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Welcome! My name is Maria Phalime. I’m a medical doctor, award-winning author, speaker and teacher. 

I’ve made a career out of challenging the limits of what I’m capable of achieving.

From growing up in a working class family in the townships I dared to dream that I could be a doctor. I worked hard to realise that dream; it was a proud moment for me when I graduated from the University of Cape Town in 1999.

Adversity is a natural part of life, and I encountered many challenges when I worked in South Africa’s beleaguered public health system. I wrote about my journey through medicine in my award-winning memoir, Postmortem – The Doctor Who Walked Away.

Since leaving medicine I have also written an award-winning novel for teens, facilitated leadership development programmes for young leaders and senior public servants, and spoken on numerous stages including universities, industry associations and TEDx.

I speak about the lessons I learned when I dared to leave my medical career behind to build a successful second career as a writer, speaker and teacher. My goal is to share insights and tools to help you become the best version of yourself. 

Maria’s Guiding Principles:

These principles guide how I live my life and approach my work:

People are inherently good

With so much destruction and suffering in the world it can be tempting to think it’s all bad. I’m inclined to believe the opposite, so I make a point of seeking out people who care, who want to make a difference and who are conscious of their impact on the world around them.

We are all here for a reason

And not only are we here for a reason, but it is through finding and pursuing our individual purpose that we can make the greatest difference in the world.

Our circumstances are not our limits

It doesn’t matter where we come from, what we’ve been through or what we’ve studied; we all have the capacity to pursue our dreams.

Life always gives us a second chance

In fact, more than two. We always have the opportunity to do things differently; to try again. It’s our responsibility to take those chances and run with them.

Laughter is the best medicine

Ain’t that a fact!