9 Lessons Learnt from 9 Weeks of Posting in Ogbomosho

When Medicine clinical rotations started in October 2019, I and everyone in my group resumed in the teaching hospital at Osogbo and expected to spend 3 weeks there before moving on to the hospital at Ogbomosho. Most of us were happy or should I say satisfied with this arrangement so you can imagine our shock (an unpleasant one) when we were told to get out of their hospital and go and resume in ogbomosho 8am the next day. Lol. Of course they didn’t say it like that but they might as well have. It sucked saying the least. What made it suck more was the fact that we were going to spend 9 weeks in ogbomosho. Heart skips multiple beats. To put things in perspective, we don’t have homes in ogbomosho, it’s usually a squatting situation and then ogbomosho is a place where light and water supply is k-legged. It’s a weird place to live, especially when you’ve lived in a place like osogbo.

Spending 9 weeks there felt like we were being sold into slavery. But we got over it and resumed 8 am ish the next day. Lol. Honestly when I think about the things I have done in this medical school ehn, I almost can’t believe it. Some times it feels like a dream.

A lot can be said about the experience, cause trust me, it was something but I’ve decided to put a cap on it by highlighting a few things I learnt. Hope you also pick up a thing or two.



In this life, you must be smart.



The first basic problem was accommodation. Where were we going to stay? Squatting with a friend for 9 weeks might put a strain on the relationship and pressure on the person. And to have to cook and study and live in someone else’s space for almost 3 months wasn’t exactly a very appealing idea. Luckily for us the school released keys to a newly renovated hostel facility in the college. It was way better than we thought it would be, only that there was no light or water. Well there was water, but it was in a storex not too far away from the hostel. So we would need to fetch. Here’s the thing, the first day I and my friend, let’s call her TJ, fetched water with buckets, to put it mildly we almost died. I’m not kidding o. We legit almost lost our lives. First, the distance between the tank and the hostel building was much farther than we thought, especially when you’re carrying weights and then second we were staying on the first floor, carrying buckets filled with water up the stairs was not funny. It was work. Work that could not be combined with being a medical student. Lol. Anyway TJ came up with this bight idea of buying a hose and a huge plastic drum where could store water which we did and that solved most of our water problems. So my dear ladies and gents that’s to tell you that all the difficulty you’re facing could probably be solved with some wisdom and small cash. In this life, strive to be smart. Everything is not power power, you might just find yourself dying for something that is not even worth it.



Good people make everything better.



Nine weeks is a long time right? But you know what? It didn’t really feel long. I was surrounded by love and warmth and laughter every single day. It was major fun. Lol. That’s because of the people I had around me. You know sometimes you might be going through really hard stuff but trust me it won’t feel so hard if you have good people around. Try not to cultivate fake, superficial relationships. Invest in real connections with people. I’d advise that you be a good friend first because like the saying goes, you attract who you are.



A good church, who can find?



Ah, lol. I think I went to a different church every week of those 9 weeks, there was a day I didn’t even go to church at all because I was afraid of being disappointed. That’s no excuse I know, but that was how I felt at the time. I don’t know guys maybe you should educate me? Is it that people just go to church to mark attendance cause the churches I attended ehn, when I left I still felt hungry. I mean sometimes it was better but more often than not, it was not cool. I did not feel fed. Church is suppose to be a place where we recieve a word, direction, peace, strength for the coming week but for most of the churches I went to, especially with the sermon, it was flat. Well thank God for the Holy Spirit, he can minister to you through anything and anyone. So sometimes I got ministered to more by the music than the message. Nothing beats a rich sermon though, my goodness it’s the best part of the service. Maybe because my home church has spoilt me, I actually feel visceral pain when I’m not fed the word well in church. It hurts. It made me appreciate my home church and pastor more. If your church feeds you well, thank God for that and don’t take it for granted. If you don’t even know what it is to be fed right in church, let me know in the comments, I’ll hook you up.



The market can be fun?


Because I was basically staying with a group of girlfriends, we would go to the market every weekend to get stuff. Mostly sundays. Market runs were always fun, stressful too. Many many funny market stories are just coming to mind lol. But it was nice you know? I don’t know how to explain it, it was nice going to the market with friends and contemplating over prices and running into old friends and making new friends and enemies. Haha. The market can be so dramatic. I think most of the time, everyone is acting, ah this price is too high, I don’t have money, this is the only money I have, your goods are not even fresh, when did these things get this expensive. Haha. Oh shut up, you’re just trying to get the best deal. To an extent, I think the whole going to market everytime made me more responsible. At home, I go too but not as often and I usually already have customers and all that so there isn’t much banter or going round the market and finding things and I most certainly do not go every week. But in ogbomosho banter was the order of the day, it was annoying sometimes but also enjoyable.



Fresh bread is the best bread.



If you don’t know, know now; bread is my love language. We basically ate bread everyday. Now that I think about it, that was probably illegal or something. What were we thinking? This one time, we actually went to the bakery to get the bread fresh. We were about four and I think I was going home that weekend so I wanted to get for my family too. So imagine us carrying 6 loaves of hot bread on the street, I and TJ. I’m sure people must have looked at us and wondered, especially when we entered the college, cause we definitely did not look the part of bread vendors. Haha.

Medicine residency is a no no.



Residency in internal medicine is no for me. If it was a maybe before then this posting totally set it in stone and that’s even if I do residency at all. Clinical practice is draining, I mean I am a student and I think this, I don’t know how residents do it. It’s difficult to explain what it is like and even if it is explained, it’s unlikely you’ll get it if you’re not in the system. I just want to say that if you want to study medicine or even do residency be sure that’s where God is leading you. A few months ago I would have said make sure it’s what you want but the truth is we don’t always know what we want and what we want isn’t always what’s best for us. But God is someone we can trust with life decisions like this? So you think it would be good for you, also pray and make sure God is in it. When the going gets tough, the God who called you to it would make it easy for you.



