t even know my results until a doctor phoned from the Ministry of Health to congratulate me,” she said. “I am so humbled and privileged to have received that scholarship. FAME has made me what I am. I could still be a Clinical Officer, not knowing any skills like ultrasound, neurology, skills [learned] from volunteers.” Her decision to move to FAME is one she doesn’t regret. “I told my mom and dad not to worry because here I have Frank and Susan like my second parents. I feel at home here. FAME is where my heart is.” Dr. Anne returned to FAME after her AMO program in September of 2018. Since then, she’s been working with a lot of our visiting volunteers. “I’ve gotten a lot of exposure here. We have many volunteers that I can learn from. I enquire often to learn new skills,” she said. “I worked with the Neurology team and with Dr. Kelly in the operating theater. I’m learning outside of my comfort zone.” Dr. Anne expressed deep gratitude to everyone who made it possible for her to go back to school. “The best way for me to repay FAME is by working hard and being flexible. I am here to support and assist the whole team.”

 
Kathrine Kuhlmann