Hajra Khattak

OB-GYN trainee and Clinical Research Fellow, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

“I was a little bit lost when I started studying medicine - there are just so many specialties to choose from. In my third year, I had to do a rotation in obstetrics and gynaecology. I had never seen child-birth before. I had actually avoided it because I felt mortified at the prospect. Then one day, I had to scrub-in to witness a Caesarean section. As the surgeon was going through the layers of the abdomen, I was feeling quite uncomfortable- it was hot in the room and the lights were very bright. Next thing I know, there was a baby, and the atmosphere in the room changed completely. The father started crying, and everyone was giving congratulations. My own emotions were so overwhelming, I had never felt anything like it before. I guess I just suddenly realised that the surgeon was there for the couple at such an important moment in their lives. After I descrubbed, I started crying. Physically, I was fine, but emotionally, I was thinking “what was that?!” I had fallen in love! The specialty certainly isn’t easy and involves long hours, but the more I explored, the more I liked it. Delivering a healthy baby or seeing the heart flicker on the ultrasound never gets old. I started to wonder if I could also help more people have that moment in their lives, which is what drew me towards reproductive medicine. I still have many years of training to go, but I am taking the scenic route and exploring this specialty by undertaking a research degree.”