Mediclinic Newcastle’s new female specialists examine their lives

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Priding itself on an extraordinary bouquet of highly talented and skilled medical professionals, Mediclinic Newcastle introduces three new female specialists. The goal, to share their stories with the community.

Neurologist Dr Cait-Lynn WellsGeneral Surgeon Dr Christien Steenkamp, and anaesthesiologist Dr Mbaliyethemba Ndwandwe of Mediclinic Newcastle answered a few off-book questions to give you a glimpse into their minds and outlooks. 

Firstly, what motivates these three ladies in their personal and medical lives? Dr Wells highlights, “Knowing that I can make a small difference in my patients’ life and a personal motivation is knowing the sacrifices that were undertaken to get me this far.”

According to Dr Steenkamp, her loving family and bountiful garden are what motivate her. “There’s nothing more inspiring than successfully growing and nurturing something beautiful,” she declares. Additionally, Dr Ndwandwe emphasises that her family, particularly her daughter, motivates her. “I want her to have someone to look up to that is within reach, so that it really feels to her that everything she wants is possible.” 

Living a highly demanding life in an industry that captivates most moments of your life, these ladies explain to us just what they do with their free time, when available. 

“I spend it reading, visiting new places, especially if there are museums or book shops in that place,” states Dr Wells. Being a foodie (good food lover), she also enjoys finding new and exciting restaurants to try out.

On the other hand, taking advantage of the outdoors, Dr Steenkamp says that she enjoys great music and a good hike whenever possible. “I’m an avid hiker and love exploring new places on foot. There’s something special about hiking somewhere remote, where no one else can get without putting in the effort to walk there.”

Soaking up the incredible entertainment options in today’s world, Dr Ndwandwe spends her free time watching series and reality shows, to name a few. “I also enjoy weekends away with my girlfriends. We want to see all the corners of the world.”

Moving away from the softball questions and digging a bit deeper. When asked what causes her anxiety, Dr Steenkamp says, her inability to help everyone who needs it. “And the subsequent lack of family time and time spent with my daughter. I agonise about not being enough and not doing enough.”

Sharing the same sense of self, being or feeling inadequate, Dr Ndwandwe says, “I want to always have my ducks in a row. It’s the obsessive trait that I carry, that always pushes me to be on my best game.” 

From her perspective, Dr Wells says, “I think in the last year, just living in our current circumstances induces anxiety. But just the state of the world as it is, is pretty much enough to make anyone anxious.”

But how do these ladies balance all of this while keeping positive?

“I don’t know if I balance it yet, as some wheels are always falling off. But having a supportive family structure helps and spiritual grounding goes a long way,” Dr Ndwandwe admits.

She adds that having a rewarding career helps since she can instantly see her effect. “And the cliché, it’s almost like a calling. Because even on the worst days, I still know there is nowhere I’d rather be. So that is always motivating.”

Dr Steenkamp admits it is a difficult balance to maintain. “I love my job and I’ve got a very supportive husband. I try to be present when I spend time with my family and not be pre-occupied with my phone and work while with them.”

Taking a strategic approach, Dr Wells says she dedicates one weekend away from work every month. “Taking a break when I start feeling overwhelmed, staying away from negative influences on social media and just appreciating the simple things.”

When it comes to their source of inspiration, Dr Wells says it’s the triumph of the human spirit for her. “As medical professionals, we are privileged to see humans at their most vulnerable, and just to see how resilient people can be. It inspires me.”

Whereas, Dr Steenkamp says the benefits she sees in her patients following an intervention inspires her. “Even draining an abscess is extremely satisfying, because it brings immediate relief.”

For Dr Ndwandwe, it’s seeing a positive transformation in the lives of her patients. Another source of inspiration, she says, is “Seeing young people dominate different fields, especially women taking on specialities previously male dominated.”

As committed as they are to their careers and patients, Dr Steenkamp underlines the importance of beauty in her environment. This, coupled with quality family time, is significant to her daily life. “Without my family, my life would be empty.”

Dr Wells agrees with Dr Steenkamp, citing her family as the essential aspect of her daily life. Moreover, Dr Ndwandwe emphasises that prayer is crucial for her day. “It should start and end with prayer because the healing is not within me but the higher powers that carry me from day to day. I am merely a means to an end.”

Getting to know your medical professionals offers you the opportunity to better understand whom you are working with when in need of medical care.

The specialists at Mediclinic Newcastle are without question an inspirational group of talented doctors who are just people at the end of the day, striving for excellence. 

What are your thoughts and messages to these unique humans who care for us?  Let us know what you think in the comments area below.

This post and content is sponsored and provided by Mediclinic Newcastle.

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