The Artist Medical Student; Tomisin

Tomisin is one of my best friends in the whole wide world and that I am proud of her feels too slight a sentiment. I will shamelessly famz her anywhere anyhow. And let me just say it before she gets all rich and famous that I was one of those people that encouraged her to keep drawing despite all odds. You can always count on Tomisin to be real, so you’ll definitely enjoy this one.

Introduce yourself

My name is Ogunsola Oluwatomisin aka @tohq, I’m a 4th year medical student at lautech. I am sort of a self-learned artist and an introvert but I let loose when I want to. I love colours so I’m a carnival freak. I also like reading and having fun.

How did you start?

I started drawing in 100 level then as part of my fine art project so I got the fine art pack and I remember really putting in work but getting disappointing results. I used to stay with my grandmother so I was bored a lot. I don’t really remember exactly how it happened but I took the remaining materials in my fine art pack ,got cardboards and just started playing around with them. I started with painting first, just painting stuff I liked then I proceeded to using pencils.

Challenges you’ve faced and how you deal

The major challenge I faced then was not to allow people’s praise to determine how I felt about my own effort because when you put in a lot of work into something and people don’t even react about it, it tends to get one feeling unskilled and just down in the dumps. I worked on my self confidence for that. Surprisingly, I didn’t have any problem with picking up tips and points from online tutorials or videos I watched, practice was just the key.

My next challenge was getting the expensive materials I needed which I’m still struggling with. I never had to share my space with others so I had lots of personal time to work with. Recently,my biggest challenge so far has been time. Ugh! so much to do but so little time. I am still trying to figure out how to balance my art with school work because an average image takes at least 4 hours to draw depending on how realistic I want it to be. I barely have 2 free hours each day and I love my sleep.

What keeps you going?

I just love art. I really love colours so that is what drives me to work towards starting painting again. When I draw, it’s a form of therapy for me and it relieves the stress of medical school. It’s like a mental boost that makes me feel lighter. And the love is just there, I am missing it so much right now and that’s all that drives me to draw.

How you balance things with medicine

Balancing with medicine is still a challenge I’m trying to overcome. I haven’t drawn in almost too long and I still need a lot of practice. I usually have to sacrifice social activities to achieve or just finish whatever project I’m working on but recently, I use any extra time to sleep. I have more time on my hands now though so I hope to pick it up again. So there are hellish times in medicine and periods of slightly lesser work. That’s the time I usually try to focus on.

Tomisin’s exposition on how doctors feel when they lose a patient.

A word for a fellow med student

If you’re in preclinicals,try to have as much progress as possible before moving to clinicals because that’s when you have time to have a solid foundation in whatever interest you have so you don’t have to do much to grow in clinicals. If you’re a med student to be, just know that you have to be committed because you will give yourself excuses when the work hits you. Decide how you are still going to have time and plan your time well. Thank you

3 Weeks Junior Paediatrics Posting in Ogbomosho

The teaching hospital in Ogbomosho is always a delight, working there really makes me happy but I’ve found that I’m not that much of a fan of clinical practice in itself. Starting paediatrics came with anxiety, although I’m not much of an anxious person, rumours of monstrous consultants and tiny babies with their tiny veins and big problems set me on edge. The one specialty I was sure I was not going to follow through in postgraduate studies has always been pediatrics, did this posting change that? No, but I realized it’s not as bad as people make it out to be.


We were splited into four groups on arrival, each group attached to a unit and then we would swap every other 4 days or so, since we had 3 weeks to spend in the hospital. Every morning there was morning review which started by 8:30am and last for an hour or there about from there we all moved out to our stations. They were four in total; the ward, the Children Emergency Unit (CEU), the Special Care Baby Unit (SEBU) and the clinics.


I started my posting on the ward with a group of 3 other people and it was very lightweight, we had minimal patients, about 5 in total and by the time I was rotating out they we about two left, some were discharged and some left against medical advice. It’s always sad to see patients leave like that, cause it’s never really their decision, it’s that of the parents and we would never know if that’s what the child would really have wanted. I think the biggest issue we have in Nigeria for sure is poverty.


