Medify #06: The Comparison Issue

What is medify? A labour of love to help medics maintain an optimum mental health. Read more about Medify here.


Created by OmoobaJesu Adetunji

The Comparison issue

A lot of things could be said about comparison. A lot of things that I am certain you already know and so is not worth repeating. I’m more interested in the why, why exactly do we compare ourselves? What do we think we gain? And even after we realize we gain nothing, why do we fall into the same trap again? I’m going to highlight a few things that might be wrong with your thought process if you’re somebody that compares and how you can bring about change and results of your own.

Do you like yourself?

I too did not always feel comfortable in my own skin but I had to realize that there’s only one me and I had better start being me cause nobody else could be me for me. Lol. Does that make any sense? you are always going to compare yourself if you feel like you’re not good enough or the person next to you is better than you in someway. You have to make peace with yourself and realize that no matter how cool or brilliant or blessed that person may seem, it doesn’t automatically mean they have more value than you. It’s about perspective and your mindset. If you started to believe in yourself too, it will change the way you move and carry yourself, and also the way that you see others. People will be of intrinsic value to you, not just a scale on which you measure your worth.

Are you committed to working on yourself?

Another reason why people compare is that they are just plain lazy and they know it. We often times know our potential and we can sense when we are falling short of that. Why would I compare myself to someone else if I know that I am giving my absolute best to the things I do every single day. Rather than comparing myself and feeling bad I would draw inspiration to do better. Comparison often stems from a place of knowing you can do better and not doing better, so I encourage you, DO BETTER for your own self! You’ll realize you don’t even have the time or energy to peep at what others have going on.

Are you proud?

I know at this point many people will get defensive. It took me a while to understand that self pity in itself was a form of pride. When you compare yourself to someone else aren’t you in a way saying that, oh, I should be where this person is, what does he/she have that I don’t? why don’t I have the same result? Aren’t you making yourself bigger than you actually are? You have no idea the sacrifices and the hard work that that person has put in over time. You don’t know anything about the details of their lives and you dare compare yourself to them. Doesn’t that make you irrationally full of yourself. If you genuinely think someone is doing better than you and you want similar results the appropriate thing to to is try to find out what they are doing and improve yourself. If it is something you cannot change, accept it, embrace it and find the beauty in it, instead of sitting in your sitting room running your mouth and wasting your time.

Take time to think through these things through the week and see how they apply to you.

If you found this helpful, please share.

Love you, O.

All Rights Reserved. Medify, 2019

Medify NL: #05 The Complaining Issue


Hi guys!!! Missed me? I sure missed you. How are you doing? Feel free to actually tell me if you need someone to talk to (send me a email at helloomooba@gmail.com). I’m thinking of putting up a happy medic online class soon, what do you think? Would you enroll? If yes let me know in the comments. If not, tell me the kind of online course you would take that would help solve some problems you face in med school and life generally. I’m here to help. That said, let’s talk about what we have for today—complaining.


Medics always have an excuse for complaining. That doesn’t make it okay, especially since complaining doesn’t actually make anything better. In fact, it makes matters worse. It a big minus as it often leaves you with a sad mood and gloomy outlook on life, so why complain? I think the reason why most of us do it is because it is so easy and we belong to a culture that entertains it, it’s almost like the way medical students bond is by complaining and grumbling about how bad things are for them and how they don’t get to enjoy life. I’m so rolling my eyes because it’s all quite counter productive and it portrays us as irresponsible and lazy. I know it’s hard, I’m in the same shoes, but no amount of complaining will change that so rather than to grumble, I’d prefer to do other fun things. I suppose we also fall into this temptation because we feel we don’t have a choice, we feel when challenges rise up against us, we don’t have a choice in how we react, we are subject to circumstances, we just must whine. All lies. We can take control, we can look the challenge in the face and laugh (especially after trashing last week’s issue) and then proceed to figuring out how to handle the problem.


Because I know these things are easier said than done, I’ll share 3 ways I combat complaining.


Gratitude.


