Dr Anthony Ochola is a final year student at AKU’s Medical College in East Africa
"Participation in community work at high school revealed to me the huge gaps in healthcare in Kenya, in comparison to the western world. It came as a no brainer that I would pursue medicine as a career choice.”
Dr Anthony Ochola is a final year student at AKU’s Medical College in East Africa. In his high school years in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, he learnt to pursue excellence in all spheres of life and the nagging desire to practice medicine was nurtured. After high school, he pursued his undergraduate degree at the University of Nairobi.
“At the University of Nairobi, I was able to gain clinical experience at the Kenyatta National Hospital where I was able to interact with a wide array of different clinical cases which gave me a deeper understanding of medicine.”
In 2017, Dr Ochola applied to AKU to for the Master in Medicine programme to specialise in Internal Medicine. He got in at his first attempt.
"I loved the online application process, meaning I didn’t need to travel over 300km to hand in my application. I choose AKU because it’s the premier institution that provides an all rounded medical education in the region.”
Internal medicine physicians are equipped to handle the broad range of illnesses that affect adults, and are recognized as experts in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chronic illness. They are specially trained to solve puzzling diagnostic problems and can handle severe chronic illnesses and situations where several different illnesses may strike at the same time.
In many instances, Internal Medicine physicians are referred to as the "doctor's doctor," because they are often called upon to act as consultants to other physicians to help solve puzzling diagnostic problems.
“I choose to specialize in Internal Medicine because it gives me a chance to participate in the preventative aspect of health care and also be part of the management of non-communicable diseases that is currently on the rise in the country. Every patient is a puzzle that needs to be solved, and I love it that when everyone else is stuck, they turn to consult an Internal Medicine specialist. I find that mental challenge fascinating.”
Apart from concentrating on his studies, Dr Ochola loves the outdoors. From time to time, he will find himself taking long drives in the countryside and specifically loves visiting remote places across the country. He is also passionate about motorsports.
“I also love basketball and I enjoy watching the Los Angeles Lakers play. I also read biographies during my spare time especially on my long out of town drives. I find other people’s stories of overcoming challenges and succeeding in life very inspiring.”
With the expertise he has gained over the years in the medical field, Dr Ochola still manages to find time to do voluntary work by giving back to his community through running medical camps in Ndhiwa, Homa Bay County.
“My family and I hold medical camps annually, to address the gaps towards the provision of healthcare needs in our locality that the local citizens would ordinarily not have access. We invite our friends and colleagues to participate, and we link up those who need long term care to different healthcare facilities on a need to need basis. I’m also “on call” for consultations with different clinicians in our local dispensaries from time to time.”
His future plans are to successfully participate in the development of policy and help strengthen the health systems and structures not only in Kenya but the East Africa region.
“I want to grow in various aspects of my life. I hope to sub-specialize in a field in Internal Medicine. I hope to play an active role towards building and strengthening the healthcare system and structures in this country. Hopefully, I also want to start a family of my own and I also want to build an overland truck and tour Africa and meet people and visit scenic places.”
His daily mantra has always been “Mungu Mbele,” Swahili saying which means ‘God First.’