HouseJob Chronicles- A day in the life of a Naija Intern.

Hello friends, 

Here’s a post showing what a typical stress free day looks like for me as a medical house officer in Nigeria. 



Today was a good one.

Let’s call it the typical FRIDAY SYNDROME

So I’ll join Millions of People across the globe to scream


Yaaas! (Image credit: WEB)

Although I have to be at the hospital tomorrow, work is going to be flexible (hopefully), since it’s a non-working day.

Tbh, I never imagined housejob could be this hard.

There are days I love my job 100%.

Other days, not so much.

Occasionally, I get lowkey depressed.

Talk about the physical and mental stress, whether sensible or otherwise.

HouseJob in Naija takes a special kind of grace I tell you.

Anyway, TODAY started on a relatively good note.

When I woke up- which was around 5:30 a.m- the power was out as usual, and with the intensity of Lokoja heat, I had no choice but to get out of bed asap.

I was able to take my bath, brush my teeth, journal some thoughts in my diary, and reheat yesterday’s dinner (white rice and stew) for lunch- all in record time!

LUNCH PACK…Issa Lifesaver!
My dad called while I got dressed, a few minutes after I stepped out of the house, got on the first motorbike I saw and was at the hospital before 7 a.m.

Of the 15 patients- that are split over 6 wards-being managed by my team (Endocrinology Unit), I saw 6 while my partner, Dr. M, (who is definitely more hardworking than I am) saw the remaining 9 patients.

Meet Dr. M

By 8 a.m, I joined other interns, residents and consultants, for our weekly departmental House Officer’s presentation.

Today’s topic was CNS Toxoplasmosis by one of my favorite colleagues, Dr. Tony. It lasted about 2 hours. 

I’m not proud to say I didn’t concentrate during the presentation, because I was chatting on one hand, and making a to-do-list/shopping list on the other. 

Following the presentation, my team had a pre-consultant ward round. 

The team is made up of 2 House officers (Interns), 2 residents, 1 senior resident, and 2 consultants.

Thankfully, the Consultant ward round didn’t hold, as the consultant who was to do the round got called for an important meeting. 

Still wardround lasted about 3 hours. We had to take blood samples, update treatment sheets, check drug charts and the likes. At some point, I had to sneak off to have lunch (because I can’t come and go and kill myself). 

The goodnews was that we discharged 3 of our patients, which is a MIRACLE.

We were done before 2 p.m. While the rest of my team left for home/to run personal errands, I stayed behind.

Not too long after, there was a call that one of our patients with DMFS was out of surgery and my team should start him on the Glucose-Potassium-Insulin (GKI) regimen. 
It took a while to get through to one of my senior colleagues and I even got into an altercation with an otherwise-usually friendly colleague, that got me both angry and hurt. I tried to make the person understand I was only joking but I guess it was a costly one.

Maybe, I play too much. #Lessonlearnt

Eventually left the hospital around 5 p.m. after setting an iv access and constituting the GKI regime together with my Partner.

Dr. M, walked me to the hospital gate, then I went across the road to a nearby supermarket for my typical weekly shopping. It was surprising when moments later two of my cousins (who were visiting a relative at the hospital) walked in too. Let’s just say I was wowed when all my groceries were paid for by one of them.

On leaving the supermarket, my favorite bike man picked me up (he charges only N50 instead of the usual N60 or even N70). The distance between the hospital and where I leave, is roughly 5 minutes by bike. 

When I got home, I briefly went to purchase a bag of pure water from a small shop on the street. 

After which I prepared indomie (with boiled egg) for dinner, had a bath, and ate as I chatted with friends PRN. 

I plan to take a nap shortly after publishing this post.

My plan for the rest of this evening is to: tidy up the kitchen, write in my prayer journal, probably practice Spanish on my Duolingo app, go through a presentation I have in 2 weeks and catch up on social media. 

So far, it’s been a good day and I really look forward to having a refreshing weekend even though I’m on call tomorrow. 😑

I know this feeling…hahaha (Photo-credit: WEB)

We don’t COMPLAIN, We give THANKS!

For life, for strength, for health, for joy unspeakable, for peace in the midst of several storms, for unmerited favor, for victory…for God’s uncountable blessings.

Thank God for housejob.

It’s a fulfillment of one of the scriptures God laid in my heart during my waiting season, last year:

And he has been faithful through it all.


Cheers to a fantastic weekend,


HouseJob Chronicles: 6 Types Of Patients You Will Meet In Medical Practice 

Hey Fam,
So I’ve been on housejob close to 4 months now, and I’ve come across all sorts of patients, the awesome, the annoying and everything in between.

