Dr Daidre Rowe - Career neurosurgeon

BY KIMBERLEY HIBBERT

Monday, November 20, 2017

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DR Daidre Rowe, 33, is a strong-headed individual who commits herself wholeheartedly to the task at hand.

Born in Craighead, Manchester, but raised in Christiana in the same parish, Dr Rowe told All Woman that in addition to the cooler temperatures in Manchester, she enjoyed the natural, untouched and rustic scenery there.

While admitting that she never had a specific dream growing up, she recounts an experience that helped to chart the course of her life.

“I was coming home from school one day and witnessed a student from Holmwood Technical getting hit by a motor vehicle. I felt so helpless. He was just lying there and there was nothing I could do. That's when I decided I wanted to go into medicine,” she said.

And so, after leaving Manchester High, coming to Kingston and doing sixth form at Campion College, Rowe enrolled in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, to realise that dream.

Assisted by the Jamaica Adult Suffrage Scholarship, Rowe was able to complete her studies at the UWI before concluding her senior house officer duties at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI). Having decided to specialise in neurosurgery, she graduated this year as a neurosurgeon from the UWI class of 2017.

“While doing my duties I chose anaesthesia and neurosurgery, and was very inspired by the way the neurosurgeons taught. There was no limit that was set, and the doctor/patient interaction was very inspiring for me. Apart from that, I attended a conference which sealed the deal and so I decided to go ahead and become a neurosurgeon,” she explained.

Dr Rowe next spent a year and a half at Ottawa Hospital in Canada, which led to a short period at the Sick Kids Hospital. It was there that she gained tremendous support and experience which spurred her career and sparked an interest in a few areas which she hopes to pursue.

Currently employed at UHWI as a consultant neurosurgeon, Dr Rowe said her greatest satisfaction is being able to care for her patients and see improved outcomes for them.

As such, she applies herself diligently to her job. She is always seeking out ways to improve her skills as well as the daily operations of the Department of Surgery.

“I am particularly interested in trauma care, as it takes many facets to come together and organise. I am also hoping to do a fellowship in endovascular therapies, particularly for stroke and other modalities that can benefit. At the end of my journey I want to have helped the department to grow and take care of the needs of the Jamaican populace,” she declared.

Dr Rowe is involved in a wide range of activities outside of her official duties. Apart from helping to coordinate the Caribbean Neurosciences Symposium, she finds time to participate in outreach programmes such as school medicals for various communities.

Dr Rowe is grateful to mentors like Dr Ivor Crandon, head of neurosurgery, who has helped her through situations that have built her character and development.

“One thing he told me to do is 'the right thing', and that has always stuck with me. I am also grateful to Drs Althea Aquart-Stewart and Annett Crawford Skyes, women who I think have it all and have really taught me what I need to do, and I am grateful for that.”

Outside of work, she is also grateful to her family who comprise parents Ann and Junior Rowe, her grandparents and her siblings Monique and Jhovaughnie, who taught her that there is nothing external that can prevent her from achieving her goals.

“Instead, they told me that everything is inside me, in my power. Simply remove the roadblocks from your own life,” she said.

Dr Rowe, whose philosophy is “All I have is all I need”, also encourages young people to reach for their goals.

“Where there are naysayers, simply cross them out of your life. While at Sick Kids I met Dr James Rutka, a head neurosurgeon who was also editor of the neurosciences journal, and I asked him how he had achieved all this. He said, 'I worked just as hard as you'. Don't allow people to put down your accomplishments. Anyone trying to hold you back has [their own] issues. If people are truly accomplished, you should be able to absorb that from them and not feel smaller than them,” she declared.

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