The laudable contributions that Belizeans in the diaspora make to improve the lives of those here in Belize are always welcomed. Some of these Belizeans often play an inspirational role in the society by giving back to their communities. At this newspaper, such Belizeans are considered as exemplary, as they not only strive to be successful in their personal lives, but also play a significant part in seeking to improve the livelihoods of their fellow Belizeans. They sacrifice their time, resources and energy to make positive contributions in the development of their country.
Today, Amandala had the privilege to speak with a much-accomplished and distinguished Belizean-American doctor who currently resides in Georgia in the United States, but is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of Belizeans.
Dr. Phyllis Watson, 56, is a scholar in the medical field who specializes in internal medicine and is a true Belizean success story. She has spent over 40 years abroad after migrating to the US as a teenager. After studying medicine, she embarked on a multi-faceted career as a physician for over 20 years.
Dr. Watson is originally from Belize City and attended Wesley College before being transferred to the Adventist Vocational College in Calcutta, Corozal, in 1973. From there, she relocated to New York, where she began her studies as a pre-med student and later went on to become board-certified in internal medicine. She told us that she currently works for two institutions: the Atlanta Medical Center and the Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Watson provides medical care to patients; she also teaches medical students, and does clinical research, all at the same time. She said that she is excited to be able to provide medical care, teach and do research because it puts her in a position to make a difference in the lives of others.
She acknowledged that life in Belize was different when she lived here in her teenage years, noting that there was limited access to television and telephones, so they spent a lot of time reading books. She added that there are many distractions that teenagers face nowadays, but she still wants to see more Belizean youth pursuing higher education so that the country could move forward.
Dr. Watson admitted that one of her biggest inspirations was Evan X Hyde, who was her English teacher at Wesley College in 1970. She spoke enthusiastically about the Kremandala chairman, saying that he left a lasting impression on her. She described him as a young person with a vision, who was brave, courageous and extremely intelligent, and said that, after observing him, she became committed to excellence and will be forever grateful for his inspiration.
She encourages young people to realize that they have what it takes to succeed in whatever arena in life they enter; but she said that it takes commitment, dedication and faith in God.
As a longstanding successful medical professional, Dr. Watson believes that the country is in dire need of more Belizean doctors and medical professionals like herself. She is therefore hoping to volunteer and have the country benefit from her wealth of knowledge, skills and experience.
Dr. Watson said that she feels compelled to give back to the country. She said that she has personally contacted the Corozal Community Hospital and submitted documentation so that she could provide medical care at this facility on a voluntary basis. Dr. Watson said she recognizes a significant need for medical service here in Belize, and believes that she can be helpful.