Housejob Chronicles: Memoirs of an Ex-Houseofficer (3)

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?

Surprisingly Paediatrics

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😉


Editor’s Note: 

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. 

Debyo loves God, chicken (fried or roasted) and chocolate cake.

You can follow her on @AshD_O (Twitter) or @docdebyo (IG)



A Day In The Life…(01/02/19)

This Blogpost was initially titled- A Day in the Life of a Jobless Doctor😂😂😂



5:38 am I wake up without planning to. I had roughly 4 hours of sleep with three weird dreams like that.😱 
It’s pitch black. No light. Nothing unusual. This is Naija.

5:40 am My Alarm rings, and I switch on the rechargeable lamp in my room then drag myself to the bathroom.

5:46 am Back from my bathroom trip, where I peed and washed my face. I’ve also taken some water. Time for devotion. 

6:30 am
I’m done with my quiet time- sang from my hymn book, read the bible and prayed. I have a prayer schedule, today’s prayer was on spiritual warfare. 

6:37 am  I filled in my daily planner. Here’s what the breakdown looks like:

  • 6:00-7:00 am Read two books 
  • 7:00- 8:00 am Edit Blog draft (February: 4 Secrets to waiting well)
  • 8:00 – 9:00 am Work on a project (on my laptop)
  • 9:00 – 10:00 am Study  
  • 10:00 – 2:00 pm Hangout with Niyot/Go to the supermarket 
  • 3:00 – 6:00 pm Study 
  • 6:00 – 8.00 pm: Publish blog post 
  • 8:00 – 10:00pm: Telegram group discussion 


7:05 am I’m done with the first book (Model Marriage by Deg-Heward Mills). It’s a new one. Interesting read so far. 

7:24 am I’m done with the second book too (Jumpstart Your Leadership by John C. Maxwell). 

I’m sleepy, I should have my bath. 

7:42 am
Fresh out of the oven, sorry bathroom. Can you smell the fragrance of my soap? It’s delicious. #TeamJoySoap

7:53 am Now editing the blog draft I want to publish this evening. 

8:51 am Done with the blog draft. It looks like it’ll rain, which is a perfect excuse for a quick nap. I’m sleepy. 

9:02 am I want to sleep but there’s so much to do. I bring out my laptop to work on my project instead. It has started to rain, I love the smell of rain. 

10:05 am I’m done working on the project for today. I shutdown my laptop. The rain has stopped, sadly.  
It’s time to check the social media. But before that let me get breakfast…

10:15 am I’m back from the kitchen. Breakfast is nothing serious, just bread and boiled egg. I’m not a fan of morning tea. I don’t like bread either, but what choice do I have?

10:32 am Finished breakfast and spent quite some time scrolling through my messages on whatsapp. I almost forgot I left some cake warming in the oven. It’s for the friend I want to visit (as peace offering) because I’m about 30 minutes behind schedule. 🙈

10:51 am I brushed my teeth, got dressed, used some makeup, wrote a shopping list and tidied my bed. 

11:05 am
Leaving the house finally. First of all, selfie time. 

My dad was kind enough to let me use his car and driver (No, I don’t have a car yet and I can’t drive to save my life). I just called my friend, and guess what? She just left her house too…haha. I think I’ll just go and shop.

11:43 am I just finished shopping, interestingly, I left my shopping list in the car but thankfully I remembered everything I wrote but I spent more than I budgeted. All the same, I’m Thankful for God’s provision. 

11:56 am I’m at my friend’s place, and she’s not even here yet. Sighs. Her apprentices are here sha. What to do with my time? Try to study or just press my phone?

12:16 pm
My friend is here at last. She goes to sort out one or two things while I wait in the lobby. I’m trying to go through my tutorial notebook. There’s a radio playing in the shop, I can’t concentrate on what I want to study, so I give up. 

14:37 pm Still at my friend’s place. We just had lunch. Noodles and egg (again, I know). Of course we’ve also gisted non-stop for the past 2 hours or so. 

Meet the CEO, Beracah house of fashion.

Okay, so the purpose of my visit was to try on two of the attires she made for me, oh did I mention that my friend is a fashion designer? Yup, and she’s really good.

15:59 pm
I’m leaving my friend’s place now, my dad’s driver came to pick me. I’m exhausted but it was a time well spent. Yet to study anything today. I know I’m not serious enough and my exam is in about 2 months. 

16:10 pm On my way home a friend calls about a job offer in another town. Yeah, I’m job hunting.

She asks me to write an application letter, send it via whatsapp, and she’ll print out and submit herself. 

16:23 pm Home and very exhausted. I should get some rest, before thinking about what to fix for dinner. Yawns. *So tired*

16:39 pm My friend calls me back again for a detail concerning the job offer. We discuss briefly then I put my phone on silent mode. I really need this sleep, I’m beginning to have a headache. 