From the ward we moved on to CEU, which was actually more stressful. We saw so many cases of cerebral malaria that I think I can actual treat cerebral malaria on my own now and guy let me just tell you if you see a child or anyone else for that matter convulse, please do not put anything in their mouth. It doesn’t help, quite frankly it could make things much worse because such things can easily get stuck in their throat and they can suffocate on that. It could kill. In CEU you meet babies that wail at the mere sight of you and others that just smile and stay still, such children are the paediatrician’s pride and joy.


I was stressed out during this posting, because there was this week when I was got home 9pm or later everyday and I just found myself depressed at some point. I don’t know why. It things like this that make me think perphaps clinical practice is really not for me.


Next was clinic, I actually enjoyed the clinics there were mostly happy kids but that’s also where we admitted a case of queried nephroblastoma, queried means we were not sure.

Nephroblastoma is the most frequent malignant renal tumor in children and is associated with an abnormal proliferation of cells that resemble the kidney cells of an embryo (metanephroma), leading to the term embryonal tumor.


He eventually died so that was sad, but to be fair he was brought in quite late and was already in a severe state, they was only so much that could be done and his parents had already given up before he passed. He was 5 and the second of a twin. The hospital is a sad place but also a happy one depending on how you want to see it.


Next, SCBU. We were there for the shortest period of time. The SEBU is a sterile environment so we weren’t allowed in with our wardcoats, bags or shoes. The commonest cases there were preterm babies and cases of neonatal jaundice. Babies are truly the most beautiful creatures in the entire universe. Looking at a baby does something to you, inside you. I’m looking forward to watching a baby being born in O&G department. But until then the kids are alright.


Moving to the teaching hospital in Osogbo after the Easter celebrations, I know it’s going to be more hectic so I’m taking my time to rest and prepare myself for work.


Happy Easter guys! Enjoy.

The Writer Medical Student; Nicholas

I was privileged to read some of Nick’s earlier works and I must say proud is an understatement of how I feel about how far he has come with his writing. He has been so kind as so share his process with us. Enjoy!

Introduce yourself

I’m Aderinto Nicholas Oluwaseyifunmi. I’m an ambivert. I love to see how the big things of life were built from little things. I love doing things the world thinks is impossible.

How did you start?

How I started? Well, right from when I was able to distinguish between morning and night I was already writing. I was much of an introvert growing up, so when people hurt me I may not be able to reply them so I had a book I wrote those things down. But I started writing well after secondary school. I failed my first UTME which was quite destroying for me. Writing became a place of solace. A place of restoration. I felt like a person again. That’s when I was intentional about it. I didn’t start writing to be a writer, it was just a thing of love.

Challenges you’ve faced and how you deal

From the beginning I had challenges. No one believed me. I wasn’t one of the top English language students in school before we graduated and my main audience on Facebook were my mates so they couldn’t believe it. I had nobody reading what I was writing than myself. It was quite challenging. Some even laughed. I thought of quiting. Around that time I read a book by John Maxwell, failing forward the book really helped I derived strength from it and I told myself I will fail forward. I wrote only motivational pieces for about two years, but I knew I wouldn’t last long if I’m limited to that. That was when I started learning about other genres of writing. I started with poetry which I’ve been doing majorly since then. It wasn’t quite easy moving from one genre to the other. It was like crossing an ocean. My audience weren’t interested in poetry too. It was quite strange. But I was quite determined. I read lots of poems. I read lots on poetry and I was patient to win over my audience. I think another challenge was when I was writing as a blogger for Legit.com(known then as naij.com). I had to write on national issues and I received several threats through email and social media. Another is not having people who believe in writing around. But I think I’ve made writing popular in my medical school especially poetry. I knew one candle can do a lot. There have been many challenges only if I have eternity to say them.

What keeps you going?

What keeps me going? There are days I don’t want to go anymore but I find fulfillment in writing that’s why I stand up on such days and continue. The understanding that it’s my own contribution to the world. The conviction that the world will miss my writings if I don’t do. I wish I could explain but the feeling is better experienced. I know it’s what I’m meant to do.

