Calm, collected, thinks on her feet, and can answer all of your general health questions, Dr. Brenda Strandvik has devoted her life to her patients and their families.
Growing up in South Africa, and wanting to become a doctor mainly to help people, Dr. Strandvik took dedication to a whole new level. After attending medical school at the University of Cape Town, and working there for several years, she and her husband ventured to the United Kingdom for what was supposed to be a two year stint. However, they ended up spending 16 years there, while continuing their post graduate training.
Being trained in Family Medicine in the U.K. has given Dr. Strandvik the opportunity to see a vast number of patients. “The specialty involves seeing people from when they are small babies, all the way through to age 100 or more. I have experience in treating people of all ages and from all walks of life, with many different medical problems,” says Dr. Strandvik.
Family Medicine, according to Dr. Strandvik, involves treating new or sudden illnesses, as well as treating or attending to ongoing illness and diseases. “For example, people with diabetes or high blood pressure, need to be tended to and need follow-up on a regular basis and a good family doctor can be involved in this long-term care,” said Dr. Strandvik.
“Part of the feeling of Family Medicine is that you get to know the person, but often also within the context of their wider family. It is a joy to see children grow up from maybe 6 years old when I first arrived in the UK, to maybe 20 by the time I left, and see them change and grow and some of them even start their own family. You are able to get to know more aspects than purely medical issues. People tend to come back to see you because they trust you as a person who knows them, to do your best for them in medical matters.” – Dr. Brenda Strandvik.
With an impressive 16 years’ experience in the field, Dr. Strandvik can pretty much treat any illnesses unless a specialist required. In that case, Dr. Strandvik looks to her trusted peers and specialists to refer the patients to the best possible care.
“I have a diploma in OB/GYN from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in the U.K. and basically, as a Family Medicine Consultant, we would do all aspects of women’s health, including full women’s examination as well as a pap smear test. We also teach women how to do a breast self-examination to monitor for any changes,” said Dr. Strandvik, who is positive about patient education and preventative medicine.
Dr. Strandvik is looking forward to Qatar’s achievements in health care, especially women’s health, and ensuring all women go through regular screenings and tests. Qatar’s diverse population is also something that interests the doctor, as she gets to know the ways different families interact, and the way different health beliefs and different cultural influences affect healthcare. “I believe that being a doctor is a privilege – being able to care for somebody and walk with them through whatever health challenges they may be facing. It’s about working with the patient, and how best to help them to get better,” she said. “It is a partnership.”
On the road to becoming a Family Medicine Consultant at The International Medical Centre, Dr. Strandvik went through rotations within the hospital to gain experience, along with various examinations certifying that she is trained to be a consultant of the highest caliber. She is a Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners, which leads her to being a Consultant in Family Medicine.
“I am registered with medical councils in the UK, South Africa, and in Qatar. You have to show that you are keeping up to date with your medical field and continue to do what is called ‘continuous professional development’ in order to meet the criteria for license renewal,” said Dr. Strandvik.
One of the challenges Dr. Strandvik faces is keeping up to date with the ever-changing medical field, but she says that this is also a great part of why she loved medicine in the first place, as it is such a dynamic field to work in. She enjoys not only keeping up with all the changes and treatments, but also maintaining a good understanding of all the various specialties involved in treating most illnesses.
“I see Family Medicine as the starting point, where lots can be done as treatments. Some people need to be referred to hospital or specialist care, but we are the starting point – primary care.” – Dr. Brenda Strandvik.
With a spouse who works in trauma intensive care in Qatar’s Hamad General Hospital, they came to Qatar for an adventure. “My husband’s job brought us here and the children and I wanted to join him on this adventure. We felt the children should experience something different in life so they would understand that there are many people in the world, from many cultures, and there are many different ways to think about things, so we wanted them to have this exposure,” said Dr. Strandvik.
Adventurous, worldly-wise and a spirited doctor, Dr. Brenda Strandvik is the professional, yet humble, doctor that you can trust to provide quality care for your entire family. Book now with her to experience her vast knowledge and experience of Family Medicine.