I decided to blog about some of the extreme patients I’ve seen. If you’re a doctor or medical student, I hope you can relate with some of them. 

Disclaimer: This post is for comic purpose only and should NOT be used as a reference to categorize patients. 



1. The Ideal patient.

“Consistent Mr. Kay.”

Mr. Kay is so sweet, very compliant with medications, pays his medical bills without complaining and gets along with other patients and hospital staff.

During rounds he has Nil Fresh Complaints.

On Physical Examination, his General Condition is always Stable.

Mr Kay is everyone’s favorite patient and whenever he is admitted on the ward, we want to throw him a WELCOME PARTY!!!

He takes his follow up appointments very seriously too.

I know what you’re thinking, well…Mr. Kay doesn’t exist.

Not in this part of the world anyway.

2. The Overly thankful patient.

“Grateful Madam Vera”

Madam Vera is usually nice and all that, but too profuse in her show of appreciation.

Rather than pay you the occasional compliment, she literally smothers you with words like…

“Well done, doctor”
“Thank you so much, doctor”
“God bless you, my doctor”
“God will reward you, able doctor”
“I’m so grateful, doctor”

And she repeats such lines over and over. 

Eventually you have no choice but to ignore her accolades in order to get your job done.

Solution: Play deaf and dumb. Smile/Nod when you can.

3. The Defiant patient.

“Stubborn Lady Kate.”

Lady Kate is a thorn in the flesh for any Doctor that attends to her.

For one, she can argue for Africa.

She won’t do any thing you ask her to do.

And she does everything you advise her not to do.

If she’s diabetic, she insists that she can’t sleep unless she has had a bottle of soda.

She questions every prescription or investigation you order for her.

Obviously, she defaults in her appointments and her drug compliance is next to zero.

Lady Kate insists that she knows her own body better than any doctor and will treat it the best way she knows how to.

You begin to wonder why she came to the hospital in the first place.

Solution: Don’t admit or attend to her unless she signs an undertaking.

4. The Fretful patient.

“Fearful Sir Tim”

Sir Tim typically presents to the ER with 100 complains.

From a backache to a sore throat to a headache to a constipation to a cough to a fever…the list is inexhaustible. .

It doesn’t help that he has Hypertension, Arthritis and Parkinson’s disease.

Although faithful with his medications and hospital visits, he is always tearful and believes he is dying.

With each new visit, you are tempted to diagnose him with a somatization disorder or walk him out of the door.

But you can’t help but hand him a tissue and listen to the same complains for the third time in a week.

Solution: Reassure him, prescribe some multivitamins, encourage him to take several walks and lots of fresh air and see him on outpatient basis.

5. The impatient patient.

“Restless Ms. Clara”

Ms. Clara is always on the move.

She treats her health like it is the last thing on her mind.

She can’t wait to get over any clinic appointment.

If there’s a surgery on the way, she wants to have it done the very next day.

If there’s a drug you’ve prescribed, she expects it to work the next minute.

As an inpatient, she’s in a hurry to leave the hospital bed.

Her only way of greeting is “Doctor, when am I going home?”

Solution: Allow her to Leave Against Medical Advice, because no time.

6. The Entitled Patient.

“Grumpy Mister Ben”

He is the worst kind of patient to attend to especially when you’re short on sleep or food.

Mister Ben can be very demanding, controlling and downright rude.

He believes he has a right to be attended to as soon as he walks in through the ER and uses lawsuit threats to intimidate anyone that says otherwise.

It’s not helpful that he’s some retired military personnel who knows a few names in top government.

Mister Ben’s voice is usually louder than anyone’s.

He criticizes anything that does not meet his expectations- including the hospital bed linen!

Every bedside visit is like an interrogation session for the doctor. Even nurses try to avoid him during their shifts.

Mister Ben cannot be pleased, and it’s useless to attempt to do so.

Solution: Refer him to the next available Doctor.😉


What types of patients have you met as a doctor or med student? 

What type of patient are you? I’m a Ms Clara. Because, no time. 😂🙈



HouseJob Chronicles: PROGRESS

Hello everyone!

Guess who just completed her SURGERY Posting? 💃💃💃

Seems just like yesterday when I started this HouseJob thing,

Look at God.

I’m so thankful for the journey so far…the good, the bad, the ugly and the extremely wonderful.

All in all, God favored me.

I worked with some of the most amazing colleagues ever. And I won’t be forgetting my surgery experience in a long, long, time.

Quick breakdown.

