1. Can we meet you?
My name is Deborah Okonji, but everyone calls me Deby.
I’m a Medical Doctor and I finished from University of Benin, Nigeria, in 2017.
I did my internship at FMC Lokoja from 2017-2018.
2. What was your favorite posting, and why?
I say it’s surprising because I didn’t like the posting as a student, it was tiring and we had lots of wicked Ogas (senior doctors).
However during housejob, many of my chiefs were easy going and there were lots of hands-on experiences too.
3. What was your least favorite posting, and why?
It stressed every living cell and even the dead cells in my body.
Thankfully, it lasted only 2 months (thanks to the JOHESU strike).
Then we had to work from 8 a.m. till 10 p.m. on an almost daily basis which was really annoying.
4. Your best call ever?
My first 48 hour (weekend) call in pediatrics with one of my favorite chiefs ever, Dr. Owa.
It wasn’t so busy and I even ate chicken during the call.😀
5. Your worst call ever?
Another call I did in Paediatrics 😱 with a certain chief (whose name I won’t mention), that particular call seemed to have come from the pit of hell.
At the end, I was drained both physically and mentally.
6. Nicest Chief(s) you worked with:
i. Dr Owa (Pediatrics): He was kind, patient and had a lot of skills and stuff. He always made sure that I was learning and allowed me the freedom to take some patient centred decisions at my own level.
ii. Dr Kayode (Internal Medicine): He was a fun guy. He taught me the importance of being careful and looking out for myself as a doctor.
iii. Dr Adedigba (Pediatrics): He made the posting a little more relaxing. He also allowed me a lot of hands-on experience.
iv. Dr Ibrahim (Surgery): He was also fun and had a way of making me calm down. In short, he was a breath of fresh air from the wahala in Surgery.
7. Life lessons from HouseJob:
i. Humility: Be humble enough to learn, anybody can be your teacher.
ii. Patience: Be patient with your patients, sometimes all they need is reassurance.
iii. Friendship: If you are approachable and show yourself friendly to others, you’ll find yourself making lots of friends. And who knows where the friendship will lead?
8. What are you thankful for about your Housejob experience?
i. Great Friends like Ifeoluwa, we went from complete strangers to roommates to friends then sisters.💋💋
ii. Opportunity to learn without tension. I was able to approach and ask my senior colleagues lots of questions.
iii. The courage and encouragement I got to do take certain courses and even write some exams despite the stress.
iv. The opportunity to serve as a Treasurer in the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), FMCL Chapter. It was an eye-opening experience.
9. Your most embarrassing moment:
I can’t think of any, maybe because I selectively forget bad memories…lol
10. Rate your HouseJob on a scale of 1-5:
3.5 (between pretty fun to awesome because I was able to make a lot of friends, some crazy ones at that!!)
11. Call food, Yay or Nay?
Although half bread is better than none. Cos I learnt that some centres don’t give their doctors call food.
12. Longest day ever?
One of the very busy weekend (Sunday) calls I had in in Internal medicine.
Nephrology unit was usually stressful. Being on a Sunday call to resume a very busy Monday was simply horrible.
13. Happiest day during Housejob:
I can’t lie, I don’t know.
14. New skills learnt?
– Sharper clinical acumen
– Management of critically ill patients
– Practical surgical skills
– Balancing my relationship with other members of the healthcare team.
15. Any regrets?
I finally didn’t learn how to set a central line. 😬
16. Most admirable consultant(s):
i. Dr. Umoru (Gastroenterologist)
Pretty easy going man, really nice to work with. He never rushes over any step while with his patients.
ii. Dr. Taiwo (Paediatric Surgeon)
A wonderful and skilled surgeon with great leadership skills.
He is not insultive (unlike some others), instead encourages one’s efforts despite mistakes. He also doesn’t lord it over his younger colleagues.
17. Likely specialty and why?
Paediatrics, Psychiatry or Emergency Medicine.
I’m yet to make up my mind. I like all of them for different reasons.
18. Most unlikely specialty. Why?
Obstetrics and Gynecology. I just find it annoying. 😒
19. Unforgettable patients:
i. A baby we managed for Meningitis, who was on admission for 3 weeks and fought through it. We thought she wouldn’t make it but God still works miracles.
Truly we treat but God heals.
ii. Another unforgettable patient was a woman who was treated for advanced ovarian cancer and had surgery.
A month after her discharge, she looked so healthy that even I couldn’t recognize her.
Again, God answers prayers and he is ultimately the healer.
20. Something to miss about Housejob:
Well, I’m glad I’m no longer at the bottom of the doctors ladder. (Lol).
I miss my friends, colleagues and some Chiefs. They made life bearable.
21. If not medicine, what?
I’d probably be making clothes, or be a Public Speaker since I like talking.
22. What next after Housejob?
NYSC of course. And then I can go on living my best life.
23. More important as an Houseofficer, skill or stuff?
I’d say skill is a bit more important especially if you’ve built your stuff overtime from med school. Housejob is the time to integrate your knowledge with reality.
24. Favorite mantra?
Life can only be understood backwards, It will all work out in the end.
25. Shout out to (tag 3 ex-HOs):
Permit me to tag like 5 or 6, biko. My Shout out goes to :
– Dr. Sarah Oloruntoba,
– Dr. Fortune Kwushue,
– Dr. Efosa Aimien,
– Dr. Solomon Anighoro,
– Dr. Emeka Orji-Udeh
and of course,
Dr. Eunice Adeniran.
Thanks for making my housejob experience fun. I love and miss you all. 😍😍😍
26. Thank you for sharing your Housejob experience.
It was a pleasure😉
Dr. Deby Okonji, or Debyo as I like to call her, is one of the most inspiring people I know.
A woman on fire, she’s intelligent, diligent and passionate about life.
She doesn’t believe in watching life from the pews, but ensures she is a part of the race.
Her charming smile, “out-of-the-box” mindset and leadership skills are her greatest assets.