Sleeping beauty…

18:07 pm I’m awake. Just like I expected, I have 4 missed calls. 2 from my friend, 2 from an unknown number. I call my friend who told me she succeeded with submitting the application. Then the unknown number calls back, I’m expected by 9 am tomorrow, in Ilorin. For an interview, maybe? To go or not to go??First of all, it is time to fix dinner. 

18:31 pm It took a while, but I finally figured out what to make for dinner. Semo/Okro/Chicken stew. I’ll be going to Ilorin tomorrow BTW. Just discussed the details with my mum. Mixed feelings but what choice do I have? I do need a job. 

18:45 pm Dinner is almost ready. My target each night is to have dinner served by 7pm. While cooking, I’m trying to publish the blog post by adding the necessary images. 

Dinner prep…

19:25 pm Dinner is ready! Yummy!!

19:37 pm I’m done eating, time to plan for my trip. Oh wait, I should publish the blog post first. 

20:04 pm I’m done publishing the blog post. Here’s the link

I’ll skip the tonight’s online discussion cos I need to pack for my trip (who knows maybe I’ll get the job on the spot). 

21:29 pm  Packing, Ironing and Laundry all in progress. I’m exhausted tbh, but I have to try. 

22:29 pm I’ve brushed my teeth and washed my face. Laundry and Ironing completed. Almost done with packing.

22:54 pm Done with packing. I’ve noted my expenses for today (thanks to my Requine’s journal expenses tracker). I want to reply a mail now, then log out of social media. After which, I should read my bible, pray then sleep. Tomorrow is a long day. 

23:04 pm Here’s my Goodnight video…

 Ooops, lights out!!!

It’s pitch black, again. Sighs.


I hope you enjoyed reading this?

FEBRUARY|| 4 Secrets To Waiting Well.

Hey Friends,

It’s February already.

Whether you’re waiting by the bus stop to get a cab, or waiting for a friend at a designated place; Whether you are waiting to get an admission offer into college, or waiting for your PhD thesis to be approved, waiting always comes with mixed feelings.







And the morbid fear of worst case scenarios. What if I never get married?  What if I never have a baby?

Waiting can be tough, and I would know because I’ve been out of a paid job for a while now (49 days to be exact!).

Like for most people, job hunting has its share of dread (what if I spend all my savings and go broke?) and anticipation (maybe there’s a job offer in my spam folder).

Since I was in a similar phase of life [i.e. Pre-Housejob placement], not too long ago, I now know that it is unnecessary, in fact a total waste of time to stress myself over my current lack of employment.

Because it’s only a phase and it will pass. Still this is easier said than done.

So what are the secrets to waiting well?


Has God said it? Then he will do it.

Numbers 23:19 GNB

God is not like men, who lie; He is not a human who changes his mind. Whatever he promises, he does; He speaks, and it is done.

Hebrews 10:35‭-‬36 GNB

Do not lose your courage, then, because it brings with it a great reward. You need to be patient, in order to do the will of God and receive what he promises.


Since you’re certain that your miracle is on the way, why not show your gratitude in advance?

Philippians 4:4‭, ‬6 GNB

May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord. I say it again: rejoice! Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart.


It’s funny how we can be so consumed about our own desires that we ignore the obvious needs around you.

You don’t have a job, yet? Pray for your friends who do and ask God to strengthen them physically and mentally, and give them the wisdom to do their work in such a way that will glorify him.

Still awaiting your college acceptance letter? Then tutor your neighbor’s son after school or make dinner for the family.

Now that you’re available, endeavor to make yourself available.

I tell myself, “You can’t be jobless and still be useless.”

Galatians 6:2 GNB Help to carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ.

Philippians 2:4 GNB And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own.

Hebrews 13:16 GNB Do not forget to do good and to help one another, because these are the sacrifices that please God.


You know how a PC gets stuck after it’s been in use for a few hours, and you have to refresh a particular application, or reboot the entire system?

So is your Waiting Season.

God doesn’t waste our waiting periods, he uses them to train us.

With God, Waiting time is Training time.

Revisit the things you’ve already learnt that will make you better equipped when your waiting is over.

Trusting God for a life partner?
Now is the time to develop yourself mentally, emotionally, financially, and spiritually.

Trusting God for the fruit of the womb?
Now is the time to invest in godly parenting books, and even volunteer to babysit your friends’ kids.

No matter what you’re trusting God for this season, I bring you this word of encouragement, it will come to pass. 

Ephesians‬ ‭3:20-21‬ ‭GNB‬‬

“To him who by means of his power working in us is able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of: to God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Here’s my prayer for you this month, listen and be blessed!

Have a Testimony-Filled February!