How you balance things with medicine

It would have been easier if it’s only medicine and writing I do. But I’m involved in other things. I’ll prefer the question – how do I balance my life? The first understanding that keeps everything together is that my life isn’t splitted. It’s one. Be it when I’m reading my school books or writing or doing other things I’m involved in it’s to one end to fulfill purpose. It’s not a waste of time when I’m doing any of those things. The only challenge is doing the right one at the right time. The Holy spirit helps me to know what to do per time. That solves it all for me daily.

A word for a fellow med student

To my fellow soldiers in training, we’ll not survive. Because our lives aren’t meant to be lived in a way that we’ll be fighting for survival. We’ll live our lives the best way we should through the stress and challenges of medical school. We wouldn’t survive, we’ll live. If you’re thinking of medicine, think twice or even thrice. Do you really want it? Can you hold on in times you don’t feel like carrying on?

How To Maintain A Tidy Room

So let’s be honest, Uni students are pretty unkempt. They wear the dopest clothes and perfumes but their rooms are another story. And yes, I’m looking at you too, ladies. But I’m not here to point fingers. And I know it’s not everybody that has this problem. If you don’t, this isn’t for you. I also know it can be difficult to maintain an orderly or clean room when you’re not used to it or if you have a really uncooperative roommate. But you can do it. You can do anything you put your mind to. Which brings me to my first tip;

1. Decide.

You have to want it. These things aren’t going to last very long if you don’t really see why you should be clean in the first place. I’ll give you a few reasons;

  • You’ll know where your stuff is. No endless “where did I put this thing sef?”. No more messing up the whole room to find one top.
  • You could get sick. You already know this. With germs flying everywhere, you’re putting your life in danger.
  • It looks nice. It really does.

Now you know. This is where you choose, am I going to be this person or that person? Your choice. Decide.

2. Make your bed every morning.

Yes, I know you’d rather not, ’cause you’re already running late and you haven’t even taken a shower yet. Here’s a quick hack, immediately you get up from your bed, make it. You shouldn’t leave your room without making it. Would you leave your room without brushing your teeth? Then, you definitely shouldn’t leave your room without making your bed.

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3. Have a cleaning routine.

Of course, the point is maintenance. Most people clean their rooms from time to time, but they have a problem keeping it clean. This is how to do it. Categorize your cleaning into three routines. Daily, weekly and monthly + other cleaning. Make a list of stuff you should do daily. Sweep your room, make your bed, wash dishes etc and in the same way those you should do weekly; cobwebs, toilet wash, bed spread and then the monthly clean, fan blades, curtains etc.

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If you can keep to the plan, I assure you your room will always be clean.

4. Let everything have a home.

It’s better when everything you own has a home. Like for your bags, home is in the left corner and your books always go in the shelve, or are arranged neatly in a corner except your assignments that are always on your table. Your jewelry in a trinket on the top of the counter. Do you get my drift? Let everything have a home, so that when it gets misplaced you’d have a place to return it too. A permanent place. It helps to keep things orderly.

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5. Wash dishes immediately.

For real, this is like the best thing you could do for yourself. No mould, no stink, no sticky plates. No mountain of dirt to subdue. If you struggle with this, see it has the last part of your meal. the same way you would take your plate to the sink when you are done eating. Wash your plate and utensils when you get there, you’d be happy. See it as the last thing to do. The sink will always, always be clean.

6. Trash or give out stuff you don’t use.

If you have too much stuff, your room will always look clumsy, even when it’s clean and then you’ll begin to think what’s the point of cleaning the room at all, if it’s only going to keep looking like an ugly fat woman. Here’s what you do, give your room an overhaul. Put your stuff into three groups. 1) Stuff you like and use 2) Stuff you don’t use and 3) Stuff you are not sure about. Trash or give out those you are sure you don’t use. Wait on those you aren’t sure about for 30 days, if you didn’t need anything in that stark in all that time, then trash or gift them too. You don’t need stuff to be happy, trust me. You’d be happier with those things you use and love and not to mention how light your room would be. It’s a total win-win.