The best teachers are those that teach you above the school stuff.



School stuff is good. It will help you pass your exams but the lessons that last a lifetime are those that have nothing to do with school but everything to do with life. I think our teachers would do better for us and for themselves if they saw us as more than just students but also human beings with cares and desires and hopes. One of our teachers had regular talks about life with us and those little talks made the days easier somehow. It made things a little more bearable and those are even the things I can really remember from all my time in that posting till now. Sometimes we don’t realise that words are seeds and they grow in the hearts of people to bear fruits. We should all endeavour to sow positive seeds.


Sometimes, a girl’s gotta have liver (plus common sense plus the Holy Ghost)



Sometimes I skipped school, and got away with it. To do that you need liver and common sense and the Holy Spirit. Lol. For those that don’t know, liver is a Nigerian slang for courage. There are days when I want to skip school and H.S will tell me no and I won’t have any peace at all until I take my bath and go to school and then something would happen in school that would make me realise why I had to be there. Life is not always white and black. That’s the truth. Someone might read that I skipped school and put their hands on their head that I’m a terrible student but in actual fact it’s not that simple. Medical school is choking to say the least, if you let them they will run you mad and not feel sorry. Throughout 2019 there was no break, to say people were burnt out is an understatement. So sometimes in other to preserve your health and wellbeing, you cut yourself some slack and give yourself a break. The world won’t end. You won’t die. You’ll be just fine. Everybody will be alright. They might not even miss you. And it’s not like you can take these breaks when you begin working, can you? You might as well enjoy whatever season of life you’re in to the fullest. But then like I said liver, common sense and the Holy Ghost are required.

Clinic



It pays to have faith!



Yes! Again and again it pays to have faith. God always comes through. Wow. Where do I even start? And before I start you know people have these tendency of downplaying miracles after they have happened. For example maybe you’re broke and then someone that owes you money suddenly sends money to your account. Most people would just think that’s normal but no! That is a miracle. Why did the person pay you back at the exact time when you needed money? That’s God’s work right there. So also, during these nine weeks I have testimony upon testimony of God’s goodness. Some I had to insist and use my faith actively till I saw a desired result but you know some God just really took care of me. Like the time I forgot my phone in a public bus and the driver brought it back for me, for free? I don’t take God’s mercies for granted. No matter what, always have faith. Always be positive, because you know at the end of the day God will still do it and you’ll na be embarrassed. Be known as the one who never lost hope, who kept on believing so that when it eventually comes through, you can have mouth to advertise God appropriately. It always pays to have faith. Always.

Last night on call.



Good read? Yay!

Till next time.
Love & love, O

4 Weeks of Community Medicine

Community Medicine is the public health of medical students/doctors. I don’t want to bore you with the details so let’s say it like that. We started the posting with exams from another department, that might sound odd but this is medical school, nothing surprises me anymore. Because of the nature of first week of posting most people just decided not to come to school and then after the exams were finally over some people decided to take a one week break, but of course, not me. Lol. I did not miss a single class even in the midst of exams sometimes I wonder if that was a rewarding choice. I still don’t know the answer. For the first two weeks I was quite invested in the classes and learning, being that I was still burning off stream from how tough the preceding exams were. I wanted to do better. I’m not sure I can say I did.


Compared to other postings, community medicine was lightweight, close to weightless sef. I later starting find the classes unbearably boring though. I felt, and these are just my feelings nothing more, they were just using big terminologies to complicated things that most people already know. I lowkey felt like my brain was wasting away. Lol.


3rd week came, where my interest was already waning and I had started reading other books in class; something I literally never do. I’m the kind of person that doesn’t even touch her phone in class, now imagine me getting totally lost in Michelle Obama’s Becoming, that’s to tell you how bored I was. That’s a pretty good book by the way, I’ll do a review once I’m done.


Luckily for me, by Wednesday, we went on a field trip to Waterworks Ede, Osun State. We learnt about large scale water purification and took way to many pictures. We were all overly excited and giddy. What would you expect? We’re medical students. We don’t observe public holidays. We’re always preparing for one exam or the other. We barely have time to do our own laundry, talk of having fun so apparently all that made an absolutely normal field trip seems like a joyride. I enjoyed it.


Now that we knew how fun things could get on a field trip, we meticulously planned how the next field trip the next day would go, down to how we would sit and how would bring a bluetooth speaker so we could jam some music on the way since we knew we were going a longer distance. The day arrived and we were to visit some inmates in a Prison, now called correction services, in Ogbomosho. Things didn’t go exactly to plan but at least we got the bluetooth speaker part down. I got to listen to some of my old favourite songs and sing aloud with my classmates. Haha. It was so freaking fun! Such fun memories. I think these are actually the best parts of medical school. Community Medicine is such that Fridays are mostly free days so that was another reason to be happy that 3rd week. I was going to have a long happy weekend.


4th week was a blur to me to be honest. Wednesday we had a seminar where the whole class was split into groups and then each group had to present a topic. I was the only girl in my group so naturally they pushed me to speak first. I know I might come off as an outgoing person, but I’m actually not so I wasn’t surprised when I heard my voice shaking as I spoke. I figured I’d get better as I do it more often. Might as well start now. In other news, I looked real good for my presentation, or so I was told by many. Tosin made my top, she also made my black gown and kimono in the previous pictures from the field trip to Ede. If you haven’t read Tosin interview, you should here; The Fashion Designer Medical Student; Tosin, and you can follow her label on Instagram @paancy. She’s amazing.

Presentation look.