So I rotated through 8 (out of 9) units of surgery:

– General Surgery (2 weeks)
– Pediatric Surgery (2 weeks)
– Orthopedics (1 week)
– Plastic/Reconstructive Surgery (2 weeks)
– Neurosurgery (2 weeks)
– Urology (2 weeks)

Total: 11 weeks

Leave: 1 week

On a scale of 1-10, my preferred units were

– Pediatric Surgery (7),
– Urology/Plastic Surgery (6)

– Orthopedics (5.5).

Mostly because of the flexibility the units offered, the light workload or the fact that I worked with some of the most benign Residents or Consultants.

I remember when I was a surgeon…lol

Neurosurgery was the best as per clinical skills/acumen but it was quite hectic physically and otherwise.

My General surgery experience was quite hectic too in terms of pressure from superiors. I rotated twice (one week each) and barely survived 😂.

Of course, we all know I won’t be specializing in any of the fields of surgery, thanks so much.


So here’s my PROGRESS Report 3 months into Housejob:

PS: If you haven’t, please read this post, HouseJob Chronicles- GOALS.



– Assisted in Surgery: 5
– Wound debridement: 1
– Served IM/IV Injections: 6

I’m so PLEASED with myself right now. Well, apart from no acquiring any suturing skills from surgery🙈 Tbh, I didn’t even try to…the entire suturing technique looks like magic to me.

Well, I’m in a new department-Internal Medicine-and I look forward to not just learning new skills but also acquiring lots of Clinical knowledge. So help me God.

Hopefully in another 3 months, I’ll share with you the other feathers I have added to my cap.




Hey friends,

HAPPY New Year, again!

The series is back.

To kick off this year, let me just take a moment to encourage those believing God to start their Housejob:


And it will be SOONER than you think.

It’s a new year of new opportunities, new experiences and new growth.

And it’s only wise to get prepared even as we await the right opportunities.


So this post is for (but NOT limited to) doctors who want to do their Housejob in Nigeria.

Before I started Housejob, I drafted a couple of things I thought I’d be needing and since starting, I’ve added a few items to that list.

Please note that the list is not exclusive and can be conveniently adjusted based on the uniqueness of the centre you work in. 

For the sake of simplicity, I’ve divided the list into 6 categories.

Shall we?


These items are mandatory. It’s best to have them ready before you start Housejob.

– Ward coats: This is a no brainer right? Look out for a quality easy-to-wash cotton material that requires little to no ironing on most days (because we can’t trust NEPA). You need 3-4 ward coats for your peace of mind unless you prefer to do laundry every other night .

– Stethoscope: Buying a solid and durable steth makes a huge difference. I use a Classic II Littmann and everyday with it is pure bliss. So if you don’t have a good steth yet, why not save towards one?

– Wristwatch (with “seconds” hand or a digital watch): A MUST to monitor the Pulse Rate and Respiratory Rate of your patients.

– Scrubs/Scrub Shoes: Most centers have outdated scrubs/shoes in the theatre and there are days you can’t get what you need cos of logistics, so do yourself a favor and buy yours.

You might add a customized “surgical cap” to your list for special effects.

– Hand Sanitizer: Unfortunately most centers have poor sanitary conditions, with no running water and sometimes no hand washing soap. To avoid stories that touch (like Ebola or Lassa fever) just buy an alcohol based sanitizer and put in your pocket.

– Notepads/Pens: So Housejob requires a lot of multitasking and you need to outline all the tasks coming your way each day. Having a portable notepad gives you that luxury. Depending on the size, you need one notepad per posting.
You need a lot of pens/biros too (maybe upto 50 pieces), no kidding. There’s no end to an intern’s writing, except ofcourse, you work in an ICT compliant facility.
Also prepare to lend to your seniors (Regs/SRs), fellow HOs and even nurses without ever getting them back. You’ve been warned! 

– A Name Tag (Or you have the option of customizing your ward coats and scrubs).


These are items that might be found routinely on the wards but it’s safer to have yours.

– Pen torch (all CNS exams require this)

– Patella hammer (to check for reflexes)

– Tape rule (To measure Occipitofrontal circumference, Abdominal girth etc)

– Sphygmomanometer (Digital or Analog)


– Pulse Oximeter

– Thermometer (For days when you need to quickly check a patient’s temperature and there’s no thermometer to use)

A Phone with flash light (for setting lines, catheterization etc) and good camera (for clinical snapshots, and of course selfies😜)

– Medical Books in PDF Versions/Resource sites like MEDSCAPE (because you’ll need all the STUFF you can get on the go): I’m currently in my Surgery posting and BADOE is a must.


