The date was 13th December 2010, a thin, dark skinned Nigerian teenager walked through the gates of College of Medicine, University of Lagos.
Eager, sober and ready for whatever the medical school was going to throw at him, the young boy rushed hurriedly to the lecture hall for what would be the first of a myriad of lectures that would follow from then on.
Having gone through the rigors of the foundation program that admits students into the institution via direct entry and all the other hectic registration regimen, Mayowa Babs, as he is fondly called by his friends began his journey through medical school.
*Fast forward to over 5 years*
“Wetin you dey type?” Dami asked, wondering what Mayowa was typing with so much enthusiasm on his PC.
“I dey type one article for Pero’s blog” he replied.
Dami has been Mayowa’s roommate for the past 2 years and his friend since the foundation program, 6 years ago.
The journey through medical school is unique for every individual because we all came from and are all going to different places in one way or another. While Mayowa sat there typing and reminiscing, he decided the best way to describe his will be to talk about it in phases.
BASIC MEDICAL SCIENCES
The basic medical sciences are courses which take the first 2 years of medical education. At least that’s how it is in CMUL barring staff strikes and all of that.
The 1st year in med school was the time when you were oblivious of what you had gotten into unless somehow you had a prior knowledge of how it was going to be. Well Mayowa didn’t have that, as did a lot of others.
The 1st few tests and incourses got everyone humbled and quickly brought into the reality that whatever was done in the foundation program or premed year was nothing compared to what med school had in store.
By and large, he made new friends, did okay academically and moved to the next stage.
JUNIOR CLINICAL ROTATIONS
After passing from the BMS it was time to cross over to the real medical world where meeting and interacting with real life patients was the corner stone of learning. It was a time where you had to put into clinical practice everything you had learned from the BMS.
Here, you were exposed to the major parts of Medicine and Surgery and different clinical activities (It will be too cumbersome going through all the details)
One of Mayowa’s favorite parts of the clinical rotations was going to the Accidents and Emergency. There was always something new to learn. The junior clinical rotations lasted for about six months after which it was time for Community Medicine ߘƊ
The period for Comm health, as it is famously called, is one of those times where you think you can actually get away with being unserious but you would be dead wrong if you thought like that.
Comm health had so many activities that were as fun as they were hectic. Group presentations, seminars, group projects, group outings, etcetera.
It was mostly about team work and, yes, this was where you had to do your undergraduate research project (I won’t even talk about this one ߘƩ
To round it off there was this rural community outing in Pakoto, Ogun state. It was an amazing time.
After comm health came what was termed secondary postings. Most likely because they were highly specialized units. Ophthalmology, Anaesthesia and Psychiatry.
The most dramatic was psychiatry, for obvious reasons ߘҮ (P.S. Please say a prayer today for people with one form of mental illness or the other ߘԩ
Secondary postings lasted about 18 weeks or more in total then it was time for Final year.
SENIOR CLINICAL POSTINGS
One of the shocking things about final year was that as soon as you began, you found out that a lot of clinical stuff you had learned in junior clinicals had evaporated ߘ㠔hat was most likely the side effect of all the comm health that was done in between ߘ݊Anyway, after a while you were back in the game and it was just a superior repetition of the junior clinical years. This time you were most serious and everything you did was largely focused on the final exams. Preparing for the final exams was something similar the 2nd Professional exams, to cross from BMS to clinicals, (didn’t mention that earlier) only this time, there was so much more at stake.
“Omo, Babs, result don show o” that was Tosin Maidana breaking the news.
Tosin was one of the first guys Mayowa met in the foundation program and they have been good friends ever since.
At that point, Mayowa’s brain received that statement, processed it, and it was translated into hyperventilation, palpitations and tachycardia, combined with a dry mouth and dilated pupils – this was a classic sympathetic response most people had on hearing the results of their final exams had been released.
The month of February in particular was the month where it all got heated up.
Looking through the result sheets and seeing his matric number among the “candidates who satisfied the examiners” column, relief, joy, elation, gratitude and a hope of wonderful career as the journey of life as a medical professional was on course to begin, was what he felt.
Thank you to everyone who was a part of this 6 year story and a big shout out to Perry’s Tots.
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