Up until Thursday, I didn’t start preparing for the end of posting exam. Very unlike me, infact I almost can’t believe I pulled that kind of stunt. As in, community medicine bored me guys, even reading it was a chore, but we did it eventually! Took the exam today and it wasn’t bad. Pray for me o.


Don’t let me fool y’all into thinking med school is all roses, obviously it’s not but even aside all the stress and gragra. There’s the staggering reality of failure. Normally I wouldn’t talk about this, but I feel that God wants me too. Yesterday I got back results from an exam/ test I prepared hard for, like insanely hard. I’m a laid back person so I have a tendency to really not taking things very seriously, but I took this one seriously because we had started the posting when I had just seen my Paediatrics result where I flunked and I knew that one was my fault, so I gave myself sense and decided to work hard. And I think I did sha, maybe not enough, cause there’s always room for improvement. Anyway, the results came in yesterday and I had a lower mark than I did in Paediatrics. Haha. Funny right? Actually not funny at all. It didn’t matter that I had passed one (barely, where some people were scoring eighties fa) and failed the other. It wasn’t enough. And fam. An adult cried. Lol. I wanted to bone it o and I did that for several hours after I saw the score. But after a while. I just cried and said God I’m tired. Cause I was and to think I was in the middle of preparing for another exam. The situation surrounding the exam itself was funny too anyway. Should I tell you? Well you’re still reading so I guess you’re enjoying the gist.


The exam was actually pure past questions that I had but never solved even though I had solved others. I found that out after the exams. The whole thing was depressing that time too, but Omooba is a woman of faith so I actually didn’t think I would fail. It didn’t cross my mind even once. I thought worst case scenario I would score 50. But alas! That would not be the case. I was heartbroken guys. I kind of still am, but God is good. And all things work together for my good. And all things are possible with God. In good times and in bad, God’s word is true. Maybe there’s still more buckling up to do here and there, maybe all my hard work is being stored up for where it will be needed and not just to gather bragging rights for the time being. Maybe I just need to keep pushing and trusting Him and asking for more wisdom. Above all, I am not my grade, I am who God says I am. I am a success. I produce and see good results. I will keep on believing and saying it until I see the tangible proof. Better put, I will keep believing and saying it that I may see the tangible proof. Same goes for you, you are who God says you are! Arise & Shine! It matters little what has happened or is happening now. You are who God says you are.


Big big love to you my people!


Till next time,
Grace & Peace!

The 21st Century Medical Student by Agboola Progress

This is the transcript of a talk given by this phenomenal friend of mine at the Nigerian Medical Students’ Association (NiMSA) Standing Committee on Capacity Building (SCOCB) virtual training session, sometime in March. It a long and very rewarding read. I’m a so grateful to him for allowing me to host it here. Enjoy.

THE 21ST CENTURY MEDICAL STUDENT

Nigeria Medical school has shaped medical students in a way that all what we think about or know is our Keith Moore, not pale, anicteric, acyanosed et al. Some of us can’t survive in the outside world because the basic things needed are not taught in medical schools.


The future of work is evolving so fast and as medical students we need to be well positioned and equip our selves with necessary skills and knowledge so that we won’t be left behind.


Being a 21st century medical student is an intentional and deliberate decision to see beyond the walls of medical school, leave your comfort zone and equip your self with knowledge and skills needed to compete globally and not just be an average or the regular medical student.


As medical students, we should be able to align and apply what is being taught in class to solve real life problems and pressing health issues leveraging on design thinking to design innovative and feasible solutions to health issues.


A 21st century medical student is a 360 degree medical student, stuffy, innovative with esteemed leadership qualities, a problem solver and is building capacity to navigate him/herself for the future he/she wants. As a Nigerian Medical student, we should act local and think global. Our competitor is not our class mates or hostel mates but we should be able to compete with a Harvard medical student, secure top positions with World Health Organizations (WHO), United Nation Population fund (UNFPA) and other big health tanks.
We have some medical students in the country that are changing the status quo and redefining what a medical student is. You can search for Ogbemudia Eddy Uwoghiren on Facebook, Google and LinkedIn to see the phenomenal works he’s doing. He has influenced a lot of medical students and has mentored over 12 Nigerian medical students to get into the Prestigious President Obama Young Africa Leaders Initiative Training (Onsite Cohort) and I inclusive. Eddy won a grant worth 4393.67 US dollars for his organization and recently returned from Africa Health Agenda International conference, the biggest conference on Universal Health Coverage that was held in Rwanda.


You’re amazed right? But I’m sure you know Eddy started from somewhere too and was once like you but with the right information and knowledge he got started and you’re also privileged to get access to such information through the Standing Committee on capacity building page. You just have to leave your comfort zone and leverage on the opportunities that you come across.


My discussion tonight would be centered on 8 key things which are:
Passion/carving a niche
Capacity building/Personal development
Mentorship
Network
Civic engagement/gaining relevant experience
Leave your comfort zone and risk taking
Handing Criticisms
Striking a balance

Passion/carving a niche.


The first thing is knowing what you are interested in, what you are really passionate about. Knowing what you’re passionate or primary interests would help to streamline the activities you will me engage in, associations or organizations to join, opportunities to apply for. You won’t be doing jack of all trades and it will enhance your productivity

It may be journalism, research, business, surgery, public health, global health, social entrepreneurship et all


What you’re passionate may or may not be in line with the course you’re studying. You may be passionate about climate change, journalism and in other sectors. The most important thing is developing capacity to influence change in the field or sector.


It’s not about you just following the crowd that because people are into public health or research and that means you should follow the trend. You need to know what interest you. If you are not passionate about the what you are doing, when difficulties or challenges arise, you won’t give up easily. PASSION IS THE FUEL THAT WILL PROPEL YOU TO ACTUALIZE A LONG LASTING SOCIAL impact.


