PAWAS Interview

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PAWAS interview

Tracey Sheridan Adams Subspecialist in Gynaecological Oncology Groote Schuur Hospital/ UCT Cape Town South Africa I work in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. My qualifications include MBChB, FCOG (SA), MMED and a certificate in Gynaecological Oncology (SA 2012).

Answers to questions:

  1. I work in Gynaecology, in particular with women who have cancer of the female reproductive organ (cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulval cancer). This includes surgery, chemotherapy if needed and follow-up of these women, Radiation treatment is offered by radiation oncologists but we follow up these women also. Palliative care is an important part of speciality as many women present late or recur.
  2. Choice :I have a passion for women and their health. This speciality allows me to work and empower women as well play a part in their care. I also enjoy the surgical aspect of the speciality.
  3. State of health care in Africa depends on where in Africa you live. In our setting in Cape Town, although we complain of certain limitations, I am fully aware of the differences in more rural parts of South Africa and other African states. At our tertiary care centre, I enjoy the academic opportunities and ability to provide relatively fair and evidence based treatment. There are budget constraints which limits our choices. I am aware of African states where payment of care has to be by the patient  themselves and often they are unable to afford the recommended treatment. My suggestion is that government needs to invest moe in health care and education financially.
  4. Public health challenges: Inadequate access to care at the primary level and as a consequence preventable disease such as cervical cancer still remains a significant burden of disease. Women do not get basic pap smears and education and hence present with advanced disease.
  5. My message would be more to government to invest in good nursing and education at the primary level.
  6. Challenges as a new consultant: Balancing the service delivery/ workload and establishing yourself as a researcher/ academic.
  7. I am more aware of role modeling to students and fellows. Also in terms of service delivery, making choices that are based on budgets and constraints.
  8. I am conscious of being mindful with regards to how I deal with students and colleagues especially when we differ in opinion.
  9. Nothing presently. I am happy with where I am and the time it took.
  10. There is no rush. Make sure you do what you love. Often there is a rush to specialize. Live, enjoy and makes the choices you love.
  11. Great day off work: hiking, traveling and spending time with my 5 year old twin girls.
  13. Work, life, balance: it is a difficult concept but can be achieved. It all comes down to improved time management.
  14. My late dad: to say thank you for encouraging and believing in me.
  15. If you want something, put the system in place to make it happen