There is a certain resilience and humility that comes with bringing new life into the world. For Dr Mtsi, who was one of the first black female specialists to qualify in South Africa, residence and humility are what she has built her career on, and a sentiment she also fosters with her younger peers.
When speaking with Dr Mtsi at her rooms at Netcare Parklane Hospital, one gets the sense that her lengthy career has served to amplify her passion, excitement and genuine care for her patients.
Dr Mtsi speaks of having always wanted to be a doctor, and the gratitude she has for the role she is able to play in the progression of life. Perhaps that is why she speaks of her job as more of a vocation than a career. It is that sense of a higher purpose that has made her so popular with her patients and earned the respect of her colleagues.
“When we started out, there was an excitement about finally seeing women enter a profession that had mostly been executed by men. This meant we were very busy the first few years”, says Dr Mtsi.
The frenzy may have died down as women have become more commonplace, however the new need to keep up with tech and constantly changing medical advances has meant that doctors are busier than ever.
The new generation of medical professionals are naturally very tech focused and innovative whereas older generations carry the wisdom and skill that can only come from experience. This means that industry stalwarts such as Dr Mtsi need to impart their skills with your younger doctors and be open to their new ideas and approaches.
“I work with two junior female gynaes with whom I have a great relationship. I would say we mentor and learn from one another. It is important in our profession to constantly update one’s self on new techniques and studies. We are comfortable to have debates about the latest tech or a new study, and discuss where it’s appropriate to apply and how to do so,” comments Dr Mtsi.
The medical profession is always a delicate balance between constant research and learning, but also, the human element of dealing with patients that entrust you with their wellbeing.
“After 20 years as a gynaecologist I have had an incredibly interesting journey. And the part of my job that still warms my heart is the process of a mother arriving for her first consultation and maybe running into her with her healthy child at a shopping center. Knowing I played a part in that; which is the reason I wake up every day. On the other hand, the hardest experience is when you have a completely healthy patient, where the procedure appears fairly routine, and for some reason, they have a complication. That is difficult, but moments like those teach you humility. That is how I go into every procedure, by giving it the due humility and respect it requires” concluded Dr Mtsi.