HouseJob Chronicles: 12 Weeks of Paediatrics.

Long before I started housejob, I dreaded Paediatric Posting.

How on earth was I supposed to successfully manage those tiny, weeny, crying, sick babies?

ImageCredit: Dr. S

Thankfully, it wasn’t an entirely terrible experience.

I had some cool days, but there were some really exhausting ones too, that I couldn’t wait for the posting to be over.

So I started with the least busy of the four units in the paediatrics department- Gastroenterology, where I spent the first 4 weeks.

During my last weekend in the unit, I was on a 48 hour call, where I barely shut my eyes. 

To make matters worse, I resumed the Special Care Baby (SCBU) the next morning. It wasn’t a funny experience at all. 

Thank God for correct chiefs and my amazing work-partner, Dr. Vicky, who I worked with for 3 weeks. It was quite a stress-free ride.

SCBU memoirs with Dr. Vicky.

With SCBU babies being so delicate, we had to take extra caution while working, and pay close attention to basic things like handwashing. 

Babies with Severe Perinatal Asphyxia, Prematurity, and Neonatal Jaundice made up the bulk of our admissions.

We also had our share of interesting cases like Noonan’s syndrome, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Choanal Atresia and Dextrocardia.

One of my worst SCBU memories was the day we lost a 25 week old preemie. One moment he was alive, the next moment he was gone. No apnea monitoring! 

After my SCBU posting, I resumed Emergency Pediatric Unit (EPU) where I spent 2 weeks

I was glad to take a break from daily ward rounds and scheduled clinics. 

EPU Memoirs

EPU was quite interesting, we had some busy days and some not so busy ones.

My final posting in the department was Haemato-oncology/Neurology unit, where I spent 3 weeks. 

That was my worst nightmare, because I experienced the Father of all stress. 

It was so demanding that I felt as though I was repeating my surgery posting all over.

From having two separate clinics weekly, to preparing for Consultant and SR rounds, unit presentations, and taking routine calls, my energy levels were depleted on a daily basis. 

My chiefs were super meticulous and expected 100% efficiency, so I worked like a zombie

I’d never felt so out of sync in my entire housejob experience. 

I’ll forever be grateful to SPO and other friends, who served as a support network during those hard times. Those memories will remain a treasure.

Pediatrics is a great field to specialize in and I admire the courage of my senior colleagues who have chosen that path.

For me, it’s a No, No! 

And that brings me to the end of my housejob sojourn.

I still have a few more posts to wrap up the Housejob Chronicles, so please watch this space.

Long live the Hippocratic Oath!

Long live F.M.C Lokoja!!

Long live Nigeria!!!

-To God Be The Glory-

:::Requ1ne:::

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HouseJob Chronicles: ObGyn Adventures.

I started my ObGyn posting on the first of May.

It was a public holiday (Workers’ day) but a Caesarean section had been booked for a senior colleague’s wife.

The Consultant, the only Female Obstetrician in our Centre, performed the surgery and was assisted by one of the senior residents.

The procedure lasted about an hour but I did not enjoy one bit of it. I told myself right then to keep away from the perineum by all means. 

Also Read: Chronicles of a Student-doctor (ObGyn Posting)

The first few weeks of my posting were strictly spent attending to antenatal cases, thanks to the ongoing JOHESU strike. 

The booking clinic (where a pregnant woman visits the doctor for the first time) runs once a week, while follow-up visits are scheduled based on how far gone the pregnancy is:

GA 12-28 weeks every month

GA 28-36 weeks every 2 weeks

GA 36-40 weeks every week

After the strike was called off, normal activities resumed in the department. 

I started with LABOR WARD Posting and had my first call on a Thursday evening. 

Though it wasn’t too busy, still I worked my butts off, and that became the pattern throughout my stay in the department. 

Every labor ward call I did was a hit from back to back, and it was rare to find the time to catch a nap even for a few hours. 

There were some calls where I had dinner right at my work desk.

I recall a couple of crazy calls where I actually dozed off while clerking patients 😂😂😂

And how can I ever forget the characteristic odor of liquor?

