When it comes to choosing a career, some students know what they want to be even before Kindergarten, while others discover their passions later in life.
Dr. Fehima Dawy, a 2009 Harlingen High School graduate, decided that she wanted to be a doctor during her senior year of high school.
“Being a first-generation college student, I didn’t know much about the process to become a physician, but I was able to shadow Dr. Walther at his clinic during my senior year and that really sealed the deal,” Dawy said.
Dawy found that she could pursue her passion and skills through a career in medicine.
“Being a doctor, especially a family medicine doctor requires so many skill-sets that I knew I wanted in a future career,” she said. “I get to problem-solve for solutions to my patients’ health concerns, get to use my hands for procedures in the hospital and in the clinic, and have the opportunity to get to know my patients as people.”
While in high school, Dawy took part in many sports and clubs that helped her develop as a student and an athlete including Student Council, Varsity Tennis, Decathlon, and Drama Club.
“I loved to do a little bit of everything while I was in high school,” she said.
While reflecting back to her years in high school, she recalled the time she spent in her calculus class with appreciation.
“Mr. Hill was an incredible math teacher that instilled a love of knowledge and learning in me,” Dawy said. “I don’t use calculus in my daily life, but when I look back at high school, I’m grateful for my time with him.”
When she graduated from high school, Dawy moved to Georgetown, Texas to complete her undergraduate education at Southwestern University. Later, she attended Louisiana State University Health for medical school.
“I majored in anthropology in college because I loved seeing how health and culture intersect,” Dawy said. “In medical school I was able to serve as the president of the Executive Council, our form of student government that oversaw the medical school, graduate school, and School of Allied Health. It was an amazing opportunity to see what needs my colleagues had and work with LSU leadership to make lasting positive change.”
Currently, Dawy is a first-year resident physician at UT Health San Antonio Family and Community Medicine Program where she takes care of patients in the hospital and in the clinic while learning how to be the best doctor she can be.
Her most memorable experience as a resident physician is starting her first year as a doctor during the COVID-19 pandemic, a year she describes as “difficult but educational.”
Dawy hopes to return to the Rio Grande Valley to pursue her practice in the future.
“I know I wouldn’t be who I am today or have the interests I do today if it wasn’t for growing up in Harlingen, Texas,” Dawy said. “It took me leaving Harlingen to realize how much I missed it. It’s a special place with special people; it feels like home. I also feel like it would be a responsibility and an honor to come back and treat patients in my hometown. The RGV needs physicians.”
Through her experiences, she has learned many life lessons she wished to share.
“There are so many ways to achieve the goals you have,” Dawy said. “Even if things don’t work out the way you originally planned, try to find a new way to make things happen. Life hardly ever goes according to plan, so don’t give up just because things didn’t work out the first time. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help or seek out opportunities you think you could learn from. My favorite phrase whenever I have a moment of self-doubt is, ‘why not me?’”