Saturday, April 9, 2011 (The Mirror Pg 3)
By Rebecca Kwei
RUNNING around playfully on the dusty backroads of Tamale as a child, Vera Mawusime Fosu continually had it at the back of her mind that her father had been talking about her becoming a medical doctor one day and her heart is now swollen with pride that the prediction has materialised.
At the 10th Congregation and swearing-in ceremony of the College of Health Sciences of the University of Ghana held last weekend, she was the toast of the day as she officially became Dr Vera Mawusime Fosu and collected seven prizes, including the highly treasured one for Best All-round Student throughout the course.
The other prizes were the Lucy Peprah Tawiah Prize for Best Female Student in Child Health; Harry Sawyerr Prize for Best Overall Student in Child Health; Harry Sawyerr Prize in Medicine and Therapeutics; MB ChB Final Part I Best Overall Student; David Scott Prize in Community Health and the Ghana Medical Association Prize for Best Overall Student in the MB Ch.B Final Part II Examination.
“I feel great and blessed, especially with the overall best student prize. I was surprised at that because I was in a very competitive class with equally intelligent students but by the grace of God I came out tops,” she told The Mirror in an interview.
Aside the grace of God factor, Vera attributed her success to hard work and the support of her parents, husband, friends and congregation of the International Central Gospel Church, Holy Family Assembly at Dansoman in Accra.
She also said she had role models whom she looked up to for hope and encouragement as she ploughed on with her studies. She mentioned Prof. Efua Hesse, the Director of Medical Affairs at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and other female doctors whom she greatly respected for excelling in the medical field.
Becoming a medical doctor did not come by chance for Vera. She recollected growing up and how her parents, father especially, always told her she would be a doctor in future. That hint did not leave her until she got to secondary school and started admiring a friend’s father’s profession: civil engineering.
“I got a little change of heart and wanted to be a civil engineer. After secondary school, however, and a few discussions here and there, I decided to go to medical school,” she recalled.
“I love taking care of people and the medical field provides that opportunity. Being a doctor is about saving lives and bringing hope to people to make them feel better. That’s what I love doing.”
Though most girls assume that the sciences are very difficult areas to tackle, Vera says it all has to do with one’s mentality. “If you perceive it to be difficult, then it will be difficult. It is also a matter of interest. Once you have the interest and the hunger within you to make it, you can go all out for it and not rely on hearsay.”
She conceded that there are a lot of challenges with the sciences but other subjects also require hard work and determination to pull through.
In order to get more girls to offer science subjects, Vera said it was important for them to be encouraged from early childhood. They must also get career counsellors and they must be given equal opportunities, just like boys.
Born in Tamale on April 3, 1985 to Dr Mathias Fosu, a research scientist and Mrs Matilda Fosu, a teacher, Vera attended St Monica’s Primary School in Nyankpala to Class Five before moving to Accra to continue her basic education at St Anthony’s Preparatory School, South Odorkor from Class Six to the Junior High School level.
She had her secondary school education at Yaa Asantewaa where she offered Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Elective Maths and completed in 2002. She then entered the University of Ghana in August 2003.
For now, the young brilliant doctor is still basking in the euphoria of coming out tops at her graduation as she waits to start her housemanship at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital next month. She hopes to specialise in Family Medicine in the future.
Dr Vera Mawusime Fosu is married to Dr Titus Beyuo whom she met in medical school.