Rayab Lungba: Medicine is my calling
Growing up I always saw myself having a career as an announcer, journalist, or author. Those passions pushed me at the age of 6 to get a library account. I would walk a mile to the library alone at least once a month to support my enthusiasm for knowledge and learning. I continue to enjoy books on topics such as positive thinking and improvement of one’s self as I strive to improve myself.
I was one of the top 100 high school graduates in Sudan, which gave me the opportunity to attend a leadership camp. This helped cultivate my leadership skills early in my life and I improved on that by reading leadership books and attending workshops. The benefits of this were seen later when I became a leader at a very young age.
I was ultimately led to medical school because I witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of war in Sudan and the deterioration of health services for people affected by war. I took every opportunity I could and worked with more than six organizations and associations all aimed at supporting under-served people.
We helped provide primary care, ways of improving community health, and disease prevention. Those experiences aided my personal growth and social awareness. Additionally, my internship in Sudan and rotation through many specialties exposed me to patients from the prenatal to the geriatric stage. This inspired me to be a family doctor who can treat patients of all ages and for all ailments.
I attended medical school in Sudan full time during the day and worked as a pharmacy technician at night to help support myself financially. After graduation, I worked more than 70 hours per week as a doctor to help me achieve my goal of moving to the US. I moved from Sudan to the US by myself when I was 23 with medical school certification, nearly two years of clinical experience, and a dream of furthering my training.
Once in the US, I was faced with many difficulties and realized that sometimes things don’t work out as quickly as planned. I found it challenging moving alone to a new country with a different language and culture. My main goal was to study hard and pass the USMLE exams to find a residency, but I also needed to support myself and help family back home. Being from a different country I knew I needed an introduction to the healthcare system in the US, so I’ve been a volunteer at Sanford USD since 2016. I also assist my Sudanese and Arabic speaking friends, interpreting and supporting them at their doctor’s appointments.