The bond between mother and daughter is irreplaceable. One of the most renowned women scientists of the 20th century, Marie Curie, worked alongside her daughter Irene in the field of radium and radioactivity—each of them ultimately earning their own Nobel prizes. Today, there are more inspiring mother-and-daughter duos showing what happens when family works together.
In April 2020, Dr. Cynthia Kudji and her daughter Dr. Jasmine Kudji have become the first mother and daughter to graduate from medical school at the same time and be placed in the same hospital. Cynthia Kudji—originally from Ghana—put her dream of becoming a doctor on hold when she became pregnant with her daughter at 23 years old. She worked as a nurse and nurse practitioner for almost a decade before making the decision to attend medical school at the University of Medicine and Health Sciences at the St. Kitts campus in the Caribbean, and the 5th semester in Portland, Maine. Meanwhile, her daughter Jasmine attended Louisiana State University School of Medicine (LSU Health) in New Orleans, Louisiana.
At first, it was hard for them to live and study so far apart from one another. “I think initially it was difficult because my mom and I have always been really close so I had to get used to the distance, we had to learn how to FaceTime and Skype each other,” Dr. Jasmine Kudji explains to AfroTech. Although the experience was difficult, it also had beneficial results. “Sometimes people struggle to find someone who relates to their struggles, so for that person to be my mom was extremely helpful,” admits Dr. Jasmine Kudji.
After years apart, Cynthia earned her M.D. in Family Medicine at the same time that her daughter earned her M.D. in General Surgery. Then on “Match Day”—when recent med school graduates discover the results of their residency and fellowship applications—Cynthia and Jasmine learned that they were both placed at LSU Health. The powerful pair will continue to make waves as they embark on their doctor journeys at the same hospital.