Dr Ishq Pramchand was placed second and Dr Ra’Eesa Mohamed-Yunus third in UKZN’s Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine’s Class of 2021.
They were both awarded Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBChB) degrees summa cum laude.
Pramchand (24) scored an 82.56% average in his final year while Mohamed-Yunus achieved 81.88%.
Said Pramchand, currently a first-year intern at King Edward Hospital doing rotations in Paediatrics: ‘I feel honoured and humbled. The achievement is a culmination of constant effort made possible by the unwavering support of my family and friends. I intend to specialise, either as a surgeon or a physician.
‘The choices seem endless – I will be more certain of the direction I will take after my rotations throughout internship and community service. I feel privileged to have navigated Medicine in the local setting – I hope to learn as much as I can to give back to my community. I couldn’t think of myself as anything else but a doctor to be honest. Helping others and giving back to my community is a fulfilling oath which I will swear by.
‘I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic when I reflect on my university years. I loved them. Life-changing, incredible and humbling are words that come to mind to describe my experience. The lecturers imparted medical knowledge efficiently and effectively and tutorials were well presented by the clinical team,’ he said.
‘UKZN implores students to become critical thinkers and leaders – as the Department of Family Medicine states: An Agent of Change. I have felt so confident throughout my three months of internship, and I look forward to every day at the hospital. I recommend UKZN to any student.’
Mohamed-Yunus said she had been surprised by her achievement. ‘It took a while for reality to sink in and I still haven’t completely accepted it, I was just happy to pass. This achievement was the culmination of multiple years of hard work and a lot of “blood, sweat and tears” but I have no regrets. I plan on specialising in the paediatrics field doing what I love most.’
Mohamed-Yunus says it was her childhood dream to be a paediatrician. I feel content with life seeing a smile on a person’s face after they have received treatment. ‘Medicine is a very demanding degree and it tested me in every aspect. It was extremely difficult to find a balance but I discovered running as a hobby and that helped me destress and clear my mind.
‘Overall, UKZN has helped me form lifelong memories and given me the opportunity to meet people who I will call friends for a long time to come. The biggest difficulty was the pandemic and the transition to online learning, but the University was always proactive and prepared to go the extra mile,’ she said.
‘My priority right now is my internship at Addington Hospital. Thereafter I will complete my two years of community service with the ultimate goal of specialising in Paediatrics.’
Mohamed-Yunus paid tribute to her family for their support over the years.
Words: Lihle Sosibo
Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan