05 January 2021 | Story André Damons | Photo Supplied
Drs Keitumetse (left) and Boitumelo (right) Molise in front of a medical rescue helicopter
Twin sisters Keitumetse (left) and Boitumelo (right) Molise graduated as medical doctors from the UFS in December 2020.

Boitumelo and Keitumetse Molise are not only sisters, they are also a twin and medical doctors who graduated from the University of the Free State (UFS) Faculty of Health Sciences during the December virtual graduation ceremony.

According to these passionate young women, studying medicine has always been a childhood dream. 

“It feels really amazing to graduate with my twin. I feel like it makes things easier for both of us because we can help each other. Studying medicine has always been a childhood dream. I've always loved helping people, so I knew that if I studied medicine, I could do that every day of my life,” says Dr Keitumetse Molise.

Studying together made it easier

According to her, studying medicine with her twin made things easier, as she could ask her sister to explain something that she might not have understood and vice versa. They could work together on a problem if both of them did not understand it.

Dr Boitumelo Molise says studying medicine is physically, emotionally, and mentally taxing at times.

“As a medical student, you have to be selfish with your time. The majority of your time is taken up by studying. At times it felt like 24 hours were not enough. There were times when we had to miss even family functions just to study. As a student you have to attend ward rounds, be on call as part of the practical training.  Also, being in the hospital you see very sick patients and deal with death. This is quite challenging,” she says.

The challenges of studying medicine 

According to Dr Keitumetse Molise, 2020 was very challenging and stressful for her. Says Dr Keitumetse: “The pandemic has brought about so many unexpected changes to our academic programme. We had to adapt to new ways of learning, which had its own challenges; however, I am grateful to our faculty because they did all they could to ensure that we finish the academic year.”

Dr Boitumelo Molise says the UFS has the best specialists and lecturers in the country. It provides an excellent platform to learn. “For me, it's also amazing because I had so many doctors and specialists from Botshabelo who I look up to. Graduating now is not just about me getting the title, but it's about me finally being in a position where I can make a difference not only in the community I grew up in, but my country as a whole.”

Even though they are twins and both are doctors, they will be specialising in different fields, says Dr Boitumelo. 

“My twin and I definitely have different interests.  She loves to be in theatre, thus I am sure she'll go into surgery.  I thrive in obstetrics and gynaecology. It was a module that I absolutely loved. I am passionate about female reproductive health and believe there's plenty to be done in that discipline,” explains Dr Boitumelo. 

Their own motivation and advice to others

Dr Keitumetse says you should not let where you come from have an impact on your future. “One should be determined and know what you want to achieve in life. One thing that motivated us was the support of our parents and siblings, they were our pillars of strength. Another thing that motivated us were the doctors that we were surrounded by. They showed us it was possible.”

Prayer, faith, and family kept her going, says Dr Boitumelo. “Knowing that someday I'd be able to help others, motivated me. The only advice I can give other students and young people is to study. Also, apply for as many bursaries and universities as possible. You don’t have to be the smartest person on this planet or come from a wealthy family.  Just work hard and study, then the rest will follow. When you pass well as a matriculant, the bursary opportunities and universities will line up in a row and all you'd have to do is choose who to work with.”

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