- Msomi is the first KZN trained Nuclear Physician and has stamped a mark in the field in KZN.
- He is a medical officer in the nuclear medicine department of Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital.
- The young man hopes that his story will inspire young people to achieve what they feel is unreachable.
Dr Alphonse Msomi recently graduated with a Fellowship of the College of Nuclear Physicians of South Africa from The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa.
Msomi says that he has brought pride to his family and that it is an incredible feeling to graduate as the first Nuclear Physician trained in KwaZulu-Natal. His hopes are that his story will encourage young people in the province to pursue a likeminded field and achieve their qualification within KZN.
There are Nuclear Physicians in KZN, however, none that graduated their qualification within the province. Msomi hopes that his achievement will bring attention to this fact and that more people will choose to pursue their qualifications in KZN rather than elsewhere in the country.
“I chose this particular speciality because there was a definite need for it. There are very few nuclear doctors in KwaZulu-Natal. With a population of about 10-million‚ there are only about five such doctors. It is also an area that I find interesting.”
Msomi is now a medical officer in the nuclear medicine department of Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital. In 2009 he completed his MBCHB degree at UKZN Medical School and later that year he registered for his training program in nuclear medicine at Albert Luthuli Hospital which he started in 2013 and completed last year.
Msomi is exploring the use of nuclear medicine imaging in patients with carcinoma of unknown primary, for his Masters research. His research questions if is there any clinical value in doing a nuclear medicine scan (specifically F18-FDG PET-CT) in patients with carcinoma of unknown primary.
The objectives of his research include looking at whether or not nuclear medicine imaging is more likely to find or suggest a primary tumor when compared to conventional imaging modalities, such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In addition to that he looks if this has influence in the management of patients in any way.
“In this region not much research of this sort has been done except in other parts of the world like Europe and North America. Our population is different however in terms of ease of access to resources and the majority of our patients are only seen once the disease is advanced. In such a setting, I thought it would be useful to see if the same value can be found from using such imaging modalities. Already from the data I have collected I am seeing that patients potentially can benefit in that fewer scans need to be done once a F18-FDG PET-CT scan has been done. This in turn shortens hospital stay, guides the clinician in what other tests need to be performed and helps them to plan a more specific treatment plan,” said Msomi.
Msomi said his career choice stems from the support of his family. A large portions of his family are qualified Nurses and his mother is a nurse who specialized in midwifery.
He is proud of his accomplishments and says that he would have never been able to achieve it without the support of his family. Msomi is a true inspiration to young people wanting to pursue a career that seems unreachable.
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