Brenda is one of my childhood friends who I found out, just a few years ago, has a career as a physician based in Singapore.
I decided to learn more about Brenda, about how she defines success, and what she has done to be where she is now.
Brenda Mae Alferez-Salada, MD
Medical Doctor, Infectious Diseases Specialist
In my medical practice, I always believe in a holistic approach to managing my patients; because, in doing so, I am able to treat the PERSON who has the disease. Hence success for me is when I am able to achieve an outcome of making my patients feel better – medically, emotionally and physically.
How do you measure success?
I am fulfilled when my patients show up for their regular clinic visits, since it shows that they entrust their well being to me. I rejoice with them when their test results show undetectable levels of infection. Also, I feel grateful when they are able to cope back to their daily lives. This how I measure my achievements – success that does not come in numbers.
What did important people tell you about success?
Success comes when you work hard for it and when you are persistent no matter what comes your way.
Where were you born and raised?
Cebu City, Philippines
What was your upbringing like?
My childhood was a good balance of obedience and stubbornness. I learned some lessons the hard way, which made me what I am today. Of course there were lots of fun and enjoyable times, as well.
As far back as you can remember, what was your very first experience of feeling successful?
Passing the physician licensure examination was my first major achievement, because it did not come easy. It was hard-earned, through perseverance and sacrifices, to reach that goal.
What is your most defining personality or trait? (i.e., introvert, extrovert, easygoing, organized, natural leader, etc.)
I am an extrovert and an optimist.
What qualities do you believe contributed to your success?
Being optimistic and persevering—especially during tough times—has paved the way to what I am today.
What is your occupation/career?
Physician, infectious diseases specialist
What made you choose that occupation/career?
Becoming a doctor was an unexpected secondary outcome, since I primarily wanted to be a researcher in epidemiology.
In one sentence, what do you do for work?
I am a physician with special interest in infectious diseases.
Where did you attend school/college/training?
University of the Philippines, Cebu; Cebu Institute of Medicine
Who are your inspirations?
My decision to become a physician was inspired by my aunt who was a selfless doctor who treats her patients regardless of circumstance and helps them to have healthier lives.
Favorite success quote.
“Tough times never last but tough people do.”
What is your advice to others who want to succeed in life?
This reality called life is hard. PERIOD. So I advised you to face it with strong determination to withstand the bumps, humility to accept the failures and an optimistic attitude to carry on until you reach your goals.