Today we are very excited to have an interview with Stephgane Nguembu, an aspiring neurosurgeon based in Cameroon. This is this first in a series of three interviews with members of AFAN (Association of Future African Neurosurgeons).
Can you introduce yourself?
I am Stéphane Nguembu, a medical officer based in Cameroon and aspiring neurosurgeon.
When did you decide you wanted to be a neurosurgeon?
I decided to become a neurosurgeon in my third year of medical school. During the neuroanatomy course I was seduced by the complexity and the ease with which Prof. Djientcheu Vincent was giving the course without any support, so I told myself I want to be like him when I grow up.
What is the process like in your country to become a neurosurgeon?
In Cameroon, the admission process is officially competitive, but there are several cases of entry through mentoring.
What are some of the challenges you are facing on this journey?
The main obstacles are the lack of positions there is only one neurosurgery program in the country that admits one student per year, as well as the cost of training, which is very expensive.
What do you like best about where you are?
In my current situation the only satisfaction is to be able to contribute to the provision of minimum care to a large number of people.
What are your hope for neurosurgery and neurosurgeons in your country?
For my country I dream of a neurosurgery available in a timely manner everywhere in the territory without the need to travel hundreds of kilometers to be able to consult a neurosurgeon. I also dream that Cameroonian neurosurgeons have the equipment adapted to their practice in the most varied subspecialties possible surrounded by a competent team including neuroasnesthesist, instrumentalist, nurse...etc.
Can you finish this sentence: AFAN is...
The dream of creating a pan-African neurosurgery that will rival that of industrialised countries.
What does Global Neurosurgery mean to you?
Global surgery is the right way to achieve true global equity in the provision of neurosurgical care.
Thank you Dr Nguembu, and to our readers: stay tuned for the next two interviews!