Beyond the scientist: Anouk Rombouts

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Anouk Rombouts, PhD candidate at the department of  Surgery, won best oral presentation award at the RIHS PhD retreat.

Where and when were you born?

I was born on June 17th 1990 and grew up in Noord-Brabant, near the Efteling (theme park).

Where do you live and with whom?

In the centre of Nijmegen and I live together with Joris, my high school lover.

Who was your role model when you were a kid?

It may sound a bit corny, but I would say that my mother was my role model. As long as I can remember, she has worked as an home care nurse for terminally ill patients. She works four nights a week and apart from that, she has always had multiple jobs during the day (all healthcare related). Besides her busy working life, she goes cycling around five times a week. What I find most admirable is that she does all of this with a huge smile on her face.

Why aren’t you doing the same thing now as your role model (or do you?)

I saw how much satisfaction my mom experienced in working in health care. Therefore, choosing a career path in the same direction was a very logical step for me to take.

What is the thing in your (work or other) history that you are most proud of?

I have never been a big fan of giving oral presentations because I get nervous. In January of this year, I presented a research paper at the ASCO-GI conference in San Francisco. It was crowded with about 2,500 people listening to my talk. And it was well-received! At the time, I was still a medical student and I am proud of having presented my research in front of such a large audience.  

What is it that you would like to achieve in work in the next 5 to 10 years?

Like every PhD student, it would be great to finish my thesis. It is my ambition to become a surgeon, so I hope that in some years, I will be a surgical resident. Besides that, I enjoy being involved in research. I have a few plans ready, so I hope that I can stay active as a researcher besides my clinical tasks. 

For what can we wake you up?

My guilty pleasure: a ‘Kapsalon’ (for those of you who don’t know this dish, you should try it once!).

What is your hobby and how good are you at it?

I like to travel. I don’t plan anything, but just grab my backpack and book a flight. This way it is always a big adventure. By doing so, Joris and I have been at some incredible places (Australia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Egypt etc.). Unfortunately, travelling is not something I can do all year around. Some other hobbies are visiting music festivals, mountain biking, and getting together with friends.

What is your biggest irritation?

That some people tend to believe everything they read on social media or hear in the news without criticizing its validity.

Who would you like to invite for dinner, if you had the chance?

George RR Martin, I am dying to find out how the Game of Thrones book series continues. Plus, judging from his appearance, he likes his food, so maybe he could cook me a decent stew.


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