Both famous and infamous, full of culture and a people full of resilience that isn’t easy to find, the country of Cuba has made it way into the hearts and minds of individuals worldwide. This is especially true when it comes to medical students. For decades, Cuba has opened its arms to medical aspirants worldwide, offering free or subsidized medical education based on bilateral agreements between Cuba and students’ home countries. Today we get to know what #medlife is like in Cuba from student doctor Harddy!
1. Introduce yourself! My name Harddy Ndinga @hardaway_justice, I’m 25 years old, from Brazzaville, Congo 🇨🇬 .
2. Why did you choose medicine? Or did medicine choose you? I always wanted to study medicine but I never imagined could never imagine that I’d be studying in Cuba. This was the biggest opportunity of my life, not because Cuba is the most beautiful country, but because it gave me the opportunity through our government program to become what I’ve been dreaming of being all my life.
4. How do you apply for medical school in Cuba? For me, it was simple to apply. I just brought my documents into the governing body. If everything checks out and you’re a little bit lucky, you’ll be on the list for a scholarship.(See this post for more information)
5. What does medical school entail there? In Cuba, it’s 7 years of medicine including learning the language. In fact, I’m on my last year of studies and am an intern right now.
6. What’s the normal professional trajectory after graduating from medical school in Cuba? After graduating (year 7), the trajectory depends on your home country. For me, I have to go back to Congo to do my social service before doing a specialty.
7. What does a normal day look like for you? Well, since I’ve been here there’s been no “normal day”, because medical student hours vary and are very different from other students. Right now, it doesn’t even depend on me, it’s what the hospital schedule demands.
8. What do you do to destress? To destress here I do a lot of activities with my friends. If you really wanna enjoy your life, Cuba is the best place to be because there are a lot of tourist attractions.
9. If you could give advice to yourself in your first year of medicine, what would you say? If I could give myself advice, I’d say never go to bed without learning a new thing.
10. What do you hope life looks like for you in the next ten years? I’m learning medicine here but I’m learning about life too, so in ten years I’ll be trying to do my best for my country, my continent and the world, ‘cause a true doctor doesn’t have a flag.
Thanks to Harddy for being apart of our International medicine # Cuba edition! Follow him on Instagram at @hardaway_justice, and tell us where else you want us to go for our series! Leave us your suggestions in the comments!