We have kicked off the countdown to International Women’s Day, and our first interview is with Prof. Angela Ofori – Atta.
Professor Angela Ofori-Atta is an associate Professor of Psychiatry and a Clinical Psychologist at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. She finds it really exciting being able to help patients whilst teaching Psychology and doing research. Here’s her story!
“I developed interest in Psychology after I stumbled on some psychology books. I just read it and read it and loved it! That’s how it begun. It’s been tough climbing up the ladder up to attaining a PhD but my love for what I do keeps me going. There are many myths I’ve heard about psychology since I started practicing. The one that gets me all the time is when they say ‘Oh you read minds! I better watch it around you!’, but I tell you, there’s way more to Psychology than that. One of the challenging aspects of my job is finding a work-life balance.
A typical day at work involves me seeing about 3-4 patients, doing lots of administrative work, and educational roles such as training medical students and residents. Sometimes it gets really hectic and home suffers, but I compensate by spending quality time with my family when there’s no deadline at work.
Another challenge is gender discrimination: It’s everywhere. You just have to look out for it and tackle it as you see it. I remember one time, I was invited to sit on a committee and the men were introduced as ‘doctors’ and ‘professors’ but the women were just ‘Mrs’ so when I was introduced as Mrs Ofori Atta, I didn’t hesitate to say ‘Excuse me, it’s Dr Ofori Atta!’
Despite these challenges, I’d choose this career over and over again. My advice to young doctors considering a career in Psychology is to genuinely care! The stigma that people with a mental disorder are made to feel also extends to the doctors who look after them. You have to be genuinely passionate about mental health enough to look beyond all that.”
Interview by Misturah Ayodimeji (Class of 2020)