Fifth-year Medical student, Mr Nitesh Brijlal, has won the South African Society of Anaesthesiologists (SASA) Horace Wells Medal for the Best Anaesthetic Student of 2016.
HoD of Anaesthetics and Critical Care, Dr Dean Gopalan, congratulated Brijlal and presented him with the medal and a cash award during the weekly departmental Anaesthetic meeting at the Medical School.
Brijlal (28), a qualified Pharmacist, obtained the highest marks in Anaesthetics and Critical Care during his fourth year of Medical studies.
‘It was totally unexpected. I guess my hard work and perseverance paid off,’ he said. ‘I was doing a pharmacist locum when I received a call from Dr Trisha Ramsamy, St Aidan’s Hospital fourth year Anaesthetics Block Co-ordinator, who gave me the good news. Speechless and elated – that’s exactly how I felt.
‘Receiving such a prestigious accolade was indeed an honour. I thoroughly enjoyed the block and my time spent doing two extra intakes was definitely beneficial,’ he said.
Brijlal greatly appreciated the dedication and excellent tuition he received from various Anaesthetic staff members.
During his Pharmacist internship at King Edward VIII Hospital in 2011, he sometimes accompanied doctors in theatre which he says were memorable experiences responsible for his early passion for anaesthetics.
Brijlal, an adventurous individual and ardent Proteas fan, loves playing cricket and travelling. He still works at various pharmacies as a locum on weekends and during mid-year campus breaks.
He obtained his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree summa cum laude from UKZN in 2010 and completed his community service at uNtunjambili Hospital in Kranskop in 2012. He later worked as a Grade 1 Pharmacist at KwaMashu Community Health Centre for a month, before joining the Medical School in February 2013.