I hated that smell with a passion. 

It was in ObGyn I discovered my hatred for blood too – especially perineal blood. The smell and sight both made me queasy.

Thankfully most of my calls were uneventful as per mortality. 

 I got to assist in a number of Caesarean sections, which weren’t too exciting, because I lacked the “ginger” and the stamina. 

My best call was with Dr. Ochalla- the most “stressless” chief I worked with. That particular call was a bloody one, and he was very sympathetic with me.

I did my share of (accurate) Vaginal Examinations and attempted a couple of perineal tear repairs. I didn’t get to do an episiorrhaphy per se, as many of the cases I saw were actually bad (with multiple lacerations and PPH) and senior colleagues had to intervene.

Last, last, I didn’t take any delivery by myself. Perhaps the only regret I have in that department.

The other aspect of my ObGyn posting was Gynecology

It was a more enjoyable experience for me.
Many of the patients that presented during my posting and call hours were outpatient cases, so there was minimal stress for me.

One of the traumatic cases I saw was the delivery of a set of previable twins to a severely Ecclamptic woman and watching the second twin die (the first twin was somewhat deformed and had died inutero).

There were a few procedures I assisted with or performed- MVAs, taking Pap smear or ECS

In all my ObGyn posting was a fairly enjoyable one but I was glad when it was over. 

*GA– Gestational Age

*JOHESU– Joint Health Sector Unions

*Ginger– Interest

* ECS– Endocervical Swab

* MVA– Manual Vacuum Aspiration

*All images are from the web.


Also read: HouseJob Chronicles|| The Journey So Far.


And read: HouseJob Chronicles|| PROGRESS.

HouseJob Chronicles: Finding the Work-Life Balance As A Female Doctor.

What is the most important factor for a female doctor to consider in the choice of a speciality?

– The God-factor.

***

Q1. Can we meet you ma’am?

A: I’m Dr (Mrs) Olabisi Yeye-Agba.

Q2. Why Medicine?

A: Medicine was my childhood dream, we had a family doctor that I greatly admired as a child; but more importantly, I believe God wanted me to study Medicine, so he brought that opportunity my way.

Q3. What does Medicine mean to you: A Calling, a Passion or a Career?

A: It’s primarily a calling because it involves taking care of the whole man: the spirit, the soul and the body.

And the satisfaction is also three-fold: your patients are happy, you’re fulfilled and God is pleased.

Q4. What unique challenges do you experience as a female doctor?

A: If I’m to be honest, the medical field especially in Nigeria, is not a level playing ground between male doctors and female doctors.

In our environment, the average person still sees a man in the traditional role of a doctor and a woman in the role of a nurse.

Q5. Can you share some of your favorite moments as a Wife/Mother and Doctor?

A: What really makes my day is the heartfelt gratitude and prayers from the patients I attend to.

A happy patient makes a happy doctor.

I also love seeing results. 

Whenever I give treatment or perform procedures on patients with significant improvement, I’m so happy.


Then the encouragement and support I get from my spouse (who is also a doctor btw) is amazing. 

He’s my number one fan.

Q6. Is it really possible to have a Work-Life balance?

A: It is possible. 

But it takes the support and understanding of the people around you (both at home and in the workplace) to make it work.

Q7. A lot of female doctors choose not to go into demanding specialities in order to play their traditional roles as Wives and Mothers. What is your take on that?

A: Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting, get understanding. Proverbs 4:7

Before you make any decision about your career, pray about it.

For a doctor-doctor relationship (and in any other demanding profession) consider what area your spouse wants to specialize in.

Most importantly, be assured that if God leads you to it, he will see you through it.

Q8. What is the greatest sacrifice you’ve had to make as a female doctor?

A: There are many sacrifices to make as a female medical doctor, especially if you’re married.

Whatever it takes to make your home front work is worth doing.

Mostly you’ll have to sacrifice your time and sleep.

Here are three things you do not want to compromise on as a female doctor:

 Prayer.    Hardwork.    Studying.

Q9. What is the most important factor for a female doctor to consider in the choice of a speciality?

