Matie Voices

Yvonne Dyum

Alumna of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

“Making a difference in an individual’s life makes me wake up every morning and do it all over again…for the next person.”

Choosing the right career with so many different fields to choose from, is one of the most difficult decisions for learners today. Yvonne Dyum is one of the lucky few who wanted to be a doctor from as young as she can remember.

Nothing was more exciting to her than talking about being a doctor one day and helping sick people. She was born in the Eastern Cape, and moved to Stellenbosch with her family when she was two years old. She grew up on the Muratie Wine Estate where her parents are general farm workers.

She matriculated at Cloetesville High School in 2009, but her matric results were not good enough to be accepted for medical studies. She then applied for the SciMathUS programme at Stellenbosch University, which helps matriculants to improve their marks in science and mathematics. After completing the one-year programme, Yvonne was accepted for her medical studies, which she completed in 2016.

“My fondest memories of being on campus are the strong friendships that I still cherish till this day. Yes, med school was hard, but I told myself – ‘you’ve come too far to give up now’.” She is grateful for values like perseverance, gratitude, humility and responsibility, which she learned from her parents. “Honesty, respect, compassion and courtesy – a ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome’ also go a long way,” Yvonne says.

She is currently a second-year intern at Uitenhage Provincial Hospital in the Eastern Cape, waiting on placement to do community service in 2019. “I cannot deny the fact that we are faced with challenges on a daily basis in our healthcare system, but the smiles and gratitude from the majority of patients makes service delivery a pleasant one.”

She feels that limited resources make the work of healthcare providers difficult but by remembering why she’s doing it, she finds ways to work around these difficulties with the aim of providing the best healthcare to the communities.

“Making a difference in an individual’s life makes me wake up every morning and do it all over again…for the next person. I hope to one day be able to specialise in a field that’ll help me grow and continue making a difference, no matter how big or small.”

- By Elbie Els -