You guys there is actually so much to be grateful for. I don’t know where to start. Can we begin from the fact that you get to be alive? What an immense joy! And you get to go school!!!! Not just any school, medical school. You get to learn way more than most humans can boast of and you have a real chance at saving lives. Like a real chance. I don’t know about you, but I count that as a privilege. I can’t believe I get to live this life! Does it sound like too much hype, well the hype is well worth it and true. It’s about perspective. Be grateful!

Do things that make you laugh.

Have you noticed that you can’t laugh and talk at the same time? Lol. True story. Laugh joor. Forget your troubles. Let it go! Some of us are so funny ehn, like you’ll actually hold on to your problems like say na die. You’re even wicked to yourself. Someone will be try to play with you, make you laugh and you will just bone face shaaaa. Lol. Allow yourself the space to be free. You will be alright. Laugh!

Think of the situation as making you better.


If I were to choose the most important point, I would choose this one. It has helped me the most. The truth is challenges make use better and stronger. The tougher it gets the better you become. I’ve learnt to just approach every challenge with a good attitude, almost like a gift. You know when you’re playing a game on your phone (I’m not really a gamer so forgive me if some of the references are not perfect), for each challenge that you overcome you move to the next level and you might even gain points or lives that you will use further in the game to gain more points and go higher. It’s the same way with life, you need to scale through some tough times, to build capacity to be able to handle more as you grow. You don’t know where you will need the endurance and perseverance you are learning now. Your live is long and fulfillment is not always found in the easy way out, sometimes it’s on the highroad, cause those are more rewarding!


I hope you’ve been medified! Don’t forget to let me know if the online class idea makes sense and if not, what topic would you take a class on? Love you guys. Have a blessed week.


If you found this helpful, please share!

All Rights Reserved. Medify, 2019

Medify NL: #04 The Confidence Issue

What is medify? A labour of love to help medics maintain an optimum mental health. Read more about Medify here.


Created by OmoobaJesu Adetunji


The Confidence Issue.

It’s safe to say this last week, my confidence took more than a few blows which explains why this week’s newsletter is coming a bit late. But heyy I made it, didn’t I?


Confidence in medical school and in life generally can be a tough road to follow because it’s as though your identity and self worth are always being put to the test, like you constantly have to prove yourself. It can be draining and if you’re like me in anyway, it can mess you up.


This is a hot topic and I want to be honest—confidence cannot be taught. It’s not a skill. It’s a choice. It’s a matter of belief, you either believe for the best or you don’t. Sometimes you choose to believe despite the odds, because it’s either that or despair. It’s seems like a very easy thing to do right? (Shebi it’s just to believe?) you’d be surprised it’s not. That’s why so many people have a hard time maintaining confidence. It helps if somebody believes in you first, which is why today I’m going to talk about Jesus.


Here’s the thing, we all know we’re not perfect. We all make mistakes. We all know at one point or the other we’ve come short of deserving good things. And no amount of brainwashing takes that knowing away. That’s where God comes in. There was a divine exchange on an old rugged cross many years ago where God already paid the price in full for all of your inadequacies so that you can live without guilt or insecurities. I know this gospel is popular but so many people do not live it out. Guys, let’s live it out. That’s where the power’s at— the living it out.


The moment you remember that you’re not enough, you should also remember that God is enough and you are His. This doesn’t make any differences though if you don’t believe it. You see, everything else fails; you fail, people fail, quotes and motivation fails, meditation fails but I dare say GOD DOES NOT FAIL. HE JUST DOES NOT. Your confidence should rest in his infallibility. That’s the safest place to be. Change your perspective and this confidence thing gets a ton easier.


Here’s a different way to look at it, because of God, YOU CANNOT FAIL. Because He has redeemed you, made you new, called you into his family, you are no longer just anybody. YOU GOT THIS BECAUSE GOD AND ONLY GOD. And because you know who you are in Christ you can keep that confidence and continue to feed it.


But then you might be wondering, what do I even need confidence for, is it not to read and pass? Well, you’d be surprised that there’s so much you cannot accomplish without knowing who you are and being unresolved in reaching your goals because you know you are capable. If you don’t have confidence, it will reflect on the choices you make. You will always see yourself as less than and incapable of more.


