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FEATURE STORY March 22, 2021

Power of Perseverance


Sabrina Dangol/World Bank Nepal

Dr Tulmaya Gurung, Surgeon

Dr Tulmaya Gurung is a general surgeon at the Ishan Children and Women’s Hospital, and Durga Bhawani Polyclinic in Kathmandu. As a young girl, growing up in Gorkha district, renowned neurosurgeon, late Dr. Upendra Devkota, was her idol. Shortly after finishing school, she and her family moved to Kathmandu for her studies. During her medical internship, Dr Gurung realized her interest was in surgery.

The pandemic and the lockdown brought a lot of uncertainty for Dr Gurung but she continued to work in the frontline. With elderly parents at home, she took all precautions and lived on a different floor of her house to avoid potential exposure. Many of her colleagues contracted the virus adding to her stress. Nevertheless, Dr Gurung still performed essential surgery as did many other surgeons at the hospital.

Obtaining a degree in medicine and working conditions for doctors are quite challenging in the country, she says. She feels that discrimination still exists within the profession, especially for women. Despite all this, Dr Gurung has plans to go far in the profession - she is interested in specializing in pediatric surgery. 

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This story is one of 23 stories spotlighting women from Nepal who are breaking the mold through their stories of resilience, hope, and grit amid the COVID19 pandemic. Read all the stories here.