LEPHALALE — The 40-year-old Dr Patric Shibambu is Lephalale’s first permanent paediatrician. Although Mediclinic Lephalale appointed him, his practice is in Lephalale town at Dr Mariëtte Emslie’s rooms at 2 Booysen Street. He started practising on Monday 11 November.
Dr Shibambu grew up in Tshivhuyuni Village in the Vhembe District. He completed his Grade 12 year in a secondary school in a nearby village. After his matric in 1999, he went to Medunsa University, where he received a scholarship to study Medicine in Cuba.
“Cuba was a good experience for me personally,” he says.
After six years in Cuba he returned in 2005 and in July that year he started with his year of integration programme at the University of Pretoria.
He started his two years internship in 2007 at Letaba Hospital, and he did his year community service in 2009 at a hospital in Thohoyandou.
“In 2010, I realised that I want to be a paediatrician. I was looking for a hospital where I could do that, and I moved to Polokwane intending to specialise. I worked there as a medical officer from 2010 until 2012 and then I started my register programme to specialise. It took me about five years to finish everything,” he said. He then wrote his exam at the College of Medicine SA (all the medical students from any university must do this exam).
He finished his Masters in Paediatrics with the theme “Congenital heart disease in children”.
His love for children is evident – “I love children, and wherever I go, I am surrounded by children. They feel comfortable around me.
I know Lephalale is the right place for me, and I realised during my research that there are a lot of children in Lephalale and surroundings.
“For me, it is easier to work with kids, but it can also be a challenge. Most kids, when they see a doctor, the only thing they can think of is an injection and pain. I want to change that and make a difference by creating a child-friendly environment in his practice”.
He says to diagnose a baby; one should act as an investigator. “You learn how to read the signs and expressions. They can’t talk, but they also cannot lie or pretend. When I go into the ward, I can tell which child is sick. They don’t know how to pull the healthy card”.
Dr Shibambu is married to Dr Rachel Shibambu, who is currently specialising in becoming a gynaecologist. She and their three children will join him in Lephalale next year.
“She is the mother’s doctor, and I am the children’s doctor. A good combination and a good team,” he concluded.
He also promised that before the end of the year, Mediclinic Lephalale would have a fully functional neonatal ICU.
Make your appointment at his child-friendly practise in 2 Booysen Street
(See article about Dr Mariëtte Emslie’s new appointment as Hospital Manager at Mediclinic Lephalale on the front page)