Former Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green will finally graduate with her MBChB on Monday, December 23.
Green encountered challenges in her second year when she contracted Tuberculosis. Green realised that she could use her diagnosis to educate young South Africans on the potentially fatal disease and help break the stigma attached to TB, especially among the youth.
Her journey as a medical student in UCT’s Faculty of Health Sciences was a bumpy ride as she also took a leave of absence to concentrate on her Miss SA duties.
“My journey has been challenging yet fulfilling. I won’t trade a second of it,” Green said.
In 2018 after she was crowned Miss SA, her role required her to decide on a campaign for her reign and she decided to go for the #BreakTheStigmaCampaign against TB. As a medical doctor in waiting, it was her duty after all to educate people about TB.
“Wanting to deal with my illness by myself was emotionally and mentally taxing. Opening up about it felt like a weight being lifted off my shoulders,” she said.
Tamryn Green. Picture: Willem Botha.
Green received an outpouring of support from TB survivors and became a World Health Organisation and National Department of Health ambassador. In September 2018 she addressed the United Nations’ first-ever high-level panel on TB.
The 25-year-old said she is excited to receive her medical degree and to start making a difference in the lives of people who need it most.
And while she admitted that medicine was not her first career choice, she said she is right where she is meant to be.
“I made the decision to study medicine because my father always wanted to be a doctor but couldn’t. The apartheid era brought many challenges that prevented him from pursuing the career,” she said.
“I am blessed that once I started studying medicine, I realised that I really have a love for it. I’d love to make a difference in people’s lives by helping and healing.”