There’s a danger in looking to ourselves for this kind of confidence, and it is the truth that we are simply not enough, sometimes we make mistakes, big bad mistakes. If you’ve put yourself on a high pedestal, your falls will be pretty hard ones because you’re quite a distance from the ground. It’s better to put your trust in God who you can be sure does not fall or fail, even when it looks like you are loosing, you can be confident that you are winning because there are so many ways God can change a situation for your good. There are so many blind spots your eyes cannot see. Just believe. Don’t stop believing. If you need to fight to keep your confidence alive, do it! Best believe I’ll be fighting along side you.


Have a great week ahead guys! Don’t let anyone or anything steal your confidence. I promise to do the same.


If you found this helpful, please share. Till next week, stay medified!

All Rights Reserved. Medify, 2019

Medify NL: #03 The Time Issue


What is medify? A labour of love to help medics maintain an optimum mental health. Read more about Medify here.


Created by OmoobaJesu Adetunji


The Time Issue.


We often find ourselves in situations where we simply do not have enough time to do all the things we need to do, or so we think? Today I’ll be talking about time and I don’t want it to be the usual time management palava cause truth is there’s more to time than just management. Time is an unusual asset because unlike almost every other thing in life, everyone has the same of it; no more, no less. So that takes away the idea of whether or not it’s enough. It’s up to you to make it enough.


Here are some truths about time to think about;


In Medicine, there is always a lot to get done and there will always be a lot to know and learn. The way to go about it is to learn what exactly you need at each level of your medical career. What is required of a student is different from what is required from an house officer and totally different from what is required from a resident, you get my drift? There are some things that are urgent and important, try to focus on those things. Some things are important but not urgent, so let them go when they become urgent you will handle them.


Time is about priority. You have to realize that time is life. Basically your whole life is a function of time; how much of it you have and how you use it. Someone said the way you spend your time is the way you spend your life. You need to sit down and think about your priorities in life and what really matters to you. If those things are clear to you, you would find it quite difficult to waste your time. So there is some soul searching required and of course there will be need to cut some things out of your life completely.


As medical students we often feel that we don’t have a life and so when we want to go have fun we tend to overcompensate. We tend to be so out there that we would have sacrificed too much of ourselves to low income things that probably won’t even give us lasting joy (things like clubbing all night for example). You thought medicine was worth your time right? That’s why you pay to go through medical school so then you shouldn’t find giving it your all, including your time such a hard pill to swallow. If it is, you need to reevaluate your priorities.


By all means read the time management books but fact is most of time we already know what’s wrong with us concerning how we use our time. Every individual’s time is customized to what they like and how they live so it’s nearly impossible to prescribe a solution that would work for everyone. We all have an idea of what exactly could be causing our time crisis so let’s quit playing pretend and start making space for the things that really matter.


Today’s talk seems to me like a hard talk but we all need a hard knock in the right direction from time to time.


If you found this helpful, please share.
Till next week, remain medified!


All Rights Reserved. Medify, 2019

Medify NL: #02 The Fatigue Issue.


What is medify? A labour of love to help medics maintain an optimum mental health. Read more about Medify here.


Created by OmoobaJesu Adetunji

First of all, special thanks to everyone who read and shared last week’s newsletter. I was truly stunned by all the wonderful feedback and love. I am encouraged to keep doing this. Thank you fam!


To today’s issue; Fatigue.


Am I the only one that finds it impossible to function properly when I’m really tired? I mean to even smile or talk becomes a problem. Medicine is almost synonymous with fatigue. Last week I got home 6pm or later, and I leave home around 7:30, every single day. By Wednesday I was starting to feel hopeless because I had so much to do and there was literarily no time. But all that changed by Thursday morning because God came through. So let’s talk about practical ways to handle fatigue and prevent burn out.


Ways to handle fatigue.


Eat well.

If you know that you will be busy throughout the day then abeg don’t miss breakfast. Try your possible best to have a good meal in the morning. I’m also not good at eating properly but something that has helped is thinking about what I’ll eat, breakfast especially, in advance like the night before. Even if it is just bread and tea, at least I’ll be okay for the first six hours of the next day and that goes a long way in itself. You can keep healthy snacks handy too, if you like to munch something when you’re reading or while in class. I don’t know why but we tend to underestimate the power of eating properly, maybe because it takes time. A good way to think about it is that, you’ll probably spend the time you’re trying to save being hungry and looking for food anyway. And if you can afford to buy takeouts, buy takeouts. Take care of yourself. Your health is a priority.


