Having your mom with you growing up and being your biggest cheerleader is a boost any daughter would be proud to have. And when that same love is reciprocated by your daughter being mom’s biggest cheerleader, it’s just as sweet. But one mother and daughter were overjoyed when they would continue being each other’s cheerleaders in medical school.
Dr. Cynthia Kudji was matched in Family Medicine at LSU Health in Louisiana. It was at that same time she learned that her daughter, Dr. Jasmine Kudji, also matched at LSU in General Surgery. It was a beautiful next step for the mother and daughter doctor duo after years of studying medicine at a distance. Cynthia was at the University of Medicine & Health Sciences in St. Kitts in the Caribbean Islands and Maine while her daughter Jasmine was at LSU School of Medicine in Louisiana. The two now will be working in the same hospital system starting July 1, 2020. These incredible women are the first mother and daughter to attend medical school at the same time and match at the same institution!
According to UMHS-sk.org, Dr. Kudji admits she didn’t always plan on becoming a doctor. When she was young, there were few physician role models on TV for African Americans.
“I remember when we were young there were TV shows like ‘The Cosby Show’ and ‘A Different World,’” she said. “Seeing African Americans in college or being successful was like firsts. So, for me it wasn’t like ‘Oh, yes, I want to be a physician’. It was more like, ‘Oh, no, can I really do this? Or, ‘Am I smart enough to do it?”
Dr. Kudji was born in the village of Kenyasi in Ghana and came to the United States at age two. It was during a trip back to Africa to visit relatives that she was inspired to become a doctor.
“My mom wanted us to have a family trip back to Ghana,” explains Dr. Kudji to UMHS-sk.org. “And there was an incident where we were in the village and somebody just walked up to us and said that their child had a fever and was sick and wanted my mom and I to help. We put the child in water, trying to get the temperature down, and that’s pretty much all I remember. The last thing I did was ask how the child faired out and she was like ‘I don’t think the child did very well’ and I just remember being so frustrated that the mom had to come to a complete stranger to get access to health care. The only thing I knew that could change that situation was to be a physician. That drove the whole line of thought to…