In the centre where I work, patients buy pretty much EVERYTHING and if it’s an Emergency or your patient has financial constraints, you will get stranded waiting endlessly for these items to come out of thin air. The GOAL is for the patient’s relatives to replace them when they finally come around.

– Non-sterile latex hand gloves: Have a pair or two in your ward coat pocket PRN.

– IV Cannulas (yellow/blue/pink/green/grey)

– Plaster (Recommended: Agary brand)

– Thermometer

– Methylated Spirit

– Cotton Wool

All for reasons previously stated ABOVE.


You can go a step further to keep some other collectibles (in addition to those highlighted above) that you can use for indigent patients especially those who have been rendered financially incapacitated by their long stay in the hospital.

– Water for injection

– Needles and syringes (2 mls, 5 mls)

– Crepe bandage

– Urethral catheter/Urine bag (various sizes )

– NG Tube (various sizes)

– KY/Xylocaine gel


If donating to a good cause is one of your priorities, you will find several opportunities to do that during your Housejob.

Maybe there is no CT, MRI or Mammogram machine in your Centre, you can start a fundraiser to get one. Generations will remember you.  

Even simple gifts  like donating Hand washing soap to the wards,  or a Microwave to the doctor’s room will make a lot of difference. 


These are items highly recommended for your personal convenience. Having them will do you a whole lot of good.

– Power bank (You know why)

– Good shoes (Ladies, flats preferably. We are allowed to put on sandals in my Centre too)

– Absorbable ready-to-wear shirts/blouses/dresses (because you can’t trust NEPA)

– Good Ties (for the guys, every day until 4 pm. Weekends are casual).

– Handkerchiefs, Face towels/wipes (for sweaty faces or wet hands)

– Water bottle/Lunch bag/Snacks (Unless you’re a big boy/girl with a FAT bank account and you don’t mind spending like 1K each day on stomach runs)

– Carry on body spray, (sorry, no air conditioning in the wards), lip gloss, hand cream (there’s such a thing as harmattan, baby) etc

– Ear piece and lots of GOOD music to keep you sane

– Durable BackPacks or Carry-On Bags for everything we have listed above 😉☺️

PS: Be sure to have Games, Comedy or Movies and a LOT of DATA (For days when you’re exhausted and need to crash in between work, TRUST ME, such days will come).
In my case, I read the books on my phone or use my Duolingo app or simply find my way to Whatsapp 😂

PPS: All images were downloaded from the Internet. 

So did I miss anything?😉
Oops! Ladies you NEED to buy Hair Wigs too. You can thank me later.😘


Housejob Chronicles- Coping Mechanisms!

Hello Everybody,


And I’m glad even though it doesn’t really feel like Christmas around me.

While everyone else was busy planning special activities for this Yuletide season, my routines were pretty much the same.

Sleep, wake up, go to work, sleep, wake up, go to work…” 

Everything else from cooking to cleaning get lumped into each day. 

I’ve really missed my very organized self. 😢

There are days I don’t even have the time to eat one proper meal. No kidding.

On such days I’m doubly thankful for Coca-Cola. 

It’s an essential tool for preventing hypoglycemic shock.😉

So my birthday was a couple of days ago and among other things, I’m thankful for God’s MERCY. He is the reason I’m still STANDING.

The latter part of this year has been trying for me spiritually (erratic with no functional church, dusty bible syndrome et al),  but his MERCIES kept me. So the song on replay for my birthday was this:

I won’t even lie, my last few postings have been increasingly hectic. I just switched from Orthopaedic to Neurosurgery, and every other day there’s at least one RTA patient waiting for me in the Emergency ward. 

At several points, I almost broke down (Physically and Mentally) and there were days I found myself in tears (I know, “too much water” in my tear glands..haha). In the midst of all that, God has been teaching me some vital lessons for this season which I’d like to share:  


This sounds obvious right? if only you know how hard it can get. 

Everyday feels like a marathon as I try to race against time (I can still hear my Reg’s voice, “IPR starts by 7:00am”. Yet I’m in the hospital till after 10 p.m. on some days even when I’m not on CALL but that’s no excuse not to have a quality time with GOD (my Father): who is the Source and Centre of it all. 

From my experience, the less I pray, the more irritable, tired, anxious, distracted and restless I get.

Pray as if your life depends on it, because it does.

I’m learning among other things, to:

– Pray for MYSELF, my COLLEAGUES, other CO-WORKERS and especially my PATIENTS.

– Pray for the WISDOM, COURAGE and STRENGTH to face the challenges that each day brings. 

