Day 20: King Ajibola Onifade #MyMBBSJourney

Believe me, secondary school days were actually the most interesting days of our lives. Most of us had no idea what we wanted as a profession but there was this euphoria of being in science class that made most of us find ourselves there. I never had any idea of what I wanted to do until I visited the college of medicine. I was about 16 years old at that time. The college seemed to me like heaven on earth; white coats flying all around like angels singing praises to God. They looked clean, smiling and all and then I thought and decided that this is it. I asked around about the profession I was told it was a good thinking. Even my dad said, “Son you choose the right course, there is a lot of money in it.” Well, I say now that it is just a humanitarian service. That’s all. So I wrote JAMB, put in for Medicine and Surgery, passed the post-UTME and that’s how I found myself in the university of first choice and nations’ pride. In a summary, Akoka was full of fun.

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CMUL was a bit different from Akoka, even the students there were on their best behaviour. Part 1 (200L) in med school was very stressful; most of us didn’t really know how things worked. I remember being introduced to ‘Mr Cadaver’ and being told that the only way to learn anatomy is by paying special attention to him. Thank God for having Dr Olokodana on our table at that time, he made everything simple and interesting.  I remember the compulsory sleeping tablets we had during embryology lectures. Plotting graphical representation of what we didn’t need or indirectly extorting money from us when we mistakenly broke an apparatus were the highlights of biochemistry for me.
But I still enjoyed myself; back to back from birthday parties to departmental parties to clubs etc, it was a hit. I met the funniest set of people in my life. Those guys were our class clowns and we called them ‘three Idiots’. Our first professional exams came in and the most constant thing in med school happened: passes and references. I made it.

In med school, information is the soul of business. However, asking around about Part 2 (300L) was not so encouraging. There was almost no good news. Part 2 was the part of my life which I had nothing else to do aside from reading. There were too many drugs to learn of, their mechanism of action, side effects, and tests upon tests with negative marking to scare us away from guessing answers. The hot ‘cold room’ was always jam-packed with classmates. The lab sessions of the courses we offered were in another world of their own. I loved reading on my bed, it was my second library. I knew Dr Alade Azeez (BDS in view) and Dr Aminu. Those guys are machines; just like Yaya Toure of Man City. They hardly got tired and always kept me going in the library. Part 2 professional exam was the most tiring exam in med school. I was happy to have made it at the first time of asking. I made awesome friends right from Akoka to part 1: Akinpelu (my day 1 friend), Mayowa, Kbite Qudus and Balikis. They all have been wonderful and great friends in their own little way.

Part 3 (400L) came; the period most of us knew we had crossed a bridge – we will definitely become doctors. Learning new languages, clerking of patients and the long hours of ward rounds where doctors debated on the type of drugs and dosages to administer became a routine. I learnt an important lesson of hierarchy in medicine – there is respect at every level. I saw it as an annoying vicious cycle. Somehow, I funnily began to realize that life is not all about the money – from an angle of practicing medicine though. Part 3 was very fast, it soon passed.

The importance of group work was reiterated by community health department in part 4 (500L). Most of the lectures were boring but I will never forget the ten steps of planning by our dear Prof. Campbell. I will also always remember the Pakoto experience – ineffable. The third professional exam came and went. God, as usual, was faithful. Oh! I almost forgot. I had very interesting neighbours at that time – my editor-in-chief, Dr Ope, Dr Hassan and the oldest man I have ever met, Dr Kola. Still don’t know how old you are sir. There was never a dull moment right from our psychiatry through ophthalmology postings.

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Then came the time we all had been waiting for; the final Lap, time to #SeizeTheMBBS. I’ve heard it over and over but now I realized it’s not easy when you are next. My dad called me almost daily to ask about school. The expectations were so high and the pressure was getting to me. It was a bit more interesting as the 400L students were around to listen to the dull percussion notes of their senior.  “He’s supposed to be a doctor in a few months”, I’m sure they must have said to themselves. During rotations, I knew I couldn’t do O and G. I almost vomited the first time I witnessed a vaginal birth. Women have too many problems, LOL.

The buildup to my finals taught me a lot especially that TOGETHER WE CAN DO A LOT. I had reading partners for the first time in my life. Reminiscing, I remember the tears, the laughter, the stress, pain, the ‘we must pass once’ group, and I let a heavy sigh. This is just the beginning of a long journey. I pray for a good journey ahead and I want to thank the ALMIGTHY for making it possible for me and my friends. It’s not by my power….OLUWA NI OOO.
          
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