It is easy to think that you would never leave medical school when the ward rounds, huge books to read and exams come charging toward you, you feel locked in taking it one day at a time. You are assured that everyone is going through pressure of some sort, even those who seem to be better than you (as is with everyone, we all think the other fellow is better than us) are equally going through same pressure or even more.
We try to recall what we have read and it is slipping away from us with careless abandon, and fortunately for us when we are percussed during ward round, we are diagnosed as severely hypo stuffed, only for a Miss B to rattle the entire thing, giving Physiological, Biochemical, Pathological basis. We stare blankly like morons, for some of us the stuff
starts coming back as she answers, but for normal medical students like me and you, we have never heard 80% of what she just rattled. Obviously we are not in same class with Miss B, she must have some extra-time given to her by some deity, must be the extra-midnight oil she is burning, and we say to ourselves I better start doing same.
Hold it right there !
Medicine is not really about who knows all the stuff during ward rounds, knowing the stuff is
important, but another which is equally important is resilience and readiness to go the long haul. To pull and keep pulling, even if just a few inches at a time, but to pull all the same, to run and offer thineself as a burnt offering to the course, as it is a course that does not require only our minds or intellectual know-how, but everything we are. With medicine we become “IT”, we morph into what being a doctor is. Our thought pattern and lifestyle and actions become medical oriented.
This is not so hard to achieve if we understand that medicine started out as apprenticeship, we are taught to become, not simply taught to know.
I graduated a while ago and was all smiles when it happened, my final exam results came out and it was “You are good to go”, I looked back and saw that all my exams were passed at one sitting (no resits), I did fail mock Surgery with an outstanding “F”, but glory to God I am on my way out of this school. You could almost hear a thunderous “Yes, Yes” in my heart, but as is common with most of us the “clueless” ones in medical school, we were yet to see that induction was one thing and Internship is on a whole other level.
While I was celebrating the induction coming, Miss B had already gotten an internship placement, Ahh. This one is enough to ask myself if I sincerely am in
same world with Miss B and some other people, it was no longer about induction it was which
placement have you gotten. Yours sincerely had not even submitted application to one hospital for internship.Like a raging storm, it dawned on me that I had absolutely no idea as to how to go about internship placement, My state was not advertising, all the other hospitals that advertised seemed to have just closed their application portal a few days before I started seeking earnestly.
Suffice to say, the first
response to me was a shocker alert, as if that was not enough, it seemed like every other person in my class had made headway in their search. Most already had invitations for examinations, others
had their names already as House officers to resume ASAP. This is not a very good position for
anyone to be in, at this point reality hits you hard, it screams at you and tells you “YOU MIGHT’VE GRADUATED WITH THIS PEOPLE, BUT EVERY SINGLE FELLOW IS ALONE”.
Even my closest buddies whom I took on certain lectures in school, had leeway as some of them had parents in high places in the medical field. I have parents and relatives in high places too, but they are not in the medical field. Everyone I seemed to reach out to would go thus; oh sorry! If you had come a week earlier it would’ve been easier to do, it was as though I got inducted at exactly the wrong time anyone in my
shoes could get inducted. My ears were everywhere, my eyes were everywhere, and as God would have it, I started meeting
people who were in same shoes as I was. Don’t think me a bad fellow, but it does feel a bit good to know you’re not alone. Even as Christians it gives some sort of relief to know that you’re not alone, but here comes the problem, this does not last for very long. Some medical officers told me don’t worry, you would get plenty internship placements and even choose which one to take. Choice would be the problem not where to be, I took this in good faith (SIDE NOTE: I am done with internship now, and I got only one placement). Having a lot of placements is no proof that God is working for us, so ditch that thought when it comes, its possible to get only one place and finish your
AS TIME WENT ON…
Time was not a friend at all, I have spent what seemed like hours at home and looking at the
calendar it has hit several months. Along the line I got into the NIGERIAN PROSPECTIVE MEDICAL INTERNS GROUP
on WhatsApp ; This group was indeed a blessing to me information wise and financially (if you Know you know), I got to meet amazing people of which I am still friends with today, despite I have not set eyes on them, these people are trustworthy and reliable. Information was always there, I introduced
people to the group too (they all got internship placement before me).
Next, was a voluntary service job I had to take (this was the source of my open door), in my city
there happened to be a big hospital well known and I decided to render my services to that
institution, even if I was not going to be paid, I was alright with it. The good thing about the place was that I get to leave the house. This alone evokes shouts of Hallelujah! for me, Oh what a blessing,
spending over 7 years in school I have developed a distaste for staying at home and had a notoriety
for being alone doing my own thing. For extra-bonus the hospital had air conditioning everywhere
with 24 hours power, and they gave us fancy scrubs. No one would ever know you’re but a bloody pre-intern, I had exactly same attire as the medical officers save for the same account balance. At this point it becomes an issue when people ask you where do you work? And you dread being called a doctor.
Obviously I was in-between and was technically not a doctor yet. I spent over 6 months in
this place and met amazing people, I cherish them till today, they took me in like a brother, fed me,
allowed me sleep in their chalets during night duty and taught me a few skills. I scrubbed in for
surgeries and did all kind of work, I just had to be kept busy.
As God would have it, I was also growing in the faith and learning a few things about a waiting
period. Often times, I would walk around the hospital at night, praying for people I knew who had not gotten internship placement yet, at this point I no longer had need to pray for myself. I had already signed up to go into full time ministry if medicine does not want me to go further. But this truth was ever resident in my heart;
“God had not brought me this far to leave me alone, my training has not been completed and He is committed”. Another truth was;
“I have not gotten a placement because my place had not yet opened”.
I had dreams and visions about placements and I was always near distressed when they did not
happen as soon as I thought they would (they all did come to pass).
INTERNSHIP LOCATIONS PROPER.
I did get a lot of applications around Nigeria and would’ve gotten a few outside Nigeria if there was an opening taking people like us. My forms did get to every geo-political Zone in Nigeria, but I was physically able to go to a number of them that had high prospects for me, I studied all about the places like another MBBs exam-name of every staff who worked there, and current affairs about everything, how many interns they took, what was their stance on merit (this was the only way I hoped I could get a placement, money was not lying around to lobby anyone). Of the few Hospitals I visited which were all eventful, I would share on a few of them here.
H.M.B Delta state. (Part 1)
This was one of the most eventful for me, since it was an establishment belonging to my state, I
hoped to get an easy placement here. I had heard of stories of people who knew men and women of timber and calibre in the state getting placements at odd times in the year. I thought I was like so, I knew the King of Kings, The Lord Of Lords, Jehovah Jireh of internship, so Yours sincerely submitted an application to my state H.M.B. It was such an awesome feeling for me, they accepted me well; I could almost hear myself say to myself “THIS IS THE PROMISED LAND”. Oh! How I felt like Abraham,
Spiritually I felt such awesome peace and tranquillity. This is it, I smiled and replied everyone who called me after this day with an unmatched assurance that I had gotten a placement. I had already
started analysing what to do with the salary. True to their quick nature, I got a call to come back just two days after submission to come take A LETTER.
Glory be to God, Oh I noised this aloud. I was actually on my way to DELSUTH that day to submit my application when I got the call. I was near forgetting about DELSUTH, but I went all the same, nothing bad with getting two placements. DELSUTH (Humph, another big story).
I got back to Asaba, rushed down to HMB and nearly barged into the office where my letter was to
be, grinning from ear to ear. Like so, my letter was served, all my joy crashed.
……………………… ….to be continued