– Pray for the PATIENCE to deal with trying circumstances, irate patients, annoying co-workers and every other kind of evil that the enemy wants to bring my way.

– Pray that I’m a BLESSING to my Team and not a BURDEN to them. I don’t want to be labeled as a Lazy, Undisciplined, or Disorganized Doctor. 

*IPR: Intern’s Pre-round.


This is soooo important. 

I recall one day, I was so physically exhausted while running some errands, that some nurses around took time to lecture me about the importance of taking proper care of myself. 

When all is said and done, there will always be patients. But I’ll only be here for a season. 

Wisdom teaches me that to give my best, I have to build stamina. Because I can’t give what I don’t have. 

So these days, when I find myself getting worked up, I take a break. 

When I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m tired, I rest. 

A hungry Doctor, is an angry Doctor. A sleepy Doctor, is a snappy Doctor. It’s that simple.


Your Friends and Family are especially important during this Housejob phase. 

It’s easy to become so consumed with the work that you don’t have the time to reach out to others. 

I know this because I’ve been there. 

It’s even more tough when you have a significant other who is not in the same location with you. 

So here’s a suggestion that works for me (It’s called the PTCV Principle):

  • Pray for them always.
  • Text whenever you miss them.
  • Call when you have the chance. 
  • Visit when there’s the opportunity.


Housejob isn’t beans. I’m sure you know that by now.

And if you’re like most people, you just want it to END already. So you can move on with your life. 

Before you know what’s happening, the days have turned into weeks, the weeks into months and the year is over.

Of course you don’t want that year to be spent merely seeing patients that are anicteric, acyanotic, afebrile, not pale , well hydrated and without pedal edema. 😅

That’s why you must be INTENTIONAL about everything you do on a daily basis. 

I’m often reminded that if I want to make a difference, the time is NOW.


No matter how tough a day is, you can always find time and creative ways to enjoy it. For me that includes:

  • Reading a good book.
  • Eating a good meal. 
  • Listening to uplifting music.
  • Hanging out with friends 
  • Watching a funny movie 

And of course connecting with patients and co-workers

You don’t know how much you have in common with others until you’re willing to have casual conversations with them. 

I’ve made a number of acquaintances with people who speak my local dialect, share my first name or birthday, similar beliefs and the likes. 

It’s an AMAZING something!


Again, it’s MERRY Christmas from me to you.

I hope y’all don’t forget the REASON for the celebration- Christ’s BIRTH!

Here’s my all-time favorite Christmas song: 



HouseJob Chronicles: What School Did You Finish From?

Hey folks,

First of all, this post is long over due. I’ve being working on the draft since like forever and even abandoned it at some point, cos no time.

So I have had a crazy few days post-leave. I’m so stressed out that I could use another break! Lol.

My face during Intern’s Pre-round…lol

I’m just glad I got to publish this, at last!

The post is especially for, but not limited to the Foreign Trained Doctors (FTDs).

My “brothers and sisters” from the diaspora, welcome back to REAL LIFE- Naija Version!

I’m sending you thousands of cyber hugs that will last you through the first few months of your House Job at least.

If you’ve passed through the MDCN hurdles already, you’d have observed that the system is NOT ready to welcome you with open arms. I’m not even kidding…

If you’re one of those patriotic FTDs (I’m not one btw🙄), who returned with high hopes of contributing your skills and expertise to the expansion of Naija’s health sector; I’m sorry to burst your bubble:

Whatever fancy reasons you had for returning to Naija, no one cares.

It is a sad reality.

But for what it’s worth, there are some great moments too. Like having patients discharged after spending days/weeks in the hospital or hearing an uncooperative patient Left Against Medical Advice (LAMA)…lol. I should do a separate post on that.


So once you start your house job, expect to feel intimidated by your seniors. Naija doctors love to move STUFF. Eeesh!!

The million-dollar question that got my fellow interns tongue-tied, like we weren’t expecting it…lol! 

It wasn’t a funny scenario but I can laugh it off now.

The “Ogas” at the top love to deliberate on which is the best medical school in Naija, so they keep setting baits for house officers in form of questions, sane or otherwise.

Whether you are foreign trained or locally, you’ll experience this at some point or the other, although the former seem to be more at the receiving end.

Having passed through the initiation process of getting asked the same question multiple times, I have a few tips for upcoming House Officers:

1. OWN your identity.


So wear it like a cape. Be PROUD of it, because it’s who you are.

Embrace it. Love it. Live it.

If you schooled abroad, it was your decision, your money (whether sponsored or not) and your experience. Ditto if you were locally trained.

