Dr. Maria Othieno Bayerl: From Being Labelled A Monkey To Becoming Top Surgeon In Europe

By Prudence Minayo

Dr. Maria Othieno Bayerl is an aesthetic surgeon whose humble background did not stop her from reaching the peak of her career in Dracula, Bucharest in Romania. Despite several challenges in her journey, she went on to become a top surgeon in Europe. This is her inspiring profile as told by WoK.

Background and Early Education

Born in the 1980s, Dr. Maria grew up in Pangani, Nairobi to a family that did not have so much to spend or to spare. She attended St. Ann’s Primary School that presently does not exist after it was acquired.

Dr Maria did well in her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE)  examination and went on to join State House Girls in Nairobi. She humorously quips, “We would be worried that you would come back from school and find that your boyfriend was no longer yours!”.

She performed exceptionally well scoring a B+ in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination. 

University Education

After high school at State House Girls, she earned a full scholarship at Carol Davila Medical school in Bucharest, Romania to pursue Medicine. Her scholarship saw her receive full accommodation and a monthly stipend from the government of Romania. Although she describes these as blessings, she is also keen to mention that there were challenges.

A major one was racism as she recalls one instance where she and three Black colleagues were inhumanely called ‘monkeys’ by a group of whites. Dr. Maria went on for her medical residency between 2014 and 2019 in ENT (Ears, Nose, and Throat) Surgery at the Institute of Phonoaudiology and Functional Surgery. 

Career Journey

In January 2016, Dr. Maria Bayerl became the Chief Executive Officer of Masika Real Estate, Bucharest – a position she held for three years until 2019. She is today a facial aesthetic surgeon who is looking to make aesthetic procedures more readily available to the global market including Africa. In an interview with the Standard, Dr. Maria said, “I plan to open a facility in Nairobi and work with beautiful Kenyan women. I am thinking of setting up shop and maybe once in four months I can be flying in with a team from Romania and do non-invasive facial aesthetic procedures.” 

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Private Practice

She seeks to change the narrative that makes people, especially Africans, against such procedures. Dr. Bayerl speaks of some of the procedures she looks forward to bringing into the Kenyan market saying, “The procedures I do include rhinoplasty, commonly referred to as nose job, surgery of the nose, Blepharoplasty, a procedure which improves the appearance of the eyelids, botox, a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used to improve the looks of wrinkles, I also do facial fillers or contouring, which are substances injected on the face to add or restore volume, smooth lines, soften creases and enhance contour.” 

She assures people that the procedures are not meant to alter one’s appearance but only enhance beauty and boost one’s self-confidence. Dr. Maria Bayerl looks forward to setting up a state-of-the-art clinic that will be providing these services. As a doctor, she not only works to attend to the health needs of a patient but also their psychological needs. She insists on this saying, “80% of it is empathy and 20% the actual medicine”

Life Challenges

Dr. Bayerl revealed in an interview on the ‘The Lynn Ngugi Show’  YouTube channel that Medicine was a tough career and she felt like she was losing herself. At this stage, she took a break where she reassessed her life and adopted new practices to improve her life. She started working out and being active in sports, a habit she has maintained to date, went back to church, and began speaking to her support system. The doctor is a staunch Christian who is keen to acknowledge God in her life and encourages people to do so as well. 

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Marriage and Family

As a younger woman, she was called too dark to get a husband but years down the line, she is happily married to a supportive husband who she describes as very generous, loving, and her biggest fan. She says the two have built their marriage on trust and communication building a partnership where the two are greatly successful in what they do as they push each other to reach for more. 

Success Tips

Dr. Maria’s life mantra is “Failure is not an option” and she insists that remembering the dream she had as a seven-year-old from Pangani keeps her moving. She intently says, “I never forget who I am and that has kept me anchored.” Moreover, she advises that despite the tough conditions in life, particularly with Covid-19 that people should keep pushing, saying, “Just don’t give up. At the end of every storm comes a rainbow.”