When you understand or know what you’re passionate about, you can now work to carve a niche for your self. For instance public health is a wide field, you may need to narrow down your interest to a specific field, targeted audience and location for instance working on innovative ways to improve mental health care among adolescents or being an Orthopedic, plastic surgeon or a nephrologist.

Capacity building/personal development


Personal development is an intentional process and it requires deliberate and conscious efforts to develop your leadership and entrepreneurial capacity while in medical school.


As medical students, we shouldn’t spend 6-10 years and graduate with just only MBBS certificate and our curriculum Vitae still contains our nursery and primary school history for it to be up to a page. We need to gather relevant experiences and should be able to provide value beyond our certificate which means we have to do Extra and not just be the regular medical student.


Everybody would know the usual things taught in medical school and even if the don’t, they would understand it during residency. What will sets you apart from your mates is the other experiences you acquired and extra things you can do to provide value to people around you
I would divide this session into 3 key areas:
Access to resources online
Attending conferences/training sessions
Leveraging on opportunities
-Access to resources online


Thank God we are in the Google age. Someone once said we need 2Gs in life God & google.


With Google, you can learn anything and get access to any information. Instead of chatting for long hours on WhatsApp without achieving anything productive, you can learn stuffs on YouTube, Watch Tedx talks, sign up for news letters, develop your writing and public speaking skills.


You can join the Young African Leaders Initiative Network (YALI) and get access to relevant resources and also access their online courses which also comes with certificates https://yali.state.gov

Attending conferences/training sessions
Attending conferences, seminars and training sessions like the one we are having now are also vital because you would be learn, unlearn & relearn, network with participants and speakers, broaden your horizon on some topics and it’s an opportunity to acquire and develop soft skills like design thinking to solve problems during some sessions in the conference, improve on your communication, presentation skills, team working ability and be able to work with diverse set of people, honing your cultural intelligence and having a stronger network. Your network is your net worth and sometimes the people you know is more important than your certificates.

But you need to be strategic with the conferences that you will be attending, you don’t just attend every conference or seminar, you go for the ones that aligns with your personal and professional objectives.


Leveraging on opportunities
Websites to access opportunities;
opportunitydesk.org
opportunitiesforafricans.com
youthop.com
oyaop.com


Also, you apply for opportunities that you have track record or experience in and you fits in the eligibility criteria.


Don’t be discouraged with rejection mails because it’s part of the process and keep shooting your shots, improving in your application, building more capacity because success is inevitable when preparation meets opportunity.


Mentorship.


The place of mentorship can’t be undermined too. Get a mentor that’s in your field on interest that would guide you through your journey. Having a mentor would make your journey easier and faster and you would make lesser mistakes.
Isaac Newton once said “ if I have seen further it’s by standing on the shoulders of giant”.


Note that mentorship shouldn’t be a parasitic relationship but should be symbiotic. You should be concerned about your mentor welfarism and career too and be willing to assist in your little way.


Students interested in global health can apply for this
Application for the 2019 Student and Young Professionals (SYP) Global Health Mentorship Program is now open!.
https://www.ghmentorships.org/syp Application for the 2019 Student and Young Professionals (SYP) Global Health Mentorship Program is now open!


Network


Another key thing is that you need to be deliberate with the people you keep in your network. You need to work with like minds and people that would always Inspire you. The people you follow in life determines the path you follow in destiny. If you have a group of friends and what they discuss is traveling out of the country, you would notice that subconsciously all what you will also be thinking about is getting Visa. You need to be strategic about networking with the right set of people. There are some opportunities that are shared within a certain network and you won’t see on the internet.


What have helped me overtime is the set of people I surround my self with.

Civic engagement and gaining relevant experience.


You also need to garner relevant work and volunteer experience. You can work or volunteer with organizations working in your field of interest, setting up your own Nongovernmental organization or starting your own social enterprise or business in line with your passion and providing value to meet a need and proffer visible solutions to problems.


You can also work with committees within your medical student association, take up leadership roles and positions in your MSA, NiMSA, FAMSA and IFMSA.


All this experiences will put you on an edge when applying for fully funded scholarships, prestigious fellowships because some of the questions asked is for example, Tell us about your leadership experience and how you have Impacted your community.

Leaving your comfort zone and risk taking.


As medical students, it’s very easy for us to remain in our comfort zone and don’t aspire to MAD (Make A Difference) or aspire to do something phenomenal. Our lives already have a pattern come to medical school, go to fellowship and ace exams and graduate to start residency and that’s all. Ask your self this question what will I be remembered for when I leave medical school? Will I just graduate being a local champion with no impact beyond your MSA.


You have to leave your comfort and fear zone to your learning zone and then to your growth zone.


The greater the risks you take, the greater your chances of success. Most of the highly successful people you would see in the world are risk takers.


Handling criticism


If people are not criticizing you, that means you’re doing something normal and regular and you are not redefining the norms yet. You will never be criticized, made fun of or looked down upon by someone who does better than you. It’s normal for people to criticize you for doing extra stuffs while in medical school. Even by your friends, senior colleagues and by some of the people you really look up to.
Don’t ever take criticism to your heart and remember that RESULTS SILENCE CRITICS. Always work to ensure you deliver results in your academics and in whatever you’re doing.

Striking a balance


I do tell junior colleagues and my mentees interested in not being a regular medical student that regardless of your activities and engagements, you MUST not forget your primary assignment which is to study Medicine & Surgery which now brings us to our final point of striking a balance. With all that you do trying to gather relevant experiences, attending conferences et all we should ensure that it doesn’t affect our academics. It may be challenging tho but it’s achievable. Thank God we have senior colleagues that have shown that.


We need to work on most importantly time management, doing the right thing at the right time and there’s always time for what you create time for, your multitasking ability would improve along the line and you need to be strategic in all that you do as we all know that wisdom is profitable to direct.