A: The God-factor.

Q10. What advice will you give to female Naija House officers as regards their career prospects?

A: From now, start to enquire of God what he wants of you.

It’s not a must to continue medical practice or even remain in Nigeria. 

God may have other plans for you.

Don’t be satisfied with the status quo, learn to add value to yourself in every area: spiritually, physically, financially, mentally and career-wise.

Prepare yourself for life.

My final charge:

For Wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

(Ecclesiastes 7:12)
***


Dr (Mrs) Olabisi Yeye-Agba is a graduate of Olabisi Onabajo University and currently a Senior Resident in the department of Ophthalmology, at Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja.

:::requ1ne:::

*All images are from the Internet.

Housejob Chronicles: Dear House Officer On Call.

One interesting yet often stressful aspect of housejob, is being on call.

To be on call simply means that on week days, you’re on duty from evening (4pm) till the next morning (8 am) while on weekends (or PUBLIC holidays), you’re on duty from 8 a.m to 8 a.m the next day (24 hours).

As the house officer on call, you’re the doctor-in-charge of all newly admitted patients, as well as other patients on your ward that may have one complain or the other.

In most hospitals, the house officer works with a registrar and a senior registrar.

The houseofficer is the 1st on call, the reg is 2nd on call, the senior reg is 3rd on call, while the consultant is 4th on call.

As a newbie house officer, you may find your first few calls a little overwhelming. 

In this post, I’ll be sharing a few guidelines to help you maximize your call period.

Enjoy!
***

1. Sleep while you can, you’ll be glad you did.
Sleep is important for a person to function optimally and doctors are no exception.

Because call hours are so unpredictable, it’s necessary to grab any opportunity you have to sleep, so that you can function relatively well the next day. 

Unlike nurses who run shifts, you have to resume work by 8 am like your other colleagues who were not on call.

2. Be prepared, for everything and for anything.
From a multiparous woman with PPH, to a 10-day old baby running a temperature of 40c.

Each Call is pretty unpredictable. Be PREPARED.

3. Maximize your time and energy.
Don’t waste time chatting on social media or with colleagues when you should be working or resting. 

As you lay your bed, so you lie on it. Every minute counts.

4. Don’t just work HARD, work SMART.
Not everything that is URGENT is important and vice-versa. 

Your seniors will be like:
Get that consent form signed NOW! 

Collect the blood sample NOW!! 

Check the blood pressure NOW!!!

You have to learn how to prioritize and apply common sense.

Make sure you do all you’re supposed to do but don’t allow anyone to place unnecessary PRESSURE on you.

5. Pay the price.

Medicine is a journey and the journey is worth it. It will stretch you, but it won’t tear you apart.

To your knowledge, add passion, to your passion add skill, to your skill, add diligence and to your diligence add empathy.

#ScrubShoesSelfie
 

If you pay the price, you’ll get the prize. 

Personal fulfillment. 

Job satisfaction. 

Gratitude from your patients and their relatives.

Don’t be that lazy houseofficer who just wants to get paid without doing much. 

In the longrun, Hard work pays!

6. Give your best no matter what.
You can be short on sleep or food but you don’t have to be short-tempered.

Sometimes all your patients need is REASSURANCE. 

Be kind. Be cheerful.

The patient didn’t ask to be sick, but you chose this profession.

7. Have Some Coping mechanisms.

You can read this post I wrote about my coping mechanisms for house job.  

The call food at our center can be so annoying, so being on call gives me an opportunity to binge on all kinds of small treats. Chocolates. Coconut chips. Biscuits. And lots and lots of soda! 😂

.

Selfie at work

 

So find a way to make your call fun, aside work. Listen to some music. Read a novel. Take selfies. Whatever rocks your boat!

8. It’s NOT a must that you do every call.
Sometimes life happens and you don’t have the will-power, physical stamina or you’re just being lazy, it doesn’t matter.

You can trade your call or better still, sell it *winks* just because you CANNOT come and die.

My goal at the end of every call is to have a THANKFUL Soul and a JOYFUL Spirit, no matter how TIRED my body is.