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Have a badazzling (I don’t think that’s a real word) April ahead, and remember you can do anything you put your mind to.

What is your biggest problem with cleaning your room? Anything you find particularly daunting?

Photos: Pinterest.

People Are Just People; The Simple Fact We All Have a Hard Time Accepting

Photo: @propaganda, Twitter.

Case Study: Liz Gilbert.

Yo! Let me tell you about Elizabeth Gilbert.

I discovered her late 2016, when I stumbled on her TED talks on creativity. Which you should watch by the way.

This

And This.

She had me at hello. She has this thing about her, like she commands some kind of mastery of brilliance. Like she wasn’t too intellectual that she couldn’t be playful and she wasn’t so wimpy that she could be mature. She resonated balance. Everything about her inspired me. Her writing, her thinking. Don’t misunderstand me, I did not agree with everything she believes and put in paper, but her approach to life and art was something that caught my eye. Anyway, my infatuation with her bloomed. I was on this journey of reading everything she has ever written, including her article-like Facebook posts. Love makes us do crazy things like that (so they say). I was really slow at reading Eat, Pray, Love, the second book of hers I was reading, so I downloaded the movie and decided to watch instead.

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Julia Roberts as Liz in Eat, Pray, Love. The movie.

The story centers on her (Liz’s) experiences from traveling to three different countries to find herself after a nasty divorce, followed by another heartbreak of sorts. It’s funny; the whole idea of travel and taking off for a year like this (even though she has always loved traveling) was because she once visited Bali, met a medicine man who predicted she was going to come back and stay with him in Bali for a while. He prophesied a stream of other things. But the one I’d like you to keep in mind is that she, Liz, would be married twice in her life time, one short, the other long.

Liz learnt to eat in Italy, to pray in India and found love (unexpectedly) in Bali. Fast forward to about 12 years after. Liz is a best-selling author, with a movie adaptation under her belt. She has gone ahead to write other books, but none ever really surpasses the grandiose success of Eat, Pray, Love. People have been inspired. People has moved on from unhappy marriages because of her. She has been a source of hope of sorts. But imagine my shock when I found out that Liz had once again left her husband of 12 years, for… wait for it… A woman.

I’m going to let that settle in.

No, I don’t have beef with gay people. It isn’t really about that. It’s about how disappointed I felt as a reader of this woman’s work. Don’t get me wrong. I get it. I get the whole finding love thing. The whole find what works for you thing but you know what breaks my heart and just loosens all my screws when I think about this story. It’s all the people. All the people who idolized this story. That read it and went “holy smokes I’m going to divorce my husband too, travel the world too, find true love too and live happily ever after too“. You know why people even think like that in the first place? It’s because we’ve been programmed somewhere along evolution (or whatever) that someone doing something and most times succeeding at it also gives us permission to do that stuff and maybe, just maybe even succeed too. You guys, I dare say, shit doesn’t go down like that. Like we really need to learn to stop following and trusting totally in people. In the end there are just peopleand they are screwed up too and they don’t know what they are doing too. Me included. This is earth and we are all novices. Yes, some people know how to jam words together and make you feel like they have it all figured out and maybe they think they do too. Some people sing and it feels like the world is at their feet because you know, it kinda is in that moment. But let’s not forget, in this clumsy world we live in, we are all just people. Just people. And we blow things up all the time. Don’t roll your eyes like you don’t know. I mean, you get mad when your browser is a wee bit slower than usual. You get tired. You sleep. You worry. I mean, do you get me? We’re just people. Without God, we are just people. You people already know, me I’m like on another level. Lol. But that’s talk for later. All I want you to see, and maybe even just think on for sometime is how really alike and human we all are. Cut people some slack. And glory. And time. And mind. And just pour love. And let it go.

Choose to follow God. He doesn’t change his mind y’all. When God says marriages are forever. Like it isn’t about whether or not you are feeling it. It just is. You make it work, you stick it out. You can do all things. You can handle it. Better believe him. Cause let me tell you, happiness is where you believe it is. And that doesn’t even guarantee it will last. But the Joy that comes from God? Oh how it sticks. Oh how it follows you.