Thank you for having me.
Facilitator- Agboola Progress Obaloluwa
Phone no- +2348163805562
Email address- agboolaprogress@gmail.com

SECTION 2


Question and answer session
Question from a participant in on the CUMSA_SCOCB page:


What happens when your talents is not aligned with your course?


Response from Agboola Progress;
The thing is that you would always find a meeting point around it aligning your talent with your course of study
One would eventually complement the other we have medical students into journalism, reporting underreported health issues et all


And some of us may study medicine and surgery and may not eventually practice.
Medicine itself is a very nice platform you can leverage on to exhibit your full potentials


Response from Ogbemudia Eddy Uwoghiren;
Keep studying your course and also spend time developing your talent.


I am passionate about Journalism but currently studying medicine. I have taken online certification courses in Journalism and Volunteers with The Nation Newspaper all in a bit to developing my writing talent.


Response from Ekene Blasingame Ahaneku
Kaunda, three things that shapes and directs your talent most times are your vision, mission and finally passion in life. Do not live other people’s dreams. When you do it shows that what you call your passion isn’t yours rather you’re living another man’s life. Be yourself.
Know things that makes you happy. Never undermine your capacity and never look down on your vision just because it isn’t appealing to many. Through the execution of your mission, people will love to join you. And share from your passion. So keep studying your course, and remain focused the vision will get clearer just with time.

Olorundunsin from ILUMSA: I have a question.
What if one isn’t interested in becoming a public health guru or all these other things.
How does one build capacity and personal development if the person is planning to solely practice medicine maybe as an internal medicine or an Obs and Gynae.


Response from Ogbemudia Eddy Uwoghiren
You don’t need to be interested in Public health before you start venturing in Personal development. There is Personal Development in Internal Medicine.
In all my years of traveling to attend conferences and trainings, I have met serial doctors who are consultants in different medical specialty and what stood them out was the extra they had in the area of personal development.


The World has changed. The era of being just a doctor and expect everything to fall in place has passed. My experience meeting Health Professionals over the years have validated this.

Response from Agboola Progress
Okay. Very nice question
You can build capacity by acting local and thinking global. Apart from what you’re being taught in class also familiarize with global trends.


You can leverage on standing Committee on professional exchange (SCOPE) to gain international exposure by going to other medicals schools outside the country to see how they are being taught et all


There are numerous opportunities you can leverage on too
like the InciSion (International Student Surgical Network for students interested in surgery.


You can also engage in research, build your research skills and engage in relevant research works in your chosen field.

Response from Ekene Blesingame Ahaneku
Personal development is key in every field. It’s not just for public health lovers. Always be creative and innovative with things you do. Like I’ll always tell my colleagues in IMSUTH don’t struggle to be the best in Imo state or Nigeria, struggle to elevate your game so as to meet up with Harvard standard and if ever possible do better than them.


For those lovers of specialties in Internal medicine and surgery, hope we know it’s no longer news that AI is taking over the profession? You need to build capacity to remain relevant in the field if not robots will take your jobs.


Diversification is a great tool in globalization today just as collaboration is the new form of competition. eg: In a tech emerging world where robots can carry out major surgeries beyond just VAT ie with the use of 5G networks, this is not same with minimal invasive like in endoscopy and all that. Many average surgeons are going to be eliminated by robots but the few that will remain are those with extra capacities. Go for trainings that will place you ahead of other average doctors. That is building capacity. Progress already said it all about attending seminars, conferences and boot camps. Attend them even if you have to pay, the connections and knowledge keeps you in a different class from the averages.


Special Thanks to Nigeria Medical Students’ Association Standing Committee on Capacity building and the contributors during the question and answer session.

8 Weeks of Obstetrics & Gynecology

My experience with O&G was bitter sweet, first bitter then it got sweet towards the end because the workload reduced. It’s been a week since I left that department and I must say I don’t miss it. Although it’s the least toxic rotation but I guess traditional clinical medicine is just not for me. There’s was a time during the posting when I thought oh this is actually cool; I could help women, I can specialize here but then when I started really studying the material, I realized I didn’t find the material overly interesting. It doesn’t strike as something I want to spend my entire life studying. I’d be miserable. Let’s me not assume you know what O&G is about.


An obstetrician-gynecologist, or OB-GYN, is a healthcare professional that specializes in female reproductive health.


People trained as OB-GYNs specialize in both obstetrics and gynecology:


Obstetrics involves working with pregnant women, including delivering babies


Gynecology involves the female reproductive system, treating a wide range of conditions, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and chronic pain.


It’s also an interesting specialty in that it combines both medicine and surgery practice which is not so common in other specialities. That means specialists administer drugs and if need be also perform surgeries so they are physicians and well as surgeons. How totally cool!
There were good and not so fun sides to O&G posting. Let’s talk the not so good first and get it out of the way.

First Day on the Job!


First, the hours were long. As per people are sure always pregnant or are trying to get pregnant hence there’s always work to do but I must also mention that most of the time, it’s work that is very enjoyable to do. There’s nothing quite like helping to bring a child into this world safely. Nothing! When you see a child born, that feeling can’t be described. Maybe that’s why I was infatuated with the idea of becoming an Ob at first. Lol. It’s pretty amazing.


The gyne side of things isn’t so amazing though. We deal with abortions. In medicine, we interchange the word miscarriage and abortion and we have different types which I will not get into but I’m just putting it out there so that you won’t picture a teenage child getting an unwanted pregnancy terminated every time I say abortion. Abortions or miscarriages are actually very common and it’s sad. Then there are also predominant cancers, prolapse, ectopic pregnancies, pelvic inflammatory infection and the sorts. It’s not a fun sight. Doctors really do help in these matters and it’s in times like those that I am grateful for medicine.