Rest.

Listen to your body. If you are tired, rest. And rest does not mean scrolling through your phone or watching a movie. Rest means rest. As per unplug for a while. For most of us that usually means a good sleep. We often sacrifice our sleep on the alter of making good impressions though in this medical field. So what if you oversleep and you’re accused of being incompetent? So what? At least you’re refreshed. Know who you are, and try not to be in the habit of proving your worth to people or putting your worth in their opinion of you. Everyone has their mouth and they can say whatever they like with it. You also have your own, use it to say good things to yourself. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for having sleepless nights and I want to believe you can be honest with yourself and take responsibility when you know you just need to sleep. Don’t skip your rest for medicine, it will not be worth it, you will pay in coins that are too expensive. Remember your health is a priority.


Have a plan.

Have a mechanism for how your days should go on default and have a plan for how you will handle challenges when they pop up, because they will. I say this because fatigue sometimes comes from a place of frustration, like why do I have so much to do? How am I going to do it? I am hungry… I’m even tired sef. It’s like a vicious cycle. So endeavor to plan your life. It’s better if it’s only your body that is tired and not your mind because if it’s just your body you can easily rest and be revitalized but it’s your mind, it might take days, weeks or even months to get you back to a good place. Have things that keep you going and plans on how to do your work effectively in place and if you find that your plan is not working don’t just give up, try something new. Ask how people work through the workload and see of it works for you too. Don’t take defeat as your destiny. Keep going!


Don’t Complain!

See ehn, from experience I know that this is the easiest thing to do when the going gets tough but I also know, from experience, that it doesn’t help anyone or anything ooooo. Lol. Here’s the thing; this is training. This is what you asked for when you put medicine in your JAMB form. You’re living the dream and you’re here to learn so just sucking it up and make the best use of your time. Even if you were forced into this profession, well you’re here now so move on. Complaining drains energy I’m telling you and it gives one excuses to be sloppy and lazy. It does not help. Let’s trash it and be done with it from now on please.


Involve God.

It helps when we know that we are not alone and even the supernatural is on our side. I don’t know about anyone else but God has always come through for me when I am exhausted, even when I forget to tell him warris going on. God is a very pleasant help in times of trouble. I have listed very nice and thought through tips above but the truth is life happens and they may all fail. There are situations where it seems you’ve done your possible best and you’re still tired. In times like those, let God take over. In fact before it gets to that stage just carry Him along because of a truth, God makes ways where they are none. I’ve seen it happen over and over. God is faithful.


I guess I’ll have to talk about burn out some other time. I hope you have been medified? If yes, kindly share with a fellow medic.


I wish you a very happy week.


Love, O.


All Rights Reserved. Medify, 2019

Medify NL: #01 The Forgetting Issue



What is Medify? A labour of love to help medics maintain an optimum mental health. Read more about Medify here.


Created by OmoobaJesu Adetunji

#01 The Forgetting Issue

One of the biggest things that stresses us out as medical people asides the volume of work is that when we make effort to learn the gaint pile of stuff, we end up forgetting more often than not. It can be quite frustrating and makes one want to give up but that’s not an option.


Today I’ll be sharing tips on better retention and also a few things you need to keep in mind when you find yourself forgetting.


A FEW THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN YOU ARE FORGETTING.


Every successful doctor has had this struggle too, and some still do. They learnt the ways to be better and pushed through it. You can do the same.


Move past the forgetting, maybe you’ll remember if you don’t give up so fast. The harder you try to remember the better it will stick. That’s the idea behind exams and test. More on that later.


Forgetting doesn’t define you. It is not the indicator of how dumb or smart you are. Forgetting doesn’t automatically mean you don’t have the ability to remember. Don’t begin to see yourself as the kind of person that forgets. You have to actively fight that thought. Because if you begin to believe that, then you will also believe that there’s no way to fix the situation, that there’s no way to remember and that’s just the way you are. That is a lie. Don’t believe it! Believe that you can and do remember things, with time that will be your reality.


TIPS FOR BETTER RETENTION.

Teaching.

