Bramwell Kithuka hails from Nairobi, Kenya, however, he spent his formative years with his parents in the United States.
Holding on to nothing but hope, his parents worked hard to give him and his siblings the best opportunities for success. Through his own dedication and guidance from loving mentors, Bramwell has achieved more than most people dream of achieving. He became an anesthetist. His profession in the U.S. ranks in the ninety-fifth percentile income bracket.
Consequently, the lessons his parents taught him remain with him to this day – to work hard and to give back to your community. He credits his early childhood instructors for giving him a good start in life in America as well. It was their love and acceptance that helped him develop his self-esteem as a young immigrant. He has always understood that America is truly the land of opportunity. As many Kenyans before him have done, he created his own success through arduous work and humility because as Bramwell says, “The world owes you nothing.”
African Warrior Magazine talked to Bramwell and this is what he had to say about career, life and living the dream:
- Were you born in USA or Kenya
I was born in Nairobi Kenya
- As a child of immigrants, does this inspire you?
Immigrating to the US, with not much to go off rather than hope, I believe the most valuable lessons I have learned have been the importance of a steady hand and humility. My parents have wanted nothing more than me and my siblings to go through life making the most of what opportunities are presented in front of us. Fortunately, the US is full of such opportunities; but I will be amiss if I don’t mention that not everything is easy; and even though you may put forth all that you have, you may never get what you expected. I believe this is where humility is most important and allows one to flourish in adversity.
- You recently graduated with a master’s Degree. In what field?
I graduated with a master’s Degree in medical science in Anesthesiology. With this degree I am trained to work in acute care and surgical settings to administer anesthetics to patients undergoing any form of surgical procedures.
- What challenges did you faced pursuing your career? How did you sidestep such challenges?
In America, training for healthcare related fields takes years and is also very financially expensive. On top of this, the competition into some of the best programs are fierce. Embarking on such a journey takes discipline. You must be able to map out the paths you need to take to reach your end goal.
- Did you dream of achieving such milestones as a child?
Growing up I did not know for sure what life would morph into. All I can say for sure is that my parents made sure that I was on top of school and responsible at home. It is only now looking back do I realize how fare I have come.
- What does an anesthesiologist do?
An anesthesiologist is a physician whose primary role is to design and implement an anesthetic that will ensure patient safety throughout a surgical procedure. This ranges from doing a comprehensive medical history, administering appropriate drugs to sedate a patient, monitor all patient vital signs, treat any abnormalities that may arise, and safely awaken the patient if appropriate following a procedure.
This is a very watered-down explanation of all the duties, but it covers the main goals. I am an anesthetist and in that role I am fully responsible of the duties mentioned above and am also expected to be as fully competent as an anesthesiologist since most of the time the life of the patient is fully left in my hands. In totality though, we both work together in ensuring safe patient care in the operating room.
- What has been your parents’ role in getting you to where you are?
My parents have been very encouraging. Without their support it would have been difficult to get myself to where I am today. It is one thing to provide for your kids, and it is also another to be an example
- For students who are not sure of the path to pursue in school, any advice you can give?
No matter what, work hard where you currently are. Being unsure about future goals is perfectly okay. If you are walking in the right direction, everything will work itself out. It is also just as important to have a level head on your shoulders and realize that the world owes you nothing.
- What has been your biggest accomplishment this far?
My answer to this question will be more unconventional than normal. While I do count finishing college and attaining my professional degree to be personal achievements, I do not believe that they are my biggest accomplishments.
There is much more to life than just attaining a college degree and a job that you consider to be a dream. Life is about the daily ups and downs and the not so great things that not everyone, even those closest to you, may know about. Learning how to navigate life from both a mental and emotional foundation that ensures personal growth even in adversity has been something that I personally cherish. I will add the caveat that I do not think one can be completely in “harmony” or rather consistently in it.
Life is full of variables, and jobs or degrees are but one part of the equation. Stressing one variable over another can undoubtedly throw off the entire formula without having a constant to balance it out.
- If you were to go back and work in Kenya, is there anything you would focus on?
In truthfulness, it is hard to answer this question fully since most of my life has been based out of the United States, even from childhood. Naming one thing can easily lead into a rabbit hole of other things but for there to be a systemic change that can have a better impact on communities and individuals from the bottom up, there must be honesty, transparency, and accountability. However, if I could choose one things, it would be improving public education for all youth. If the next generation, especially those most marginalized, are not given equal access to resources such as education then there will always be a cycle of perpetual stasis, especially for those in disadvantaged communities or backgrounds
11. How are you viewed by other communities/races granted you are a child of an immigrant?
I think immigrants to this country, especially those who do not have connections to relatives or resources, have a challenging time navigating the uphill battle that comes with being in a new country. For me personally, given what I just mentioned, I believe that others view me and my family and hard workers who are here not only to better themselves but also give back to the community.
12. Who is your hero and why?
It hard to say anyone person has had a bigger impact on me than another for I am fortunate to have been surrounded by great mentors and role models, especially through my parents. However, I am very fond of my early childhood teachers here in America. Not only were they receptive to help me transition to life in the US, but they were also very encouraging. There kindness and persistence has left an impact in my life.