Curious, open-minded, driven and authentic, that’s me!
I enthusiastically embrace life and I am passionate about people, digital innovation and Global Health. As a medical doctor I thrive when working in Global Health and Tropical Medicine. After completing medical university, I specialized in Global Health and Tropical Medicine through two years of training in surgery, gynaecology and obstetrics and traumatology at a Dutch hospital. Simultaneously, I combined the medical training with the position of chairman of the association of Dutch Global Health Doctors In Training (TROIE). After this medical training, I completed a three-month training in Tropical Medicine and Global Health at the Royal Institute for Tropical Medicine (KIT) in Amsterdam.
In 2003, I started my career as a Global Health doctor and have been on three international missions since. The first mission was in Ghana in West Africa at a rural 50-bed hospital where I worked as an all-round tropical medicine physician treating surgical, gynaecological and tropical diseases. During the second mission in 2005, I worked in Chad for Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and was the only doctor in a refugee camp serving 17.000 refugees from Darfur. To raise awareness for this humanitarian crisis, the PBS broadcasted a documentary featuring my mission and work in an episode of Rx for Survival.
My third mission took place in Indonesia in 2006 during the aftermath of the Indian ocean earthquake and tsunami in South-East Asia, where I worked in Aceh as a clinical trainer of malaria and other vector-borne tropical diseases. Aceh was severely impacted with nearly 130.000 deaths during and after the tsunami. I worked for The Mentor Initiative, delivering emergency healthcare quickly and effectively in the most dire, complex situations. The team and I attempted to control malaria in these flooded areas and prevented a malaria outbreak by giving clinical lectures about infectious diseases (malaria and dengue) to health professionals, by delivering malaria rapid tests and malaria medication to hospitals and primary healthcare clinics in remote flooded and destroyed places. A Dutch national newspaper (Trouw) wrote an article about my work in Aceh.
These three year of fieldwork were recognized by the NvTG (Dutch Association for Global Health and Tropical Medicine), highlighting the missions in their media campaign ‘Into the World’, a campaign to engage physicians to work in Global Health. During the Ebola outbreak in West-Africa in 2014, I was interviewed by the Dutch Newspaper Trouw and the article featured on the frontpage.
After returning to the Netherlands, I specialized in becoming a general practitioner (GP). On top of working as a GP, I engaged in malaria vaccine research (Leiden University Medical Centre) as part of my PhD and performed clinical vaccine trials by immunizing healthy volunteers by bites of malaria mosquitoes infected with malaria tropica. My work was recognized and rewarded with the first prize of the ‘Elsevier Clinical Research Award’ at the annual conference of ‘The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiëne (ASTMH)’ in 2013.
I recently completed an executive MBA at Erasmus University, Rotterdam School of Management (RSM). A substantial part of the MBA program emphasizes the development of personal leadership skills and the ability to effectively lead others. Fostering profound self-awareness among future inspirational leaders is crucial for leading with authenticity and presence.
A key assignment for the development of personal leadership skills entailed writing a reflective autobiography. After months of intense reflecting and writing my life experiences from my earliest memories untill the executive MBA, my reflective autobiography gathered recognition by the university and was considered a ‘masterpiece’. The university shared my highly personal autobiography with the entire international cohort serving as an example of personal growth and transformation. In addition, I was honored with the title of Ambassador of the 2022 cohort for which Erasmus University highlighted me in a 3 minute mini-docu.
Currently, I am preparing to launch Enigma Global eHealth, an innovative platform connecting patients, doctors and health institutions. Recently I became an Industry Partner of openEHR International and an interview was taken featuring my global entrepreneurial plans.
In parallel, I conduct lectures and workshops about Leadership for professionals in business & Health; inspiring others in their (personal) leadership development.
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