Unlike Pediatrics, we were taught to stupor in O&G. I can boldly say I really learnt a lot and that made me happy.


Lucky enough for us, there’s were a lot of national holidays around the time when we were in the department. At least an holiday per week. It was like God was smiling on us and giving us a gift for going so hard the last couple of months. Although some people still had to be on call on those holidays but I thank God I never had to be, oh on second thought I think I did just once but it wasn’t a full day and we had a good time managing a case of labour.


Oh, Labour! I haven’t given you guys the gist on labour pains. It is not funny at all oooooo. It is difficult to watch and to think one day I will go through the same. Lol. The Lord is my shepherd. It’s good to remember that the labour pains do end and every mother is always overjoyed and contented at the sight of their child. They never regret the pain. So I guess I can say I’m looking forward to my time.


A lot of other stuff probably happened that I can’t remember. It seemed to have all passed in a blur. I was going through stuff personally and trying to figure things out so I didn’t take to heart many things that happened during the posting.


In all it was good, I came out better. I can’t believed I’ve spent about a year in clinical school now. Time flies! I’m grateful for the journey. A friend posted on his status the other day that we forget that this was exactly where we wanted to be a year ago and are consuming about where we will be next year. And that so true! This time last year I wanted to pass my MB so bad and be where I am right now, but now that I’m here I cannot wait for my induction to come. Lol. So I’m learning to stop and be grateful. God has been good. I’m living my best life. I’m exactly where I am suppose to be!


Ref: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/

3 Weeks Junior Paediatrics Posting in Osogbo

First of all, hello! It’s been quite some time hasn’t it? I’ve missed hanging out here. I have no valid excuse for being away for so long, all I can only offer you are my sincere apologies and a promise to make it up to you.


Moving on to Paeds Osogbo;


Let me be frank, it was hell. Not like I know what hell is like but if there was ever a hell on earth I believe I’ve been there and back. Glory to God in the highest, I survived. Speaking of God, can you please pause one minute and say thank you to Jesus for me? Thank you. The only reason my sanity is still intact is God.


It wasn’t the work that was wildly more in Osogbo, it was more about the people and the environment than the actual work. Then again, the other half of my class that had rotated though Osogbo first had made a big mess of things for us so all through those 3 weeks there was always that dark cloud of betrayal that hung over us but in hindsight it just might have made us stronger but (I realise I’m saying “but” a lot, forgive me) it also overworked us which made me sick (literarily) by the last week of posting. God is just the best daddy a girl can ask for because the end of posting exam scheduled for that last week got postponed. If not ehn, I don’t know what I would have done. Haha, seems I have jumped to the end of this my posting story without ever beginning. Let’s try again.


From the top;


When we resumed in Osogbo, unlike Ogbomosho where we were spilt into 4 groups, here we were spilt into 5 and then we rotated in the usual fashion. I started with clinics. My first day was at the retroviral clinic and I remember learning absolutely nothing and feeling confused. I’m going to saying this carefully in hopes that none of those involved see this till I graduate from medical school; the residents are always angry at something or someone and they simply do not teach unless they are pushed to the wall or you fall on your face and beg them (except a few) as if they don’t get paid to teach us too in the first place. And ohhh it seems I have forgotten an important(er) story that ought to have come earlier. I’ll still tell it, let’s stick to the residents for now.


I understand that they are overworked, I’m sure that’s their excuse but that’s not an excuse at all. It’s their duty, it’s the whole point of working in a TEACHING hospital. There’s only so much a person can read without guidance from a teacher, especially in clinical medicine where it all about practice and skills. So what if I’ve read the treatment for hypoglycaemia or dehydration a billion times, it might never stick unless I hear someone who has done it at least a hundred times explain it to me or I do it a few times myself. There are just some things medical text can never give you. But no one cares, it really not their business whether or not you get the stuff, or how long it takes you but when it is time to fail you, hesitate, they shall not.


Now to the other story I forgot to share earlier.


Usually every morning in the department there’s a meeting that’s called morning review first thing in the morning. On our first day we attended and unknown to us all, this department had something against phones and tablets and gadgets in general. Unfortunately that morning they seized 2 phones and an iPad. Mind you, not because they were being used by the owners but merely because there were out in the open. Haha. At first I found it funny and thought it was a joke but alas it was no joke at all. They did not return the phones until the end of the week. Imagine the trauma, the people involved were broke, couldn’t communicate with anyone, and the guy who had his iPad seized couldn’t study as much. After that incident everyone kept their gadgets out of sight ALL THE TIME.


Another thing that made this posting gloomy was that I saw children die. You can’t unsee that. There’s no way to talk about it. And of course the failure of the government stares us in the face every day in the health sector. It’s hard not to be furious, but then again most of the time I’m consumed by the idiosyncrasies of my own life, so I quickly forget things like these.


Too often you see parents fail their kids so badly and you imagine for a second if you could just get a gun and blow their brains out, like why wouldn’t you get your child immunized? What is your problem? It is freaking free! If you cannot take care of a child don’t have one.


Paediatrics is draining abeg, in a lot of ways. Honestly, I’m beyond glad it is over.
I ended the posting, apart from getting ill, in ib city to get my beautiful cousin wedded, although I couldn’t celebrate as much as wanted to it was lovely seeing family again.


Thanks for sticking around.


Till next time

Love & love—O

PS: Is there anything you want me to write about?

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.

How To Survive Your First Clinical Posting

Look at me now, I’ve completed about 16+ weeks of clinical posting and I’m feeling like I’m in the perfect place to give advice on this topic. Clinical posting starts in year 4 of medical school in Nigeria and I already spent sometime in explaining it’s modalities in this article.

