Ddungu narrates journey to School of Medicine

By Pauline Luba
Tendo Jethro Ddungu long dreamed of being a doctor. However, it was not until he got to Senior Four that he shared his desires with his father, a specialist in public health. Upon receiving the news of his son’s career passion, Dr. Peter Ddungu did not think twice. He straight away told his son to choose another career. Dr. Peter’s stand shocked his son, who had imagined his father, whom he looked up to, would be proud of him for choosing to follow in his footsteps.

But Peter had a reason for his stand. He knew medicine was not an easy course to study.  Instead, he advised Ddungu to opt for a career in engineering, which the father sensed would be less demanding academically than medicine. However, Ddungu stuck to his guns.

“I understood the weight of the medicine course from an early age,” Ddungu said. “If I felt I was not up to the task, I would not have expressed interest.” 

Upon seeing the determination of Ddungu, Dr. Peter eventually respected the wishes of his son. He thus supported him to achieve his dream. Ddungu is now in year four, pursuing the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at Uganda Christian University’s (UCU) School of Medicine in Mengo, Kampala. He hopes to become a cardiac surgeon — a specialist in surgeries on the heart, lungs and other chest organs, as well as one who diagnoses and treats the same organs.

So far, Ddungu says one of his highlights at the School of Medicine was watching a specialist perform a chest surgery in the theater last year.

“There is a saying that a surgeon needs to know when not to cut,” said Ddungu as he explained his experience in the theater watching firsthand the medical procedure. “The surgeon should also have the heart of a lion (calm, no matter the situation), the eyes of an eagle (alert and strong sight) and the hands of an angel (delicate).” 

The 23-year-old says he was able to witness this mantra as he sat through the specialist medical procedure last year. 

The ultimate goal in the life of Ddungu is to fulfill God’s purpose for him, whether in family, business or any other area. He believes UCU offers the best place for him to accomplish God’s desires for him. Part of accomplishing God’s call is taking part in leadership in the community, which Ddungu, the eldest of three children of Dr. Peter and Mrs. Elizabeth Ddungu, has participated in, unreservedly. At King’s College Budo, where he had his O’level education, Ddungu was the timekeeper. 

From Budo, he headed to Turkish Light Academy, where he studied A’level. During his time at Turkish Light Academy, Ddungu was the head of fellowship, a role he described as “difficult leadership” because the school was predominantly Muslim.

At UCU, the university Ddungu says he joined because it is known for “producing good professionals,” he has been a representative at the Uganda Christian Medical Fellowship. He also plays the guitar during community worship at UCU.

When he is not at school or in church, most likely, you will find Ddungu swimming, reading or hanging out with friends. He believes in the notion that no one can be too busy to participate in the things they love, as long as they set priorities.


Leave a Reply