In a year where most of us were dealing with and adjusting to life under a global pandemic, Christian van Rooyen pushed himself and his dreams even further. Fulfilling a lifelong ambition to relocate to the USA from his native South Africa, the proud Capetonian packed up his life and moved to Seattle Washington to undertake a residency specialising in anaesthesiology.
After completing his medical studies in South Africa, Christian spent time working in emergency medicine in various posts across the country. His dedication and passion for his chosen field is testament to his drive and ambition, which now finds him settled in the USA for at least the 4 years of his anaesthesiology residency. However he feels he might call it home for a while longer even when he completes his fellowship.
Even though medicine is life consuming, Christian makes sure to find time to enjoy exercise (Crossfit, tennis and swimming) and likes to spend as many hours as possible in the ocean. It’s not all fitness and outdoors though, our inspirational medic likes to let off some steam out on the town and on the dance floor, no doubt raising a few temperatures! Is there a doctor in the house?
NAME: Christian van Rooyen
CURRENT POSITION: Medical doctor currently in anaesthesiology residency.
WHERE IS YOUR HOME TEAM: Originally from Cape Town, South-Africa (the best city in the world)
WHO DO YOU PLAY FOR NOW: I currently reside in Seattle, Washington, USA.
WHAT’S YOUR GAME PLAN: My long term goal is to become an anaesthesiologist specialising in interventional pain management. I aim to focus on cancer related pain and hopefully work at a big cancer center here in the USA.
WHAT’S YOUR STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE IT: I have 3 years left of my anaesthesiology residency after which I will hopefully start my pain management fellowship. The path seems straightforward but it has taken me more than 10 years of hard work and studying to be able to practice in the USA.
LIST 1 OR 2 ‘GOLD MEDAL’ MOMENTS IN YOUR LIFE: The biggest milestone I have reached thus far is definitely moving to and working in the USA. 10 years of hard work and dedication has really paid off. Packing up my bags and moving continents in the middle of a pandemic was not easy, but I kept reminding myself that it would be worth it.
WHO ARE YOUR CHAMPIONS: During medical school one of my mentors once told me that every single person that trained under him has achieved something great in life. At first I thought he was just saying that to make me work harder and then later in life I realized what he said resonated with me. There is no universal measurement for greatness, it is a personal achievement. To this day he is one of the best doctors I have ever worked with and I strive to be half as good as he is.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT MAKES AN EVERYDAY CHAMPION:
To me an everyday champion is someone who persits. It is someone who keeps on trying despite their circumstances, setbacks and failures. It is someone who stands up after stumbling and trying again and again.
WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO:
The wise Britney Spears once said : You better work bitch