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Iron Blade

Ready To Take On Medicine

Thabs’ journey goes from South Africa to Ferrum to Portugal
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Not only is she speedy in accelerating her career, she is speedy on the field, too.

Thabelo Nemulodi, a junior majoring in Pre-Professional Health Science with an emphasis in Pre-Med and a midfielder on the field hockey team, completed a three-week summer internship in Viana de Castelo, Portugal.

Nemulodi went through Atlantis, a program for pre-med students that gives them the opportunity to shadow medical professionals in different areas of medicine abroad.  She worked at ULSAM Hospital de Santa Luzia where she shadowed three different departments: gastroenterology, obstetrics, gynecology, and anesthesiology.

“I went into surgery on my first day and witnessed a hysterectomy. On the same day, I observed two other surgeries. It made me realize how important doctors are since the surgeries took time and a whole team, each with unique responsibilities,” she said. “I witnessed a childbirth on my second day. At that moment, I knew that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

Nemulodi said she earned valuable information in each area she worked, but the one she enjoyed the most was the OB/GYN department.

“I want to pursue a career in gynecology; it was interesting,” she said. “This area taught me the importance of the female reproductive system and critical terminology since some cases presented as more challenging and not the same for every individual.”

Nemulodi also learned proper hospital etiquette, how to carry herself in the medical community, and how to serve others to the best of her ability.

She said she also realized that in the future, she would belong in an operating room to help save lives.

Besides the medical experience, Nemulodi got to experience the people and the food. She explored the country and visited neighboring cities like Porto.

“The Spanish have a big smoking culture,” she said. “I was shocked that they had a smoking room in the surgical room, and during surgery, they would take a smoke break.”

After graduating, she wants to go to medical school and pursue becoming an OB/GYN.

“I hope to spend my career serving other women–ensuring they are heard and cared for. I also want to perfect my skills and accumulate more knowledge from studying and other doctors,” Nemulodi said.

Not only is she immersed in her studies; but she also gives the same dedication to the field.

Nemulodi, also known as Thabs by her peers, is an international student from South Africa and has been playing field hockey for 12-plus years. In high school she played for a provincial (state) team. She is a midfielder and teammates say she has the speed of a cheetah.

“Thabs is fast and can get us up the field when needed,” Riley Hines, junior and teammate said.

Off the field, Nemulodi is also a resident assistant, and fellow RAs say they enjoy making the rounds with her.

“Thabs is my duty partner, and there is never a dull moment during those long late duty nights,” said Olivia Turner, junior, also an RA.

Nemulodi came to Ferrum through a program called IAM 360 that showed her that it was possible to study abroad and play sports in college.

She is from the city of Pretoria, South Africa. Though she loves being involved in the school culture and sports and feels she is an outgoing person, she also says that being in America can sometimes be lonely, and she feels homesick at times. The expenses of living abroad and acclimating to a new culture can be difficult for her, she said.

“I am a traveler and I love visiting new places,” Nemuldi said. “Homesickness finds you in the most inconveniencing times and creeps up on you when you least expect it. Even though I love Ferrum, I miss my family and friends and being able to see them when I want.”

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About the Contributor
I am Refentse Maselwa but everyone calls me Ree. I am from Pretoria, South Africa. I am a sophomore majoring in Accounting and minoring in Journalism. I play field hockey. 
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