1. Be prepared to talk to strangers and be overly friendly.

One of the things I didn’t realize on time was how friendly I had to be. Having to smile and greet people I didn’t quite know took some time to get used to, and worst still imagine asking a man old enough to be your father how many women he sleeps with asides his wife or if he has ever had erectile dysfunction. I wish someone had told me these things, so that somehow I would have been mentally prepared. They forget to tell us that as doctors we are actually social workers too and will be required to interact with many many people, sometimes under otherwise awkward circumstances. It helps to keep the perspective that you are trying to help the patient get better.

2. Be prepared to see a lot of nakedness.

I was not ready y’all. I was telling my friend the other day that I have seem too many penises for my own good. I’m not even sure that’s the correct spelling. All I’m saying is arm yourself, be ready. We don’t just expose patient for the sake of exposing them, it is absolute necessary to do so in other to examine them properly. Of course, after some time you will become desensitized and it will mean nothing to you, but for some weeks you will feel scarred and invaded, that’s if you are anything like me though.

3. Be respectful

As you spend time in the hospital, you will notice that most doctors are angry and frustrated people that really don’t give two kobo about you, but that’s talk for some other time. There is hierarchy in medicine. If you’ve been around long enough, you’d have heard someone say this. The seniority thing is a serious something. You must say “Thank you” after every correction. No use of slangs when talking to a senior colleague. You must always addressed them appropriately, with a Sir or Ma. You must be sober, well dressed, well behaved and well mannered. Medicine is all about keeping up appearances so you’d better be super good at that.

4. Know the Basics.

As you spend time at the hospital, you’ll realize some things are basic and those are the things they ask over and over again. Know those things, if you don’t know those things don’t bother moving higher. This is actually of utmost importance. Know how to clerk. Know how to perform your examinations. Vitals. Know the cause of anemia, lymphadenopathy, edema etc. I repeat know the basics.

5. Have a Small Pocket-Sized Journal.

Have a note that can fit in your ward coat. Go to a bookshop and ask them to show you the sizes of all the notebooks they have especially those paperline-hardcover types. Take the one that’s small enough to carry around but also has enough quality to last years. Gems always drop during wardrounds and clinics and tutorials and all that, so you have to always be ready to take stuff in and the good news is the same questions are always recycled and asked again so you can always flip through your notes and be the star of the group. Another thing I should let you know is that medicine is subjective and you will often come in contact with doctors that have different takes on various practices. One doctor might say you should check for lymph node enlargement lying down another might say do it sitting up. You will learn how to navigate through these disparities as time goes by. In the meantime, take good notes of whatever you are told.

6. Try to keep up the momentum.

Clinicals can be tough. You will stand for hours and be quizzed every chance there is. Days will be long and nights will be short, it might get difficult to study but try your best to do your best. Do all you can to study and keep up the momentum. It’s very easy to relax because the excuses are there and they are legitimate but don’t get carried away, you still have exams to ace and lives to save so make sure you’re spending however little time you might have being productive.


My first clinical rotations were somewhat bitter sweet mainly because I didn’t know some if these things but you are in luck, yours will be better. I assure you.

Love & love—O

Getting The Best Results; Pseudo Work Vs. Deep Work

Have you heard stories of people who read like mad dogs and still fail exams?

People that seem so serious in life and can’t seem to leave the average ring. With time, they start to believe that their case is spiritual, but that’s not it. It’s a case of pseudo work. We all know success takes hard work. We all know you don’t get what you don’t prepare for. The success that lasts takes effort. It doesn’t just happen. What we don’t know, or what we’ve always ignored is what kind of work success requires. That’s what I’m here for. I’m going to tell you. Success, I must mention before I continue that I’m am not talking about all these short lived versions of successes we have around, like graduating with a first class, I mean that’s awesome if you make something out of it but most don’t… Anyway, moving on. I mean success that involves solving people’s problems on a grand scale, being a blessing, like literally. That kind of success doesn’t necessarily require hard work. What is needed is deep work. And what most of us do is pseudo work, aka fake work. I’ll make all my gibberish clear soon.

Let me give an example;

Pseudo work is when you have a test on Monday and today is Friday. You plan to study for the test during the weekend but you don’t give a specific time slot to studying. You launch into your weekend. Suddenly you realize it’s Saturday night and you haven’t even opened your study material, so you say to yourself, I’m going to read for six hours tomorrow. When tomorrow, that is Sunday, comes. You settle down to read. You have your phone by your side. You study well, for about 30 minutes, jotting like a pro. Tho you take several tiny breaks to check your phone and tell your buddies that you are studying amongst other random gist and scrolling. But that doesn’t really matter since you get what you’re reading. After about 90 minutes you’re tired, the work seems boring and inscrutable but you continue, you stop jotting, you continue taking breaks to check your phone, you relax, now you’re not even assimilating anything again, you’re just reading the words and anytime your phone buzzes, you hurry to catch it. You go on like that for the entire 6 hours and when someone asks you if you studied, you’ll feel a sense of pride and contentment overwhelm you. The truth however is that you will not do great on that test. You might do good. But you will not do great. Great is 80% and above. Your work was fake. And that’s how most of us live life.

We forget the importance of focus. Some people say things like I can read with my phone, I can study with movies, I can study with music, except the music is without lyric and it’s classical, see all that is just bullshit, if you actually want to be above average results in your life. The key is focus. It’s not the length of time, it’s not finishing the textbook, it’s not any of that crap. It’s focus and consistency. If you want to find a solution to someone’s problem set a time in the day when you dedicate all your mind to that problem and do it consistently. That’s deep work. You don’t have to do it for 20 hours. Just switch off your phone for at least 30 minutes every single day. Experience quiet and think, plan and read. Exercise your mind to concentrate, to brainstorm and to be exceptional.