To be honest, Liz is still a magician with words. She’s a beautiful, brilliant person to me in many ways. But you know what? She is  just a person. And I’ll let her be that (no more) in my heart and mind. If we can all learn to live like that, maybe empathy would be more real and unscripted.

Love & love—O

The Creative Stylist Medical Student; Olugbemi

I’ve known Gbemi for years now, first as a stranger but now as a close ally. We’ve shared and exchanged med school stories and challenges and coping mechanisms. We’ve bonded over good books and impeccable writing. He is fun, honest and most of all creative. I’m glad he chooses to share himself with the world in his own way and I’m also happy we all get to (here&now) immense ourselves in creative ethos of the Olugbemi himself.

Introduce yourself

Osunsanmi Olugbemi aka theolugbemi before anything else is an artist with an impressive imaginative ability. He is a content creator, creative& fashion stylist and creative writer. He is the owner of the brand – theolugbemi which sets to drive a strong positive influence in his generation. He is also a 4th year medical student at the Lagos State University College of Medicine.

How did you start?


I believe I have always been an artist. When I was little, I loved to arrange the house, tidy the living room and make it look pretty. I remember my mum saying one time; Wow! This looks really nice.


I have also always liked dressing nicely for myself to church on Sundays since I was little. My clothes were always arranged and tidy. I never had a problem combining colors and fabric. I guess it just came naturally and I’ve grown with it.

As for writing, well… I’m an old soul so I like to document things like my feelings, my experiences and even my most random thoughts. But this didn’t start until 2013 when I got into a relationship. I guess that just kick-started the whole writing experience.

Challenges you’ve faced and how you deal


MONEY

A major challenge is not having enough cash. Because to be honest these things require money. To shoot, to buy materials, to do graphics and all these things you will need money. And every time I’d have to save up and wait for weeks till the money is complete. Usually by then, time would have gone and this kills consistency.

So what I do is any time I get money (allowance and the likes), I always put aside a particular amount for these things so I’d have something to run to when the need arises.

DOUBT


It is funny how we doubt ourselves no matter how talented we are. And several times I’ve doubted myself. I’ve caught myself asking: Olugbemi what exactly are you doing? Especially at the time when things weren’t exactly clear( I knew what I wanted but I wasn’t sure if what I was doing was the right thing to get me there). Other questions like: Are people going to like this? How would I be seen? Am I just wasting resources? When would all these start to pay off?

Thankfully, when all these doubting questions come, I just speak to myself and say; “Olugbemi do what you have to do. Someone is watching and it’s only a matter of time when things would start to fall in place.

What keeps you going?


My love for Art and Expression keeps me on my toes. I cannot let my ideas go to waste. Never! Once I think about it, I’m definitely doing it. And little by little, people are actually beginning to appreciate. The sheer joy I get when I’m able to bring my ideas to reality is enough for me.

How you balance things with medicine


I believe in balance. And I believe a man should excel in everything he does. I’ve always wanted to study medicine. Getting into med school was tough and I went through a lot to get in. But now I’m here and there’s the whole creative art thing to it.


I tell people, especially med students, that if after 6 years, the only thing I have is an MBBS certificate, I of all men will be miserable. Sounds harsh but its mad true, because the year I graduate thousands of other doctors would also be inducted. So what separates me from them? What’s my unique? So as much as medicine is important to me, who I am as an individual (asides medicine) is also equally important.

The whole idea of balancing will seem hard to people who believe Medicine and Art/fashion are two different worlds and you need to take a time bus to be in either of them as you can’t be in both places at once. To me they are one and I don’t see them as two different lives. Understanding this has helped me live through with it. If I have an exam in a few days, I’ll definitely focus on it and get through with only to bounce back with something creative in a few days. I make a conscious effort to keep my book and my art together without making any of the two suffer by proper time management.

A word for a fellow med student


The world is changing and moving really fast and you have to move with it. Be excellent in medicine but also be excellent in other things. Have something you could call your own. If the Dr. Title is taken away from you, what would be left? Do not let the rigor med school destroy your creative mind.