Even if studying Medicine was a mistake, it was the best mistake of your life.
Don’t let anyone guilt-trip you on it.
2. You have NOTHING to prove.

You heard that right.

There’s NOTHING to prove to anybody.

Not your skills. Not your knowledge. Not your personality.

What you know was enough to get you to this level. And if you build on your knowledge and skills, you can (and will) get better.

Remember, your senior colleagues (Regs, SRs, Consultants) did not get all their medical expertise during their housemanship year.

They earned it with time. Life takes time. 

So while there’s always room for improvement, you have NOTHING to prove.

Remember this.

3. Do it with JOY!

When all is said and done, what really matters is the impact you made wherever you find yourself.

So whatever you do, do it with EXCELLENCE. And COURAGE. And JOY.

Give the kind of care you would like to receive.

Put in your very best at all times, even when it’s hard. It’s okay to feel out of place sometimes but don’t let anyone (not even yourself) hold you back.



I’ve asked myself this question a couple of times, and tried to answer it as sincerely as possible:

My answer is YES.

And to add to that, given similar circumstances in the current Naija, I’d still study abroad and maybe the very school I attended. Tenkiu!



Disclaimer: All images unless otherwise tagged, were obtained from the WEB.

Housejob Chronicles- 7 Rules For The Naija House Officer!

DISCLAIMER: Shebi you know I’m barely “3 weeks” into this Housejob thing? These are strictly self-made rules o! You don’t need to take them “hook, line and sinker.” Thanking you!😅

Dear New Naija House Officer,


I’m so glad you made it.

You worked so hard to get here, spent countless late nights studying in medical school and slaying all the GIANT exams along the way. 

However, there are new hurdles to cross and your “Housemanship” is one of them.

As a newbie Naija house officer, I’ve put together some really simple suggestions to help you get started and maximize the Housejob experience.

1. Apply yourself. I can’t over emphasize this one. 

And it’s a phrase one of my consultants used while having a conversation with me.

Don’t just count your days, make your days count.

Housejob can be so stressful that you’re in a hurry to complete it. If you’re not careful you’ll just keep counting each day that comes without making the most of it.  

2. Don’t be a fraud i.e. Avoid synthesizing stuff that don’t exist. 

Sadly, I have been a victim and it wasn’t funny. The pressure to impress the “Ogas” can be so real, that you begin to generate values for your patient’s vitals, randomly state their clinical status and so on. 

Don’t say/write what you don’t know, even if it makes you look stupid sometimes. Trust me, you will find yourself in such shoes someday. Let your MOTTO be: “Integrity over Impression.”

Whatever you do be you, but always be a PLUS wherever you go.

{Tip: Have a small notepad and a wristwatch to document everything you do for a patient even when you don’t have access to the case note.}

3. Know your lane and respect others.

You’ll meet many nurses, lab scientists, attendants etc and often the respect you give them, is the respect you get back.
Forget the stereotype rumors you’ve heard. There are nice people (doctors, nurses, security etc) everywhere. And nobody is out to get you if you do what you ought to do well.

4. There’s such a thing as “Hierarchy syndrome.” Don’t be caught in the web.

It’s safer to be on the sidelines. Don’t let anyone belittle or intimidate you. Respect your seniors, but don’t fear them. It only destroys your self-esteem.
Sometimes you really want to help your patient but you can’t do much, because you have some “Ogas” at the top that are ready to ridicule you whether for doing nothing, doing too little or doing too much.

5. Learn all you can, while you possibly can.

From unit posting to unit posting, you’ll be surprised at how quickly the time flies. If you don’t make a conscious effort to learn, you won’t learn a thing. The goal of Housejob is for you to gain a level of independence in medical practice. And achieving that goal largely lies on you.

6. Remember, PATIENTS first. They are the priority of any healthcare institution, and they should be your priority too. 

That’s the reason you’re there in the first place.

So in whatever decision you make, ask yourself “what are my patient’s needs and how can I help to fulfill them“?

7. Just chill, in the end you’ll be alright.

Oh, there’ll be tough days but there’ll also be the not-so-tough ones. Don’t let anyone trick you into believing that everyday you will be called upon to resite IV lines at 1:00 am or to prepare a patient for surgery at 10:00 pm. 

There are days you’ll have few to no patients on the ward, canceled surgeries, missed appointments and so on. When such days come, enjoy them! 


As a closing thought, here’s an adapted thought from a fellow blogger (Omooba):

“Don’t let yourself get distracted. FOCUS is a slippery thing. You are going to live long. You are not going to spend even up to a quarter of your life doing HouseJob. Give it your time, and mind. The less things you entertain in your life at a time, the better the overall quality.”

