NYSC is about the least earning phase in the life of most Nigerian doctors. The drop in earnings by nearly a half ushers most young doctors into a daze that they are seldom prepared for. The desire to make ends meets often force some into canvassing for high-paying states and institutions or working multiple jobs.
“I have never been a house officer. If I have, I wouldn’t be asking you!” I yelled.
“Are you raising your voice on me?” he demanded.
“No! I am only telling you how I feel,” I cried.
I was exhausted. I had come to the end of a long thread that held my stretched emotions together.
A little over a year ago, I packed my bags and relocated to the ancient city of Ile-Ife to begin what would be a one-year-long paid internship in the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife.
Before arriving Ile-Ife, I am not sure if I knew about the hospital, but I was already on what my friends and I optimistically termed, Medical Tourism; travelling across the federation and visiting its various medical institutions in the search for placement for housemanship.
Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) was one posting I did not look forward to in housemanship for varying reasons.
First, it was infamous for being the most stressful rotation in OAUTHC (with surgery contesting keenly) and as such, people would scare you with tales of it without meaning to.
I was excited, nonetheless, because it was my last posting in housemanship, which translated into three months until this phase of my life ended.
When I reached the six months mark, I could not muster a similar excitement, but this time? My excitement was irrepressible!
If you follow me on any of my social media handles or view my status updates on WhatsApp, then you might have come across a photo I shared of myself in the clinic, attending to patients with an inflamed right lower eyelid – a condition I termed blepharitis, which seemed to have erupted out of nowhere.
I didn’t think I would seek specialist medical advice and care until a friend mentioned it. I saw more reasons to do so when he pointed out, ‘The eye clinic is just opposite your department. You can take a break from work to see them.’
What started as a barely perceptible swelling and discomfort around my right lower eyelid, transformed overnight into a more obvious swelling, and throbbing pain around the affected eye and the adjoining temple.
Three months ago, I was on the verge of completing my internal medicine rotation and proceeding on my one-week leave, with thoughts of my next rotation – Paediatrics, caressing itself on the surface of my mind.
As an eight-year-old, I sagely declared to my mum’s listening ears that I would specialize in Paediatrics if I wanted to do something out of passion or choose Surgery for the money.
I knew it was Medicine, but the area of specialization, I was yet to settle for and different specialities beckoned on me for varying reasons.
After going through medical school, and being pulled in different directions – as I was the medical student that enjoyed pretty much every rotation – I was certain that my one-year internship would seal the deal for me and make my choice easier.
Happy new year, lovelies.
Allow me welcome you to your best year yet.
Yes, that’s how I feel about 2019.
In the days and weeks that I haven’t put up a blog post, a lot has happened revolving around work and life generally.
My last blog post was about my internal medicine experience and there was a lot of cheers to my tenacity, and I earned a community of friends and family who were counting down with me to the end of the posting.
Weeks after I made the post and had most of my seniors at work, who are thankfully my friends also, read the post, one said to me, ‘You better go and tell your blog readers that you are suffering now. You had not gotten the real taste of Renal when you made the post.’
I am four months into house job and have completed my surgery rotation.
I began Internal Medicine rotation about five weeks ago and got posted to Nephrology – the aspect of Medicine that deals with the kidneys.
Toward the end of my Surgery posting, I started conversations with my friends who were in Internal Medicine at the time, discussing the likely units in Internal Medicine that I may get posted to.
Unlike Surgery where you rotate through various subspecialties and get to spend two or a maximum of three weeks in each subspecialty, in Internal Medicine, you spend the entire 12 weeks of a given rotation in one subspecialty.
It is essential, therefore, that you get a benign unit, or one at least that comprised mostly of good persons.
It is exactly one year since you asked me out and I said yes.
I was excited and tagged the day “the best day of my life yet,” especially as I have had a crush on you since childhood.
I was made to wait out adolescence and become an adult both in head and at heart before we could begin dating.
So, I said yes, amidst the feelings of excitement, accomplishment, the uncertainty of what the future holds, and fear of the enormity of the task of being your sweetheart.
Three months ago, we began courting when you put a ring on it and that marked a new beginning for us.
Guys!!!! I had to write. And you need not say, I know I have been off this space (and social media) for a good while. I missed y’all. Did you miss me too?
I blogged about my new job here, and mentioned how housemanship can be stressful and time demanding, and even queried how often my showing up on the blog would be afterwards.
My first two weeks were hell! Literally. I barely had a life of my own. I was either in the ward, in the call room, in the theatre, in the laboratory (checking results) or seldom in the kitchen trying to grab dinner – call food.