Medicine proves to be top achievers’ favourite field

2015-01-06 00:00

A NUMBER of top achievers at Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School vowed to be patriotic to the health system of this country as they inched closer to their dream of having careers as medical doctors.

The excited pupils — Tivanya Pillay, Demira Padayachee, Jahnara Pillay and Leigh-Ann van den Berg — who each got seven distinctions in all their subjects, have been conditionally accepted at top universities in the country with faculties of medicine.

Tivanya Pillay, who was a finalist in the True Stories competition run by The Witness, said her commitment to the medical field is to improve health care in government hospitals.

“In Grade 11, I completed my community service training at Grey’s and Northdale Hospital, which inspired me,” she said.

Demira Padayachee, who has three university acceptances to study medicine, said she was encouraged to pursue medicine by her older sister Yorissa, who is in her fifth year in the medical field at the University of Cape Town.

Leigh-Ann van den Berg, who was a boarder at GHS from Underberg, said she had a hard time balancing her sporting career at school and her academics.

She said: “I had to juggle my time between sports and academics because I represented the school in tennis and squash.”

Jahnara Pillay said her first career choice was medicine and her second option was actuarial science, which deals with accessing financial risks and insurances.

“One of my favourite teachers at school was Mrs Stabbinds, who took me for English and also served as my form teacher. The whole class had one or two things that they learnt from Mrs Stabbinds,” she said.

Proud parents gathered at the Botanical Garden yesterday to support and cheer on their children who had done exceptionally well in the class of 2014.

Tivanya’s parents, Suren and Charlotte Pillay, who are both teachers, told The Witness that their daughter was very committed and self-motivated when she prepared for her final exams. “She spent late hours studying. She also tutored other young girls in her school,” said Suren.

They expressed their concern for their daughter Tivanya as she begins her first semester at university. “As a mother, I am very worried, but we want her to go out there and study hard and bring home good results. We are going to miss her at home,” said Charlotte.

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