I’ll be honest with you, there are things you love that just have to give up for a while, to be able to maximize this new phase. It might hurt at first, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
So don’t forget the first rule, APPLY YOURSELF!

Here’s wishing you an “extension” and “extra call” free, housemanship year.



Housejob Chronicles- GOALS!

Hey folks,

So since starting this housejob thingy, I’ve been working roughly 12-15 HOURS a day, for 7 DAYS a week! (no kidding)

But I am not complaining, because FOR THIS JOB, I prayed. Haha…

Thankful this is NOT my portion…loool😂
Btw, Lokoja is a lovely place to live in, minus the “hot weather” and the “water-rationing” (one of the things I miss about home)…haha.

Everywhere I go, people have been kind to me. From my Uncle’s family that currently hosts me, to random people giving me rides or buying me snacks. Even most of the nurses, doctors and patients’ caregivers I have met have been nice.
Also I’ve met some of my Kinsfolk (one from Magongo, two from Ogori)and what a joy it was to communicate in our local dialect.

Anyway, as per Housejob, I was told that my department (surgery) is the toughest so to speak (followed by ObGyn, Paeds & Int Med- I suppose), and my unit (Paediatric Surgery) is relatively a “soft-landing” i.e. we are in an off-season atm, with only about 20% of our patients requiring critical care. 
My first call was smooth. I was summoned just twice (one case of AUR, one case of Fever) so I grabbed a couple hours of sweet sleep.

I’m thankful that I still have “windows of time” to do the things I really enjoy doing-Reading, Blogging, Spanish tutorials, Music and the likes.

Because not every time work, sometimes flexing.

I’m learning to make the most of the opportunities I get to relax and be as productive as possible rather than just while away on social media or with random gists.

I love this phrase:

So I’ve come up with a number of goals that I hope to achieve by the end of my housemanship year. (Thanks to one of the speakers at the ARD house officers welcoming). Here it goes: 
5 Deliveries 

– 5 NGT Insertions

– 5 Skin Suturing

-10 DREs

-15 VEs

-15 Urinary Catheterizations

-20 IV line setting

-25 Venepunctures

Total Procedures: 100.

Succeeded in : 0😂

Attempts: 2 Venepunctures, 2 IV lines (flat veins syndrome), 1 urinary catheterization (assisted), 1 skin suturing (no stamina to push in the needle😭).

I’m sharing this, because at the end of my Housejob sojourn I’d like to compare notes and see how far I’ve gone. 
And I hope to write more about the Housejob as it progresses.

So help me God.

My Housejob face…lol




Over time, I’ve realized that my most profound moments from medical school had little to do with the “books” but everything to do with the “lives” especially of the patients I encountered on the ward.

Today’s post is from an experience I had as a medical student rotating on the pediatric ward.


I walked into the ward that morning and noticed most of the staff were speaking in hushed tones.
Ward round went on as usual, but everyone seemed a little reserved. Soon, the cat was let out of the bag- one of our patients had passed on!

I was stunned.

Such a young, peaceful and innocent-looking boy, not more than eleven. He had been on the ward for sometime and because his diagnosis wasn’t straight forward, we kept running series of tests.

Then the doctor decided to place him on some steroids and his symptoms seemed to improve, so he was discharged.
However, he soon began to deteriorate rapidly that he had to be re-admitted, eventually leading to his demise.

It was particularly sad for me because that was the first patient I knew as a medical student that passed on.

I remember the day he asked me to pass him a bottle of water from his bedside cabinet. “Miss, Miss…” was how he began his request. After passing him the water, I watched him for a few moments before going back to what I was doing.

If only I knew that was the last time I would be able to interact with him,

Maybe I would have held one of his hands, looked into his eyes and told him not to be afraid.

Maybe I would have sang him a song, written him a poem, or read him a book.

Maybe I would have asked him to tell me about his family, his friends at school, and all of his favorite things.

Maybe I would have assured him that despite his pain, there was a Father in heaven who cared so much about him- spirit, soul and body.

Maybe I would have just taken a few minutes right there, to say a word of prayer for him. 

If only I knew…

But I didn’t.

Because I wasn’t expecting him to die, at least not that soon.

Weak and wasted as he was, we still held on to the hope that he would live.

But death gave no notice of its intentions, it came and left without restrictions.

Three years later, my heart still bleeds when I remember the incident-though I didn’t shed a single tear at that time.

The rest of my sojourn through medical school came with its own heartaches as several other patients I met passed away, but I still can’t get that very first experience out of my head.

