Shadrach Dare: The Man Who Became Both A Nurse And A Doctor

Dr. Shadrach Dare

The incredible story of Dr. Shadrach Dare reminds and encourages us that we can do anything once we set our minds to it.

Of course, there would be challenges and we would be forced to make choices we’d rather wish to avoid, however, no matter what we must learn to make lemonade with our lemons.

We are incredibly grateful that Dr Shadrach Dare chose to tell us his life’s story of how he became both a nurse and a doctor.

“In 2007, I got admission to read BSc Biological Sciences at the University of Ghana (UG), with the possibility of going to Medical School if my first year GPA was good among other things (I will explain in a bit),” he started writing on his Facebook profile.

That was the beginning of the story that unraveled into an inspiring one. He wrote the following on his Facebook profile which continued with him explaining that “he continued by explaining that “at the same time, I had admission for BSc Nursing at the University of Cape Coast (UCC). The decision between Nursing or Medicine was not a difficult one, neither was the decision between UG or UCC.

What was difficult was the level of risk I was willing to take. To pursue a Degree in Nursing or take the risk of studying Medicine if I excelled Year 1 of Biological Science and subsequently passed an interview.

Rumours, at the time, had it that the interview for Medical School was riddled with questions about motivation, competence and affordability.

I had heard stories of some brilliant Seniors who were refused admission into the Medical School despite achieving high grades because there was no sufficient proof they could afford the high medical fees or the accompanying costs (of books, hostel fees etc.), or did not have any medical doctor in their family to appreciate what it took to study Medicine.

The options available for those who could not make it to Medical School after Year 1 of Biological Science included Fisheries, Oceanography, Nutrition, Dietetics etc. (It did not include Nursing). For someone who wanted to improve and promote health of my community, Nursing was the closest I could settle for (I thought at the time). So what did I do?

Well, I weighed my options and sought advise also: I was prepared to work as hard to make the grades, but my dad was a primary school teacher and mum sold in a convenience store. So financially we were not ‘there’ to afford medical school. Neither did I know any distant relative who was a doctor (at the time at least). So I ‘settled’ for Nursing at UCC (Or so I thought). (I will not speak of those who thought I was settling for a low life by pursuing Nursing, or those who felt I was choosing a female profession etc. Some meant well, but not all of them).

But in Nursing School I made a resolution: to be the best nurse possible. ‘Long story short'(as we say in Ghana), I studied as hard as possible, engaged with leadership both in the student union as well as in church.

Well, for those who know little about UCC (also known as University of Choice- if someone says they learned hard it means they learned hard). I graduated top of my class and made some of the best friends I have today (including my juniors and class mates).

After the mandatory National Service, I won a Commonwealth Scholarship to pursue a Master of Public Health at Glasgow (graduated top of my class again), and subsequently won another Commonwealth Scholarship for a PhD Public Health (and graduated at 28 years- I had to add that).

Today I am a Nurse and a Doctor of Public Health. And I have enjoyed most of my long days in university.

I did not have to choose to be a nurse or doctor. I became both.

Today I choose to share my own little story to motivate anyone who feels they may not be on the path they had decided or wish to be. He indeed takes the weak things to confound the strong and the foolish to confound the wise.

Congrats to Dr. Shadrach Dare and thank you for sharing your story to inspire all of us!


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