Two Gold Medals in Specialist Physician Examinations for UKZN Graduate

UKZN’s Dr Raeesa Bhorat, a senior Registrar in the Department of Internal Medicine based at King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban, has been awarded two gold medals for outstanding achievement in the Fellowship of the College of Physicians (FCP) examinations – a first for a candidate from UKZN.

High achiever Bhorat took the top spot in the examinations written by candidates from all medical schools in South Africa as well as other African countries.

The Senate of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA), which oversees the examinations, awarded Bhorat the Suzman Medal 2019 and the Asher Dubb Medal 2019 for distinguished results in the FCP examinations.

The Head of Internal Medicine at UKZN, Professor Nombulelo Magula, was ecstatic about the news: ‘Internal Medicine is a complex discipline, made up of General Medicine and sub-specialties in Cardiology, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Geriatrics, Infectious Diseases, Nephrology, Pulmonology, and Rheumatology,’ said Magula. ‘The CMSA requires registrars to spend time in both General Medicine and sub-specialties of Internal Medicine which at UKZN are one of the most well developed in the country. Apart from the clinical experience at hospitals in Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Port Shepstone, our registrars are involved in an academic programme where they get to make presentations at a variety of meetings and forums at hospitals they work in and at an overall discipline level. Registrars also take part in academic meetings where specialists and sub-specialists present work for learning experiences by all registrars, specialists and sub-specialists,’ she said.

‘On behalf of the Discipline of Internal Medicine, I congratulate Raeesa for her sterling performance. She worked very hard and achieved despite challenges that come with the territory of training in this very complex discipline. We are exceedingly proud of her and wish her and all our registrars everything of the best,’ said Magula.

Durban-born Bhorat, who attended Crawford College in Durban, achieved eight distinctions making it onto the Independent Examination Board’s commendable list. She also received half senior colours for culture and leadership in Grade 12.

She won a full scholarship and chose UKZN to embark on studies for a Medical degree inspired by her father, Professor Ismail Bhorat, an internationally renowned subspecialist in foetal-maternal medicine, and her mother, Mrs Nazreen Bhorat.

‘My mom and dad inspired me to choose Medicine,’ said Bhorat. ‘In our home, we understood the value of learning and developed a respect for knowledge and the progressive, far reaching impact of Medicine. Through the actions, kindness and generosity of my parents towards other people, I am witness to indefatigable selflessness on a daily basis,’ said Bhorat.

‘Medicine is wonderful and exciting, and something I have always wanted to be a part of, thanks to my parents and what they represent.’

Bhorat graduated cum laude with a Medical degree boasting distinctions in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Internal Medicine and Integrated Surgical Practice. A member of the esteemed Golden Key International Honour Society at UKZN, she hopes to subspecialise in Cardiology.

Having completed the FCP examination, Bhorat will be eligible for a position as a specialist physician at the end of the year.

Apart from her passion for Medicine, she enjoys playing the piano, English literature, poetry and writing.

Words: Maryann Francis

Photograph: Supplied