Medicine is a Call-To-Serve and I’m grateful for this PRIVILEGE, because that’s what it really is.

Squaddies❤️
Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::

HouseJob Chronicles: 5 Ways NOT To Take Things Personal.

Hello People,

I had an experience at work the other day, interesting in retrospect, but very emotional for me at the time. I was hurt by some stuff one of my “Ogas at the top” said, and I ended in tears.

It was so embarrassing…long story short, I came out of the experience a better me.

In this post, I’d like to share a few tips with you about how NOT to take things personal as a House Officer, especially if you work (or plan to work) in Nigeria.

Enjoy!

***

1. Offenses will come.
Offenses are a part of life we all can’t do without. On a daily basis, we offend people and people offend us.

Unfortunately, even in the work-environment where everyone is expected to be cordial, people step on one another’s toes all the time.

As a House Officer, patients will annoy you, your colleagues will make you angry, and your seniors will frustrate you.

The way some patients view medical interns…🙄

Sadly, a lot of Nigerian doctors still see BULLYING as a necessary evil, and unless there’s a change in such mindset, House Officers will continue to be at the receiving end.

It’s in your own best interest to develop a thick skin against such scenarios, because they will surely come.

2. Keep Moving On.
No matter how bad a day seems, that day will pass.

Days will turn into weeks, weeks into months, and before you know it, your housejob experience is over.

If you want to survive as a House Officer unscathed, learn to move on quickly!

3. Be Considerate.
Eventually, what goes around comes around.

As a newbie doctor, maybe it’s time to change the narrative.

Be the difference you want to see.

To your patients show empathy. You have no idea what some of them are passing through.

To your colleagues show comradeship. You’re together in the struggle.

To your seniors show loyalty. They were once in your shoes.

It takes a little kindness to make a BIG difference.

In all, do your best and give the quality of care, treatment and respect you want others to give you.

4. Know your elastic limit.

When all is said and done, it is NOT every nonsense that you should allow.

I’m yet to walk out of a ward round, because God has REALLY helped me.

And I hope the day never comes because if it so happens…hehe

Like I say to anyone who cares to listen, I’m the only doctor in my family…I cannot come and die.

For your own sanity, speak up when you MUST.

If a colleague wants to take advantage of you, call such person to order.
If a patient tries to disrespect you, set him/her straight.
And if your seniors verbally or physically abuse you, to an extent that is unhealthy to your self-esteem, please report them to the appropriate quarters.

You’re a doctor, not a door-mat!

5. Laugh out Loud
When all is said and done, someone may just be having a bad day and looking for a channel to vent.

DO NOT become the scapegoat.

Try to to give your best at ALL times. Be timely. Be proactive. Don’t be lazy. Don’t be rude. Know your limits.

Refuse to be a casualty in another person’s mood instability.

And when you’ve done all you can, and someone still wants to make you angry or sad, just LAUGH OUT LOUD.

Image Credit: iStock
Laugh so hard that it confuses your “Tormentor.”

A little humor can really go a long way!

Remember, you’re STRONGER than you think.

Source: WEB

For me, whenever I start to feel overwhelmed by the sheer stress of the job, the Holyspirit gently reminds me that…

So I don’t complain, I give thanks.

***

I screen grabbed this from a friend’s status the other day. Truly this job Issa calling! 

Last, last, all of us will be ALRIGHT. 

….
Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::

    ❤️❤️❤️

HouseJob Chronicles: An Internal Medicine Resident’s Profile

My passion keeps me going. I remind myself that I signed up for this business of saving lives and that things will not always be bad. For every patient we lose, many more are saved.

– Dr. Dennis Palma

Q1. Why Internal Medicine?

Dr. Palma: Well, it started with my medical school experience. Internal Medicine was my first posting. I admired the team work among the doctors. I also liked the way they applied their knowledge to make the correct diagnosis.

In my work as a medical officer, following my service year (NYSC), I found the motivation from my senior colleagues very helpful.
Although O and G was also a specialty of interest, I signed up for Internal Medicine as soon as there was a reaidency opening.

