From the orphanage to the doctorate

From the orphanage to the doctorate

130206 08b
Leap Sovann pictured in Paris. Photograph supplied

As a scholarship student for nearly a decade in health and science, Leap Sovann found that life can be full of challenges as well as opportunities.

In a white doctor’s jacket, Sovann, a gynecologist and chief of the Preah Kossomak maternity ward, says he’s come a long way from his childhood as an orphan.

He couldn’t have done it without the scholarship, he said.

From a young age, Sovann knew that the most important thing he could do was put his heart and soul into his studies.

“In my generation, there was never enough material to study, and I was always living in difficult conditions,” he said.

“I had to save every penny to buy books and school materials.”

And while getting a scholarship to study abroad required a lot of hard work – Sovann came in first among all the country’s outstanding mathematics students in high school – he found that once he was abroad, his studies became even more rigorous. The material was new and more up to date than the books he’d been using.

“I had a yearlong scholarship, but catching up to the new material took half that time,” he said.

As an orphan, Sovann’s education never came easy, as he had to work to provide for himself from a young age.

But even despite his struggles, he found comfort in the strength of his mind and the rigors of medical studies.

Sovann gave this advice to students pursuing health and science degrees: “To achieve success in health and sciences, one has to be very daring. If a person is afraid of an injection, for instance, he or she is not cut out to be a doctor. To excel, a student must also have excellent English or French skills, as most medical books available to Cambodians are in English or French.”  


  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release