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Dr Arushka Naidoo.

UKZN supervised and trained medical officer, Dr Arushka Naidoo, recently graduated through the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa as the first Indian woman Orthorpaedic Surgeon in the country.

Naidoo, during her registrar years, trained at many hospitals in the province developing a passion for public service and the country. Asked about whether she intends to go into private practice, Naidoo said: ‘Absolutely not. I love serving the community and the public sector is where I will remain.’

Naidoo, currently based at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH), hails from Reservoir Hills in Durban. She has had a long history of serving the community through her participation in the Girl Guides, Rotary Club and at Nu Shifa Hospital during her high school days.

She completed her MBChB degree through Medunsa, served an internship through King Edward VIII Hospital and completed her community service year at the Benedictine District Hospital in Nongoma where she developed an interest in orthorpaedic and general surgery. Her surgical skills were further developed while working as a Medical Officer in the Stanger Hospital.

During her tenure as a Registrar, Naidoo realised the trauma burden in the province was extremely high contributing to the heavy workloads of all medical professionals based in the public sector. Naidoo was grateful for her humble beginnings and thanked her parents and others for instilling in her the values of humility and service to humanity.

Despite working in a profession that is male dominated, Naidoo was made to feel welcome by the orthorpaedic consultants and registrars in training. ‘My colleagues have been exceptionally supportive, treated me fairly at all times and never undermined my surgical skills and capabilities.’

She also expressed her heartfelt gratitude to her mentors UKZN’s Professor Shunmugam Govender, Professor Mahomed Rassool and Professor Ismail Goga, for her success.

Naidoo enjoys travelling and has visited the United Kingdom, United States, Europe, Singapore, Mauritius, Morroco and parts of Africa. ‘Travelling is another passion of mine and it provides me with the opportunity to get some “down time”.’

Naidoo will register at UKZN for a Masters in Medicine degree in 2014, specialising in Paediatric Orthorpaedics.