The world is not looking for someone who can do exactly what any six year old can do with wifi and a mobile phone. The world is looking for actual solutions to actual problems and if you don’t decide to contribute you are only, directly or indirectly, adding to the burden of the world. Yes, if you are average, it only means you are +1 to the list of people that outstanding people will boss around, fend for and levy.

Quit pseudo work. And rise.

What are some of the challenges you face with getting productive work done? Do you believe in the idea  of Pseudo work?

Love & love—O

The 6 Ways Your Smartphone Can Make You More Productive

Cover Photo: illustration from The Guardian.

Your phone doesn’t have to be a distraction. It can be the best thing that ever happened to you. I know because I’ve experienced it both ways. And I can tell you, with zero doubt, that you’ll love your phone more when it’s making you better rather than being the source of all you woes and self loathe.
 
1. Cold Turkey

So this is an app I just discovered, it’s for the phone addicts. You can tell me, I was once an addict too. I mean it’s so easy, just keep scrolling and refreshing and all your time is gone. Anyway, what this app does is block all activity on your photo for the stipulated time you set. I think what I really like about cold turkey is that there’s no way to override it. So your phone is totally out of reach for that time and you can get some productive work done. It’s a great resource.

2. Pamadora Timer.

There’s something known as the panmadora technique of getting work done. You focus on a task for 25 mins straight and then you take a five minutes break and then get back to work again. And so the cycle goes, when you’ve competed four 25 mins sessions, you get a fifteen minutes break. This generally helps to get work done effectively because your brain gets time to rest and recharge. You can try the techniques manually, that is by setting your phone’s default stopwatch and all that, but I’ve been there and it can be quite exhausting to use to. Meanwhile, Good Time is a perfect, perfect app for the Pandora technique. It’s basically a Pandora timer. So yeah download it and give it a try. Available on the Playstore.

3. Switch Off App Notifications

I didn’t know we could do this y’all. You can actually switch off notifications. So your phone doesn’t buzz every time someone likes your picture or retweets your video. Right now, all app notifications on my phone are switched off and it’s awesome. I am not so engaged with my phone and my data lasts longer. All you have to go to the settings of your phone and go to app notification. Then Block em. All of em. Done? Yay!!! Go you!!!

4. Make a list of stuff you want to research on the internet before you get on the internet. 

See ehn, all of us are guilty. True, true. You came online to do research for an assignment but then The Grammys carries your attention or maybe it’s Kim K. Save yourself all the wandering. Make a list. Write it down. Everything you want to do on the internet, put it on paper. That way when you are just aimlessly trolling the internet, you’ll be fully aware you are wasting your time and being unproductive.

5. Switch On Do Not Distrub. 

There’s another thing I didn’t know about. Apparently. You can switch on do not disturb on your phone. No, seriously, how cooooool is that? How do people keep blaming their phones for their unproductivity again? See, it’s your choice. Use this thing for your good.

6. Record Your Lectures. 

I did this a lot when I was in 100 level. It didn’t work out very well for some lectures because the class was so loud and I could barely hear a thing but when it does work, it’s pretty awesome. Imagine if all those times you’re jaming music, if you were actually jaming your note. There’s no way little bits of information won’t stick to your subconscious. And just like that you’re on your way to great grades. So if a particular course is giving you trouble, try recording the class. Or record yourself reading to yourself. And there you have it! AN AUDIOBOOK. Listen to it over and over and over again.

Are there other ways you found that your phone can be helpful specifically for studying? Please share them with me in the comment. Be sure to ask any question too.

25 Reasons to Not Quit or Get Discouraged in Medical School


Every medical student has felt like quitting one time or the other, I’m writing this for you and for me too, so that in those times of frustration and despair we can come back here, to a place of remembrance and find strength to carry on.

  1. Do it for the money. You will be comfortable, that much is true. There’s no point feeling bad at being motivated by how much reward you will have for your labour. Again, do it for the money.
  2. Learning about the human body is fun. It’s a lot, but it’s fun. Sometimes that’s enough.
  3. You see people at their most vulnerable, that’s a privilege that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
  4. You get to wear super cool scrubs. Ward coats aren’t bad either. Only superheroes have costumes right?
  5. While others can only dream about saving the world, you get to do that everyday by saving lives.
  6. You have the opportunity to rub minds with some of the most intelligent people in the world. Awesome!
  7. You will always be respected wherever you go. Not every professional can boast of that.
  8. No place will grow you as fast or as thoroughly as med school. Yay growth!
  9. You already made it this far, you can definitely finish strong.
  10. You’d make your parents proud, and all their investments wouldn’t be in vain. That has to count for something.
  11. You are exposed to a vast array of specialities and sub specialities, you could be anything you want to be, literarily.
  12. You have a chance to be better than your current superiors.
  13. You will always be relevant.
  14. You get to partner with God in keeping humans alive.
  15. You are indoctrinated into the lifelong commitment of learning. How cool!
  16. Nothing lasts forever, including med school.
  17. You get to break doctor stereotypes. Yay youuuu! Stereotype breaker!
  18. Unlike most graduates, most of what you learn in school is actually useful in the real world.
  19. You get to see some of the most beautiful wondrous things ever made. Like a heart, lungs, stomach. Ah, too awesome.
  20. You get to experience the best of the best miracles, like a child being born, like a heart beat, like fractures healing.
  21. Do it despite the naysayers, and everyone who said you couldn’t, and every situation that tried to stop you. Do it despite the opposition. Do it because of it all, despite it all.
  22. Do it so you can find some more solutions to health issues, do it because the world needs you.
  23. Do it for those that look up to you, so they can see that they can do it too.
  24. Do it for all the stories you’ll gather, for all the seemingly impossibles that became possible.
  25. Do it because if God be for you, who can be against you? Nobody. Not even Med school.

I believe in you, I believe in us. We are the future of medicine and oh how bright that future is!

Love & love—O