What could be more inspiring than working with the creation of new life? Our February Young Woman to Watch, Milie Nwoye, has travelled far. She moved with her family from her childhood home in Nigeria to the USA where she studied Obstetrics and Gynecology. She finally followed her heart to Brussels where she is working in her preferred field of fertility at a private practice. Not many people would dare to follow their heart, but Milie’s strong belief in family values and caring for her patients has brought her this far. Her story is one of a very strong woman who is not afraid to take on a challenge and making the most of it. Join us in getting to know Milie and continue to check in to see how she is doing in pursuing her next goal!
Milie was born in Nigeria to a family of 5. Her parents and family friends were strong role models. A childhood medical condition, Asthma, together with support from her parents and family led her to the medical profession. She received her medical degree from the Northwestern University Medical school in Chicago where she met and fell in love with her husband. Her love for both medical and surgical sub-specialties made the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology a logical one. With US-training emphasized patient empowerment and her pragmatic view of life, and passion for self-improvement, she brings something unique to her patients: convenient and updated care centered around patient’s choice.
One must never overlook family because it is from them that you derive your strength.
How did you end up doing what you’re doing?
The choice of medicine was made as far back as I can remember. There were many influences – a childhood medical respiratory condition with severe acute episodes that required hospitalizations; admiration and appreciation of my pediatrician’s medical care; both my parents being in different areas of medical/biological sciences. The choice of gynecology was less obvious. I knew I wanted a surgical specialty and at the same time I wanted a medical specialty, so Obstetrics and Gynecology seemed to be the best of both worlds. The choice of fertility sub-specialty was a case of being at the right place at the right time. I found myself in Belgium, in pursuit of love and Brussels being the birth place of ICSI (a special technique in the field of fertility) dictated my subspecialty training. I love patient care and so after my subspecialty training in fertility, I joined a private practice where I have direct patient contact which gives me ample opportunity to incorporate personal touch into patient care.
How much courage did it take to set up your current business/project?
A lot. I am very cautious and all the important people in my life are also cautious. It was therefore a big step to leave the secure and organized world of academic practice and jump into the world of private practice. Time and patient satisfaction have erased any doubts.
What were the biggest obstacles/triumphs?
Figuring out an entirely foreign medical system in a language I learned just a few years back remain a struggle. My husband and his family have been very supportive. One of my triumphs is being in partnership with a group of gynecologists in AZ Jan Portales in Vilvoorde. The ancillary services and staff at this hospital are very much attuned to my vision and commitment to personal attention. I am also proud to be one of the specialists at the MCH in Wezembeek Oppem. Their dedication to personal care attracted me.
Your happiness is decided by you.
How do you ensure work/life balance?
Introducing structure to my life and good time management let me spend time with family without intrusive guilty thoughts. One must never overlook family because it is from them that you derive your strength.
Who is your inspiration?
My inspiration changes depending on what I happen to be going through at the time. Right now, my inspiration is my father. He embodies unique combination of strength in character and a fierce determination to get ahead without stepping on toes. And my Mum who always says….”There is power in every spoken word. Choose your words and speak positively. Right words bring right results”.
What would be the most important work lessons you’d like to pass on to other young women?
Be confident in yourself. Look things through and always look a few steps ahead. The only thing that can stand between you and achieving your goals is yourself. Happiness is the key to success – if you love what you are doing, you will be happy and successful. Your happiness is decided by you. Set goals that govern your thoughts, liberate your energy and inspire your hope.
Would you do anything differently?
Honestly nothing. Not because my life is perfect but because of my attitude to life. I tend to make situations work for me
What will the next 5 years look like?
I would like to have a personal space where I can receive patients privately. This should be up and running in the next 5 years in the region of Zaventhem/ Wezembeek oppem