Thirty-one-year-old Dr Alphonse Philani Msomi has made history by becoming the first nuclear medical physician to have been trained in KwaZulu-Natal. He recently graduated with a Fellowship of the College of Nuclear Physicians of South Africa (FCNPSA) from The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa. Msomi is now working as a medical officer in the nuclear medicine department of Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital.

Born and raised in one of Durban’s flats by both his parents, MsomiĀ  says he always aspired to be a doctor. He is the first Nuclear Physician to be trained in KwaZulu-Natal.

Although there are other nuclear physicians working in the province , they were all trained elsewhere making Msomi the province’s pride.

He completed his matric at Bechet Secondary School in 2004 and his MBCHB degree at UKZN Medical School in 2009. He did his internship at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in Umlazi and in 2012 completed his Community service at the Church of Scotland Hospital in Msinga.

Msomi says it was not an easy journey, but he hopes to inspire more young people in the province to pursue a similar career path.

“It’s not something that came about easily. I was not expecting this but it’s something that my family is very happy and excited about. For other doctors ,I just want to encourage them to dream nuclear medicine. It’s an exciting field with new developments, lot of things are changing within the field.”

A Nuclear Medicine Physicians diagnose and treat diseases such as cancer using radioactive materials and techniques. According to research , KZN is behind in producing enough doctors who specialises in this profession.

“There is some patient care direct patient that is involved in it where you administer therapys following up patients in the clinic but also to interpret images and reviewing results of invitro tests, it’s very dynamic.”

He says his career choice was influenced by his mother who is a nurse specializing in midwifery. His mother, Ntombizodwa Msomi says she always knew that one day her son will become a doctor due to his interest in this profession from an early age. She says its sad that his late father never got a chance to witness this.

“When he started this course his father was still alive. We were very happy and we would say he is the first in the family to be highly educated. But now I’m alone and it’s sad but I know that his father is happy where he is.”

Ntombizodwa encouraged other parents to invest in their children’s future by teaching them discipine and to support their dreams. She says raising two boys alone was not easy.