Healing the poor
“We can’t choose how we are born. But we can choose to work harder and to improve ourselves. We should set our aim in life and act upon it. Whenever we are tired and discouraged we should think of our target in life and set upon it with determination,” says Dr Warin Yuyangate.
Coming from a humble family in Phitsanulok’s Phrom Phiram district, Dr Warin, or Kaek as she is known to her friends, faced a dilemma when she won a place in medical school: her family could never afford to pay the high fees of the medical course.
She decided to opt instead for a nursing career which carried with it a full scholarship. Although she would lose the opportunity to become a doctor, this would ease the financial burden on her family.
But then the Bangkok Post Foundation heard about her case and stepped in to help. The prospect of what lay ahead filled her with fear. She had never left home before would have to adjust herself greatly. She also realised that she would be competing with students from privileged backgrounds.
“But then I thought that there were things that I have to do, for my parents, for my relatives and for other people. These thoughts provided the motivation to fight on. My parents are now happy; they no longer have to toil hard ever since I became a doctor.”
After graduation, Dr Warin worked for three years as an intern at a 30-bed hospital in Bang Rakam district of Phitsanulok province, then did a three-year specialist course in neurosurgery at Chulalongkorn Hospital in Bangkok.
“As an intern I was doing very basic work, diagnosing simple cases while more complicated cases had to be referred to larger hospitals.
“I also realised what hard work the neurosurgeons had to do. There were only two of them in Phitsanulok and the workload was pretty heavy.”
The Phitsanulok neurosurgery team is now up to five and the workload has eased somewhat. This allows Dr Warin to spend some of her time teaching medical students.
Dr Warin has a message for present and future scholarship winners: “They should persevere in the face of hardship. They should adhere to the target they have set themselves and once they have achieved their goals they should repay the community where they came from.”
“It is also much more satisfying to cure poor people using the 30-baht scheme rather than rich people”
Asked whether she has thought of transferring to Bangkok, Dr Warin was quite emphatic:
“Things have fallen into place. When I think of how I began with zero I am satisfied with how things are at present. Even though we are not as rich as some others, we are comfortable. Besides, my parents are from Phitsanulok so I do not plan to move elsewhere.
It is also much more satisfying to cure poor people using the 30-baht scheme rather than rich people.”
“The aim of the foundation is good. It gives an opportunity to poor people who may wish to help society but are short of funds. It allows them to use their knowledge to repay society.”