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Justina with her daughter Saphyre

Justina with her daughter Saphyre

Medicine graduation joy for young mum

It can be challenging enough being a single parent, but University of Exeter alumna Justina Igwe managed to conquer a demanding five-year Medicine degree at the same time.

Justina, 24, successfully juggled the multiple pressures of parenthood as mum to Saphyre, aged 6, with a full-time Medicine course, and qualified as a junior doctor last month.

She started her first job as a doctor at the beginning of August, along with 87 of her peers, the first cohort of Medicine students to graduate from the University.

Justina credits the outstanding pastoral team at Exeter with helping her along the way, calling it “the best support team I’ve come across”. She also praises her “great group of friends, who were amazingly supportive.”

Describing the start of her journey, Justina says: “Applying for medical school as a teenage single parent, the odds were against me. Without the amazing mentors I had, it wouldn't have been possible.”

After being mentored herself, Justina was keen to make a difference, and began mentoring students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

When she completes her training, Justina hopes to specialise in obstetrics and gynaecology, as well as continuing to make a difference in the community through charity work.

Justina says: "Coming from Tottenham, I have witnessed too many young lives lost to gun and knife crime. I wanted to make a difference so I taught young people basic life support and the first aid management of bleeding with the hope that one less life is lost. I hope to continue this through joining the StreetDoctors charity.”

The young doctor also has aspirations to set up her own charity, teaching basic life support to schools and villages in Nigeria.

For now, Justina is eager to continue her calling: “I’m really excited! It’s been a long road coming, and I’m just excited to start my career.”

"Exeter Medical School has been an amazing part of my journey - thank you!"

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Date: 21 August 2018