Q2. What does a fulfilled day look like for you?

Dr. Palma: A fulfilled day for me, means that I have contributed immensely to patient care, especially those in life threatening conditions.


http://www.eunicesmiles.wordpress.com


Q3. What keeps you going on tough days?

Dr. Palma: My passion keeps me going. I remind myself that I signed up for this business of saving lives and that things will not always be bad. For every patient we lose, many more are saved.

Q4. Do you have a favorite mantra? Please share. 

Dr. Palma: If you wait for things to happen nothing will happen.” You have to be proactive in life to get anything you want.


Q5. What’s the most life-changing lesson you’ve learnt as a doctor?

Dr. Palma: Several. A particular lesson that comes to mind is to show more empathy towards patients and their relatives.
When my dad passed on at a teaching hospital some years back, I was able to understand how patient’s relatives are treated, the physical and psychological stress, the impolite and condescending attitude from health workers, and the enormous financial implications of healthcare.


Q6. If not medicine, what?

Dr. Palma: I wanted to be a medical doctor from childhood.
At some point in secondary school, I considered Engineering because most of my classmates wanted either Medicine or Engineering but becoming a doctor was a dream come true.

Q7. What are your favorite activities outside work?

Dr. Palma: I enjoy watching football and hanging out with friends. I also enjoy movies and reading novels.


http://www.eunicesmiles.wordpress.com


Q8. How do you keep your work-life balance?

Dr. Palma: There is no balance at the moment. Work takes a large aspect of my time, even my weekends are not entirely free.

Still I try to keep in touch with a few friends outside the medical circle.

Q9. What are the attributes of a good doctor?

Dr Palma: A good doctor should have a good relationship with other members of the healthcare team. He should be humble because a lot of responsibility is demanded of him. A good doctor should be able to convert medical knowledge into practice and learn to show empathy towards patients.

Q10. What advice will you give to a Naija House Officer?

Dr. Palma: Learn all you can from your senior colleagues and show them respect. The more you know, the more outstanding you’ll be. It’s important to have a professional goal at the start of your career and work towards it. Show empathy towards patients. When all is said and done, it’s all about the patient. 

***

Dr. Dennis Palma, is a graduate of University of Maiduguri Medical School. He’s presently a Senior Resident at Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, and is interested in Endocrinology.

Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::

❤️❤️❤️

HouseJob Chronicles: The Journey So Far!

So yours truly is half-way done with this housejob thing. Yay!

Throwback to my Med school graduation shoot

I recently completed my second posting: INTERNAL MEDICINE.

Let’s just say the posting was more of presentations and the likes, than anything else. 

Internal medicine doctors like to brag about their “stuff”, unlike the surgeons who love “action” and just want to get a knife under your skin. To their credit, the internists seem to spend more bedside time with their patients.

The longest ward round of my life (about 5 hours) was during my internal medicine rotation and it was not funny. 

Photo credit: WEB
 

I spent my entire posting in the Endocrinology unit where about 90% of our patients had diabetes. 

Some Diabetic cases were really bad especially those complicated with Diabetic Foot Syndrome (DMFS) and we lost a number of them, sadly. 

Still there were more successes than defeats and for that I’m thankful.

The importance of patient education and regular health checks cannot be overemphasized because without those complications, Diabetes is pretty manageable. 

I’m especially thankful that God kept me through those 12 weeks of ward rounds, emergency room calls and outpatient clinic activities. I had some tough days as well as a few long nights. 

I’m glad I was able to make friends with my colleagues, seniors, nurses and even a few patients. The Unit Consultants and Residents were also kind and helpful.

I’m especially thankful for my unit partner, Dr. M. He made my life easier in so many ways and he took the bulk of the work on days when the unit was really busy. He really deserves some accolades😂

L-R: Dr. M, myself, Dr. Tony, Dr. Esther (in front), Dr. Palma (behind), Dr. Eugene and Dr. Nonso.

I’ve since resumed a new posting (Obstetrics/Gynecology), and I’m gonna be seeing lots of preggos and cute newborns  over the next couple of  weeks.