As a closing thought, it’s funny how we take the little things for granted, especially with the people that matter to us the most thinking they will always be around.

Truth is, when it comes to those we care about, death is always too soon.

The good news for the believer though, is that death is not the end, there is life after death.

And that for me, is such a comforting thought.


So when was the first time you saw a patient die? And how did you react to it?


#TrueLifeStories #WardChronicles #PatientSeries


During my undergraduate days, I had a classmate who often requested for my “jotter” a few days to our exams. According to him, I knew how to summarize and simplify my notes in such a way that anyone reading would understand. And I believe he had a point.

The first I heard of a learning model was from a friend, a couple of years back. He enlightened me on the difference between VISUAL and AURAL learners, and encouraged me to apply that to how I studied. Unfortunately, I didn’t give it much attention at that time.

Many years later, I would come across the V.A.R.K model of learning and found it quite enlightening.

In any classroom setting, from elementary level to postgraduate level, students receive, retain and retrieve information in different ways. And I believe medical students especially, would benefit from knowing how the learning models work since there’s so much to cover and so little time.

According to the VARK model, there are four types of learners:

1. VISUAL Learners.

I call them “The Scanners.”

These are the model students, especially in a traditional school setting. They don’t just read to comprehend, but seem to possess the so-called “Photographic Memory” and can reproduce the pages of their lecture notes or textbooks, word for word (sometimes with particular page numbers, no kidding!).

They enjoy studying long and hard, retaining most of the information they come across. They especially do well with Charts, Graphs and other Pictorial aids.

One morning while in medical school, we were having a discussion on the ward, and one of my colleagues was asked a question. When he started talking, it was as though an encyclopedia had been opened inside his brain. He just kept stating all the facts and figures while the rest of us gaped…lol.
Afterwards, our consultant looked at him and smiled, stating that he had a photographic memory and she knew he could actually picture the things he was saying. Needless to say, that colleague of mine was one of the smartest students in medical school.

2. AURAL Learners.

Aural learners are also known as AUDIO learners but I prefer to call them “The Crammers.

These are the students who simply pay attention during classes (with/without taking notes) and retain most of the information long afterwards. Some simply “Memorize and Recite” (i.e. CRAM) their notes and they are good to go.
Unlike the VISUAL learners, they don’t really need to study for long, although having group discussions are of great benefit. Still, a lot of them do well with last minute studying.

I had a roommate who would memorize several pages of her notes on the morning of an exam, and her results usually came out so well.
Another friend of mine who is now a doctor, said she only needed to attend (and listen well) in class, and without further reading, she would be able to sit for any exam. When I heard that, my respect for her grew by several inches…haha.

If I’m being honest I doze off or day-dream during classes more times than I’d like to admit. Long lectures are like music to my ears, and I often start drifting off before I catch myself.

3. READ & WRITE Learners.

I call them “The Stenographers.

This kind of learners love to copy everything that is said during a lecture. They afterwards go home to “READ and DIGEST” their notes, often breaking the notes into simpler and condensed versions to understand them better.

Such learners also appreciate Highlights, Mnemonics, Power Points and Summaries. Their goal is to be able to comprehend the material in its simplest form.

I happen to belong to this category of learners. I’m a COPIER by default and the only way I remember things (from class and especially in church) is by taking down notes. Even when there’s nothing to write, I doodle in my notebook, else my mind wanders off.

I remember one time a lecturer gave an impromptu test, immediately after his lecture, and I barely passed though I was sitting right there in the class. The reason was simple, I did not have enough time to “process” the information he had given before the test. In such scenarios, I rely more on residual knowledge.

For me, reading, then writing down notes, enhances comprehension. And if I’m reading something I don’t understand, I try to look it up, otherwise, I skip it.


I call them “The Demonstrators.

When it comes to learning, they are more practical than theoretically-inclined. These are the so-called Hands-on-Students.

In medical school they find most lectures boring, but rush off to dissect every cadaver that comes into the anatomy lab. When they start their clerkships, they can’t wait to examine every patient, set lines and insert urinary catheters. Ask them to state the differentials for a neck swelling and they draw a blank, but ask them to scrub in for a Thyroidectomy and they jump right in! 

What about HYBRIDS?

I believe most students learn by a combination of two or more of the learning models.

Personally, I learn the most by Association i.e. connecting multiple dots together. So it’s a little bit of what I see, what I hear and most of what I read. I’m not much of a hands-on-learner though. And it usually takes me twice the time my contemporaries take to learn a skill, whether it’s cooking Jollofrice or inserting a Urinary catheter! 😂


Do you know what learning model (or combination) you use the most?