Hattiesburg surgeon breaks down barriers - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg surgeon breaks down barriers

Photo Credit: WDAM Photo Credit: WDAM
Photo Credit: WDAM Photo Credit: WDAM
Photo Credit: WDAM Photo Credit: WDAM
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Over the years, Dr. Kate Aseme has seen a lot of changes in the Pine Belt and It's because of her that some of those changes took place. 

Growing up as one of 15 kids in a rural community in Nigeria, with no hospitals, she developed a passion for medicine at the age of 10. She attended a Red Cross school where she learned how to deliver babies at home, which proved beneficial when one of her sisters was born.

"I helped deliver her, I cut the cord," said Aseme. 

After doing extremely well at a two-year technical school in Nigeria, her passion led her to attend medical school in a place she had only heard of--- America. It was in 1964, a time Aseme remembers as young girl that she was all alone. But, that didn't stop her.

"As a teenager you're adaptable,” she said. “You adapt very quickly.” 

She learned throughout medical school and while she was doing her residency along the east coast that the medical field wasn't accepting of women just yet. But, she fought on.  Later in life, Aseme got married. And when it was time to start a career in private practice, she found herself heading south, initially to Arkansas. However, those plans changed and she moved to Hattiesburg making her the first female general surgeon in Mississippi. Her arrival to Mississippi was during a time when many medical waiting rooms were still segregated thus encouraging her to work harder. 

"There was so much medical need in the black community when I came here,” she said. “There weren't enough doctors that saw them.”
Aseme stayed in private practice for 23 years before being recruited by Forrest General Hospital in 2000 to start the trauma department--- a field dominated by years of unchanging status quo. 

"So, here I was, a black woman trying to give orders to an all-male, white group, which is very tough," said Aseme.

Her unwavering determination helped usher in a new era in medical care for the Pine Belt region by shaping Forrest General's response to trauma into what it is today.  

"They resented it, we fought a lot,” she said. “I was in their face all the time, because that's just what you have to do to create the culture.”

Now retired, Dr. Aseme knows the importance of young girls especially in the black community who look up to her for what she's accomplished, because she wouldn't back down and wanted to make a change.  

 "The barriers are all broken down now,” Aseme said. “They can do whatever they want to do, any field of medicine they want to, if they're willing to put in the time and effort, it's wide open for them."

Copyright WDAM 2018. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Hattiesburg woman smuggles drugs into Forrest Co. jail

    Hattiesburg woman smuggles drugs into Forrest Co. jail

    Monday, July 23 2018 12:35 AM EDT2018-07-23 04:35:25 GMT
    Kalisa Rambert is booked into the Forrest Co. Jail on charges of introduction of contraband into a correctional facility. (Photo Source: WDAM)Kalisa Rambert is booked into the Forrest Co. Jail on charges of introduction of contraband into a correctional facility. (Photo Source: WDAM)
    Kalisa Rambert is booked into the Forrest Co. Jail on charges of introduction of contraband into a correctional facility. (Photo Source: WDAM)Kalisa Rambert is booked into the Forrest Co. Jail on charges of introduction of contraband into a correctional facility. (Photo Source: WDAM)
    On July 20, thirty-year-old Kalisa Rambert brought a small amount of spice into the Forrest County Jail through a pair socks. Authorities says she was visiting someone in the facility.  When authorities checked her belongings, they found the drugs and booked her on charges of introduction of contraband into a correctional facility. She is currently in jail on a  $5, 000 bond. Forrest County Sheriff's Office And for those thinking of doing the same thing as ...More >>
    On July 20, thirty-year-old Kalisa Rambert brought a small amount of spice into the Forrest County Jail through a pair socks. Authorities says she was visiting someone in the facility.  When authorities checked her belongings, they found the drugs and booked her on charges of introduction of contraband into a correctional facility. She is currently in jail on a  $5, 000 bond. Forrest County Sheriff's Office And for those thinking of doing the same thing as ...More >>
  • Entergy offers tips on keeping cool in the summer

    Entergy offers tips on keeping cool in the summer

    Monday, July 23 2018 12:26 AM EDT2018-07-23 04:26:57 GMT
    Entergy offers tips to customers to keep cool in the summer. (Photo Source: Entergy)Entergy offers tips to customers to keep cool in the summer. (Photo Source: Entergy)
    Entergy offers tips to customers to keep cool in the summer. (Photo Source: Entergy)Entergy offers tips to customers to keep cool in the summer. (Photo Source: Entergy)
    In an effort to cut down on costs this summer, Entergy is offering tips to keep customers keep while cool without paying the price. According to officials, “for every degree lower than 78 degrees lower” on the thermostat it can increase a bill by as much as three percent. Also, by turning down the air conditioner to 72 degrees, residents can see an increase in their bill by 18 percent.  In addition to setting the thermostat to 78 degrees, Entergy suggests using these...More >>
    In an effort to cut down on costs this summer, Entergy is offering tips to keep customers keep while cool without paying the price. According to officials, “for every degree lower than 78 degrees lower” on the thermostat it can increase a bill by as much as three percent. Also, by turning down the air conditioner to 72 degrees, residents can see an increase in their bill by 18 percent.  In addition to setting the thermostat to 78 degrees, Entergy suggests using these...More >>
  • USM basketball expecting different feel this season

Powered by Frankly