It’s rumoured that Albert Einstein said you don’t really understand a concept unless you can explain it to a 5 year old. A good question to ask yourself after you study something is, can you teach it to someone else? If you realize that you can’t, that probably means you don’t understand it yourself. So try it out. Try to teach your friend the next day. If you don’t have a friend you could teach, teach your pillow or the wall. Yes you heard that right, teach inanimate things. Just makes sure you get the info out of you so you can know what you’ve retained and what you need to check out.

Testing.

Have you noticed that it’s things you get wrong in exams and tests that you remember the most. This is the whole idea behind testing and examining student. The very test and exam in itself are part of the learning process. So if you want to retain what you learn, take the time to test yourself. That might look differently for time to time. It might be you just making effort to remember something you learnt last week, but I must say that the best way to get this done is to answer questions and what makes it all the more better if you have past questions from your institution. That way you’re training yourself to learn the things that are expected of you and not excesses.

Spaced Repetition.

This involves spacing the time between when you first learn a concept and the next time you revisit it based off of how well you remember it. Let’s take for example I studied anatomy of the heart today. I schedule my revision for a week later, if by that time I remember most of the information correctly, I schedule my next revision for 3 weeks time. If the case is that I do not remember that well, I schedule my next revision for the next 3 days and repeat the process. It can be very tedious especially in medicine when you have a lot to learn, but if you’ve taken the testing part seriously you’ll know the parts that are important so you focus on that and apply this spaced repetition to those concepts.

People always say to study smart as though studying smart does also take time. The only difference is when you study smart you can be sure that your work is productive. Don’t be fooled into thinking it will require less dedication and commitment on your part. Put these things into practice for sometime, I’m sure they will work for you.

If this was helpful, please share with a medic. Thank you.


Have the best week!


Love, O.


All Rights Reserved. Medify, 2019.

What is Medify?


For some time now I’ve been thinking about how no one carters to the mental health of medical professionals in particular and I think that fact in itself is quite alarming. How is that we trust our lives and that of our loved ones with people that we’re not even sure are okay mentally? We’ve seen doctors breakdown, die on the job, commit suicide, go through drug and substance abuse and addictions. It is sad that those that save lives don’t take the best care of themselves.


Doctors, doctors in training and people in healthcare go through a massive amount of stress daily. The hours are long, self esteem and self dignity are always on the line in the midst of superiors, you’re always preparing for one exam or the other, the community expects complete solidarity, the kind that makes you diagnose and give prescriptions on the road and sometimes you don’t even get paid your full wages by the government. It can be hard and frustrating. A consultant once told us that to do the things that doctors do, you must achieve some degree of sub-humanity. That is you have to sacrifice some of your humanity to be able to be the type of person that saves lives. This often means becoming a person that is apathetic, hard, obnoxious and socially awkward. We only feel like we truly belong when we are in the company of other doctors or health professionals because we feel they are the only ones that understand us and will excuse our misbehaviours. It’s often said that to be a good doctor you don’t have to be a good human being, but how true is that in the real sense of things?


These are the general beliefs, especially here in Nigeria. I believe this is not only wrong, but also something we need go to war against because whether or not we choose to believe it, a caregiver’s mental state reflects on the quality of care they provide. I’m prepared to dedicate my entire life to fighting this war and ensuring doctors are fine mentally. It seems like such a huge problem and quite frankly I do not have all the answers but I’m choosing to start where I can which is why I am launch this thing called MEDIFY; an organization committed to edifying medics (get the name?). I know that it will evolve into many things in the future and will serve in various capacities to ensure that we have mentally healthy medical professionals in this country Nigeria and then the world at large. Like I said I’m starting with what I have which includes writing and launching a weekly newsletter that will inspire and encourage medics everywhere. I will do that till I figure out more ways to help.


I’ll spell out our mission and vision statement below, so you know we mean business.


Motto: building mentally healthy medics.


Vision: that every medical professional across Nigeria and beyond maintains mental and emotional wellness and can thereby live deeply fulfilling lives, as a result providing the best possible care to their patients.


Mission: to edify and equip medical professionals and students with needed information, inspiration, motivation, encouragement and community to foster mental and emotional wellness through various evolving means of mental health awareness, growth and betterment.

Thank you.