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October 2021



Meet IODA member Nabeela Adam

Nabeela Adam is currently a senior orthopaedics medical officer at Frere Hospital in East London. When life has challenges, she stands by the motto of a Toyota Hilux bake: "be 'tougherer'".

She is passionate about orthopaedic surgery and believes that everyone should have equal access to surgery despite their level of income.

In her spare time, she likes to gym and surf. She admits to not being great at surfing but enjoys it none the less.



Why did you join IODA?
I joined the IODA because I believe that through these organizations, we can improve people’s access to healthcare by developing partnerships and mentorships. And most importantly meet some really awesome like-minded people who are all about breaking boundaries and setting new standards.
How do you define success?
Knowing that you are on top of your game but still remain humble.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
I have had a few female surgeons inspire me from OB/GYN that were amazing and taught me the importance of being kind. The surgeon that has inspired me the most is Prof Elmin Steyn from surgery. She was actually one of the first people to encourage me to pursue my dream of orthopaedics and to date still believes in me. I love how she says so much with silence. She also has a really great sense of style and does not mind not blending into the crowd.  

What do you love most about orthopaedics?
There is a problem, we fix it and patients are most of the time happy with the outcome. It’s all about managing patient expectations.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stop benchmarking yourself to other people’s expectations, you are only competing against yourself.
Tell us something fun about yourself that not many people know.
I used to play ultimate frisbee and was actually quite good, but unfortunately due to the Covid19 pandemic all practice stopped and has not resumed. But I do miss it terribly. I have joined Cross fit but it's not so much fun.

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