Mare Mbaye - Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
Growing up with immigrant parents, the expectation was to be a doctor, lawyer or businesswoman. This worked out just fine since Mare knew at a young age that she wanted to be some sort of doctor. Ask her brothers, who often played the part of her “patients” until they were too old to be trapped.
The focus in Mare’s household was always on how to push yourself to the next level. So Mare was always involved in several activities at a time while also maintaining a strong focus on school. Participating in sports starting in middle school onwards served as great way to learn discipline and teamwork.
In high school, Mare was involved in just about everything from track to student government to peer counselling. She also began getting more acquainted with the medical field by shadowing and volunteering at her local hospital and at nearby private medical offices. While there wasn’t a lot of hands-on experience at that level, Mare’s interest continued to deepen.
Her time in undergrad continued in this vein with classes mostly geared towards medicine and extracurriculars that included track and field and summers abroad doing research or interning in hospitals. Those college years both humbled and inspired her. The relationships she built there were also important as many of the people she met had a lasting impact.
It seems like the real grind began in medical school. The first two years were difficult simply due to the sheer volume of information that students are made to learn in such a short span of time. During those years, the friends she made were key to her keeping her sane and motivated to reach her goal.
At the start of her third year of medical school (the first year of clinical rotations), Mare was sure she was going to do some sort of surgery and she was almost certain it would be orthopedic or general surgery. By the end of that year, that had changed. Much to Mare’s surprise, OBGYN had become a top contender and general surgery was no longer in the running. It took until the middle of her 4th and final year for Mare to commit to OBGYN. She was drawn by not only the variety of surgeries but also the ability to establish a relationship with patients that can last from the teenage years all the way to retirement. In addition, Mare was frustrated to witness firsthand the degree to which women’s health (and women of color’s health) is ignored, if not undermined entirely.
Once that decision was made, it was just a matter of matching at a program that would provide the training and opportunities needed. During her residency, Mare has focused on learning as much as possible about women’s care with a special interest in gynecology and minimally invasive surgery. She started her instagram as a way to not only let out some creative steam but also as a means to educate and empower women to learn more about their health.
Mare is currently finishing up her last few months of residency in Charleston, SC and will be moving to New York in the summer to join an established private practice in the city. She will be continuing to focus on women’s health, education and empowerment and is hopeful that this next chapter will allow her to spread information to an even wider audience.
Featuring Mare now is more appropriate than ever given the current state of the world. We thank her not only for sharing her story of success and determination, but also for continuning to be part of the front line in the fight against COVID-19.
Please take a moment to follow her social accounts, appropriately entitled Sweat & Scalpels.