According to a recent study in Sweden, being born into a family where one or both parents are physicians greatly increases the likelihood that the children will also become physicians. For doctors and sisters Maye and Nada Mohamed, that certainly rings true.
Growing up with a father who was a nephrologist (kidney disease specialist), the Mohameds’ parents always saw the potential in their children to become doctors. Now as adults, both sisters are practicing physicians. Both Dr. Maye Mohamed and Dr. Nada Mohamed are graduates of Trinity and we recently had the pleasure of sitting down with them to talk about their experiences as students, graduates, and healthcare providers.
Dr. Nada Mohamed
When we spoke with the sisters, Nada was just one week away from starting her new position as an attending pulmonologist with Samaritan Health Services Hospital System in Corvallis, Oregon. This is the very same hospital system where her older sister, Maye, works as an internal medicine doctor and hospitalist. Nada told us about her experience interviewing for her new position through an anecdote that all younger siblings can relate to, saying “When I was interviewing for my job, they were like, “Oh you’re Maye’s sister, aren’t you?” I said “Yes. Yes, I am.” It felt like high school all over again.”
When we asked Nada to tell us what memories stood out to her most from her time at Trinity, she said without hesitation having her son with her in St. Vincent and watching him experience life in another culture. “It was an incredible experience for him. He was 3 when we went down there and 5 when we left,” she said. Nada told us her son’s presence provided her with a sense of support and inspiration, saying “He made me feel like I could do it.”
Dr. Mohamed went on to tell us how the course structures and faculty shaped her for a future as a successful physician. “The way they have the curriculum set up made it easier for me because it was really structured, which is exactly what I was lacking in college. That’s what helped me succeed. I got the structure I was craving. I got exactly everything I needed from Trinity.” Nada continued, sharing with us that while she was preparing for Step 2 and residency application, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. While her professors were supportive and understanding, they encouraged her to soldier on and keep pushing forward towards her goal. Now years later, she is still appreciative of the fortitude they instilled in her and that quality remains at the forefront of her practice.
Dr. Maye Mohamed
Similar to her sister, Dr. Maye Mohamed also had a child in tow during her time at Trinity. In fact, she had two. “I started at Trinity in 2012 and I had two kids with me and I was essentially a single mom at that point. My daughter was 7 in 2nd grade and my son was 10 in 5th grade.” Maye told us that attending school on the island was an incredibly valuable experience for her 2 children, saying “They saw part of the world that they wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise.” She continued, telling us “The people on the island are really wholesome. They just love people and were so accepting of me and my kids.”
While Maye comes from a family full of doctors, her inspiration to become a physician was born from tragedy. At 7 years old, Maye was struck by a car and subsequently hospitalized for several months. During that time, she had roommates in her shared hospital room come and go, but the fact that there was a child in pain beside her was constant. “That feeling of helplessness and that feeling of not being able to do anything was just so pervasive and difficult for me as a kid,” she said. “I remember one of my roommates came back from surgery and she was just vomiting and crying and I just wanted to give her my red balloon. I remember feeling so helpless and saying to myself I never want to feel like this again. That was really my driving force for a long time.”
After that experience, Maye dedicated her life to helping people in whatever way she could, volunteering at the hospital where she now works as a hospitalist. Living and working in her hometown is proving to be a truly rewarding experience. Maye told us “I feel like I’m taking care of the community that raised me.” She continued, saying being a hospitalist and internal medicine doctor feeds her passion to serve her hometown community. “My heart is just taking care of people and making sure they’re okay. And because of my training in medical school and from my residency program, I’m able to do that effectively. I’m loving what I do.”
At the end of our conversation with the two doctors, we asked if they had any advice for current and future Trinity students. Here is what Dr. Maye Mohamed had to say:
“I think in general you should expect to work really hard. The truth is people expect Caribbean medical schools to be easier, but they are not. You have to put in the time because you’re taking the same board exams as American graduates. You have to put in the hours. You have to put in the time. You have to be serious. Don’t expect to have an easy ride because it sure isn’t. But it’s also important to remember to not get discouraged. Because if I can do it as a single mom with two kids, anyone can do it. As long as you’re determined and you work hard, you will persevere.”
Dr. Nada Mohamed shared similar advice:
“The best advice I can give is if you’re going to pursue a medical career through any school, take it seriously. And don’t let the naysayers stop you from doing what you want to do. I’m glad I didn’t listen to anyone who felt I was making a mistake bringing my young son to the Caribbean. I just kept moving forward. Do your best to take the negative and turn it into a positive. Or, even better, use it as fuel to prove people wrong when you know that you’re capable of doing it.”
We would like to thank both Dr. Maye and Dr. Nada Mohamed for taking the time to share their experiences with us. Trinity is an institution that delivers a personal approach to education and investment in the long-term success of our graduates. We are thankful to have graduates, such as the Mohameds, who are willing to share their experiences and inspire future generations of physicians.
If you’re interested in connecting with Dr. Maye or Nada Mohamed to hear more about their Trinity experience or if you would like to learn more about how Trinity keeps student success at the core of its mission, we invite you to reach out to our admissions team today.