Stellenbosch University’s first black female South African plastic surgeon, Dr Mosadi Mahoko, has won the the coveted Jack Penn medal for her results in the 2019 final plastic surgery examinations.

On April 8, Mahoko was informed of her excellent achievement in the FC Plastic Surgery (SA) Final Examination of the College of Plastic Surgeons.

This medal has only been awarded twice since its inception in 1995, making this win even more exceptional. The inaugural winner, Dr Kotze Engelbrecht, was also a Stellenbosch University graduate.

The doctor hopes to focus her talents on children in need of nasal reconstruction.

Mahoko, a registrar in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, told Stellenbosch University that her win was “a complete unexpected surprise. I fell to my knees when I got the e-mail.”

Unfortunately, she could not receive the medal at the customary admission ceremony of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA), as the event was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Mahoka says her success is down to hard work and determination.

“If you hunker down, study the work and are passionate about the work you do, you’ll be successful,” she told her alma mater. She lists her mother, the late Professor Sophie Mahoko, former Dean of the School of Health Sciences at the University of Venda, as her role model.

“I learnt so much from my mother, who died in 2014. She had humble beginnings and worked hard to become an impressive academic. She instilled in me that you must never let adversity get you down.

“I’ve worked hard with the aim of being a good, sensible plastic surgeon to all my patients,” she added. “This medal has given me the validation to believe I deserve to be in this field.

“I have a passion for reconstructive surgery and, particularly for cleft lip and palate surgery. I would like to work on nasal reconstruction in these children as they often have severe nasal abnormalities. I would also like to apply my knowledge of nasal reconstruction in cosmetic surgery,” she said.

Dr Mosadi Mahoka.

Pictures: Stellenbosch University and Facebook

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