I get it from my mama: Mother-daughter doctor duo make history
Like mother, like daughter, a pair of Kudji women made medical history.
After years of studying medicine separately, Dr. Cynthia Kudji and her daughter Dr. Jasmine Kudji are reuniting. They will begin their respective residencies at Louisiana’s LSU Health starting July 1, Cynthia for family medicine and Jasmine for general surgery.
The mother-daughter duo will be the first of its kind to both attend medical school at the same time and be matched to the same program.
Mom Cynthia Kudji, who at 23 put her medical school dreams on hold when she was expecting her daughter, studied at UMHS St. Kitts while Jasmine Kudji was attending LSU School of Medicine, according to a UMHS profile featuring the 2020 graduates.
“It feels amazing,” Cynthia Kudji said in the story about being matched at the same institution as her daughter. “I feel so blessed because she has been my security blanket and my best friend and it’s amazing to know that I can drive down to a different city and not just have to Skype her. I can talk to her. I can be around her.”
Because they have a close relationship, the distance was a challenge for them. As they studied medicine, they leaned on one another.
Cynthia Kudji, who was inspired to become a doctor on a trip back home to country Ghana, worked as a registered nurse for nearly a decade before going back to school to become a physician.
Being a “non-traditional” student came with its challenges. She was further removed from the information, she said in the UMHS story, but she also held a motherly responsibility to Jasmine Kudji.
“I always tell people we laugh together, we study together, we cry together,” Jasmine Kudji said in the article. “I think medical school is one of those experiences that you don’t truly understand until you’re in it. Some people struggle to find someone who relates to their struggles, so for that person to be my mom was extremely helpful.”
The two will be joining a world of medical professionals on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Doctors are desperately needed, and they’re both proud to have a chance to help people, especially in underserved black communities.
Cynthia Kudji works at a clinic where one person has tested positive for the virus, and she’s witnessed firsthand how the pandemic is more greatly affecting rural areas and the black population.