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Real life experiences led to huge impact at a young age which made me choose intervention medicine

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hello dr kibbubu how are you this morning i'm doing fine i'm so glad to see you after two years even though you have been my surgeon but i still really admire the job that you did for my surgery thank you so much for what you do for your patients uh thank you for that and it's my pleasure yeah so i just wanted to briefly talk to you i know you have surgeon i have you have patients waiting for you a little bit i know about you you grew up in ethiopia and you came to the u.s at a very young age um do you want to talk about what happened you know what made you guys move here and your experience growing up and the person that you became happy to um it's somewhat of a typical immigrant story um political turmoil occurs in the country yeah in my specific situation um at the age of nine my all my siblings were born in the states and uh the country at that time had an edict to say all americans must leave so my mother ended up having to leave with my uh siblings to the u.s yeah and then i ended up living there on my own with cousins and relatives for a year and a half and you know at that younger age you learn uh to be responsible uh look out for yourself so that was a very impressionable moment uh and then being reunited with my family a year and a half after you really appreciate uh family uh and extended family really uh during that time that supported me at such a young age so there was a lot of maturing and a lot of things that you learned typically when the boys are just busy playing yes exactly an environment where you can't really be just an innocent nine or ten year old and need to look out for yourself and you see violence you know in the street in the city lived in the capital city uh and really you you see how important life is how important it is to make the most of it but you were thinking of becoming an engineer but eventually you became a doctor so you did change your career path and uh what why did you do that you know i mean both of them are great professions and they both require a lot of hard work and different mindset almost yes yes that's very true in fact my siblings are engineers uh i really had two events in my life uh that really pushed me towards medicine and that happened during my undergrad while i was studying as a chemical engineer one is my nephew was born with a cardiac congenital defect as well as esophageal atresia and spent nearly three months in the neonatal icu and that was where i did my undergraduate was at ucla and it was at the ucla hospital so i spent a lot of time there visiting him and seeing all the interventions that he required and then it really impacted uh on what i wanted to do as a profession uh you know he's a lively 30 plus year old young man and has had multiple surgeries that he's required uh but the impact in his life and to be able to live a full life when you're born a blue baby and certainly something that doesn't you know it's not a 100 guarantee i wanted to function in that role and really impact other people's lives wow that's quite amazing that you were right there when he needed somebody so yeah i mean i was one of many siblings supporting my sister but you know once he went home you know initially he couldn't eat because of the salvageal atresia they didn't want to fix it there at that time because he was a neonate uh and needed to be fed through a g-tube a tube in the abdominal wall that goes directly to the stomach so seeing what he went through and really how dedicated the people taking care of him were really opened my eyes to what a huge impact i could make in that in medicine really yeah medicine is really when you really think about helping them it's not about making money it's you know when you see things like this that's when you realize that you know you can almost be equivalent to god uh certainly can make significant contributions for sure yeah it's very gratifying also um you were talking a little bit about an experience with your mother that made you a better yeah the the second experience really during that time period was my mother uh when i was a freshman in college uh passed away with a from a cerebral aneurysm that hemorrhaged she had high blood pressure and again that event taught me how important it is that we take care of ourselves preventative medicine and to be in a situation where unfortunately in her case there was really nothing modern medicine could do from an intervention standpoint that would have kept her alive but both those events were really instrumental in me wanting to do medicine i saw one scenario with my nephew where the impact the interventions were significant and saving his life and in my mother's situation it was the opposite there wasn't much that could be done and that's the reason i do clinical or translational research and i take care of patients it's those patients that i'm not successful taking care of or giving them the best outcome that they could have that really pushes my research ideas and the drive to do the research wow it must be like just thinking about both these experiences while you're a freshman while you're deciding your career and two people so close to you i mean it must have made it so hard for you even like on a personal level right education aside very true very true and i i didn't mention it also helps although my three siblings are engineer my one sister was in medical school at that time so talking to her daily finding out the ups and downs of medical school and what she was doing was also fairly inspirational and me pursuing medicine yeah so let's just talk about you talking about your sibling i know you're you all have very interesting names the whole family how was that like were you uh you know made fun of in school or like was it just like i think it's a name with a lot of character it's like a superhero name well uh i could say it was very difficult growing up you're made fun of right what kind of a name is that during elementary school but unfortunately for me by middle school and high school i was one of the taller kids so i didn't get bullied uh too much but obviously uh thereafter as an adult it's really been a blessing in the sense that people are interested in meeting me and talking to me and learning about my name and nobody forgets doctor electron kaboom or better or worse right yeah yeah it's it's been it's been great and sort of i think uh in a way people say branded from the beginning you know as i think i supposed to do engineering not medicine yeah but it's been a good thing uh during my adult life for sure thank you dr kabu so much and i appreciate the time you took and i mean just the key the fact that you're talking to me you take care of your patients not only while you're doing the surgery but i think otherwise also you build a long relationship with them thank you so much it's my pleasure and congratulations for doing this and i hope people will get inspiration out of it i hope so too thank you so much again

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