Unfortunately, more than half of the hospital staff are currently on a National strike (that excludes doctors), so I’m yet to do some of the cool things I’ve heard about like taking deliveries or repairing episiotomies. 

Tbh…can’t wait for the strike to be over (the holiday is enough). Learning is still important to me, abeg.

Here are some of the highlights of my Housejob experience:

1. Being called a Doctor

It does feel good to be officially addressed as a doctor. I know I feel entitled but who wouldn’t?

After the stress of medical school and MDCN licensing exam, I know I paid my dues so I deserve some accolades sorry, the title😉

With Dr. Tony

So it’s kinda annoying when that random patient or patient’s relative refers to me as a nurse. Maka gini?

I know it’s not a crime to be called a nurse but I think it’s an identity theft, to answer to a title that is false 😉

On days when I have the strength, I sharply correct such erring individuals, while on other days I just roll my eyes and let it slide.

2. Call food struggle 

You know how many Nigerians love awoof (free things)? Let’s just say that the doctors are no exception. 

Although our call food is not exactly free, since a monthly deduction is made from our salaries, still it feels good to have ready-to-eat meals at work.

And don’t let it surprise you that we sometimes go for extra helpings and even lobby for call food on days when we are not on call…because doctors love food like that.

A couple of times, the taste of the food can be so disappointing (more like crappy), still we try to make the most use of it.
I’d rather go for my own home cooked meal than call food any day, but on days when I don’t have a choice, I’m thankful for call food. 

3. Patients who L.A.M.A

To L.A.M.A is to Leave Against Medical Advice 

This has be to one of my favorite scenarios as a house officer. 

I know it sounds selfish but it simply means there’s one less patient to worry about. 

Medical ethics emphasizes a patient’s power of autonomy, in other words, no doctor can force a patient to make any decision concerning his/her health. 

As doctors we are trained to assess the benefit to risk ratio of our treatment plan, and only go ahead if the benefit outweighs the risk. 

In a situation where patients (or their relatives), refuse a particular treatment due to financial incapacity, religious/cultural beliefs or preference for alternative care, they are allowed to leave against medical advice.

In one of my Consultant’s words, “The hospital is not a prison yard and we can’t force you to get treated.”

Occasionally, some patients who L.A.M.A eventually return in worse condition. It’s very tempting to send them away, but as doctors we have no choice but to treat them anyway.

4. ER Memoirs

The Emergency room is one of the toughest places for a doctor to be in, especially during call hours. Call hours usually last from 4 p.m. till 8 a.m. the next day.

The experience ranges from days of having a sleep-over (like no patient to disturb you all night) to days of little or no sleep. 

Photo credit: WEB

One of the worst scenarios is to be told to prepare an unstable patient for an emergency surgery around 2 a.m., another scenario is having to monitor glucose levels, for a diabetic patient in Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar State (HHS) every hour.
In such scenarios you can’t help but philosophize:

Tough times never last, but tough people do.” Robert Schuller.

Count yourself lucky if you are able to catch a wink before morning, because you’re mandated to be on your feet again, running errands till closing hours. 

Still we don’t COMPLAIN, we give thanks.

5. Patients’ stories 

If we look past the sick faces, investigation results, the diagnosis, the prognosis, and all other medical jargon, we realize that there is more to our patients than meets the eye.

That patient who just had a cholecystectomy is someone’s husband, father, brother, uncle, boss or mentor. 

The lady who was just diagnosed with diabetes is someone’s daughter, neighbor, student or friend.

I’ve heard all sort of stories that break my heart and many times I wonder why God allows some people to pass through so much pain.

I once had a patient who was involved in a nearly fatal road traffic accident, in which she broke a leg, a few weeks to her wedding. Thankfully she survived the ordeal, but her life was never the same again. 

Another patient, a father of three, struggling to make ends meet, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and had to be placed on regular hemodialysis. How the family could even afford the treatment remains a mystery to me.

Life seems to momentarily stand still when sickness comes knocking, but the truth is there’s so much going on behind the scenes. 

A diagnosis is enough to change the course of a person’s life and only faith in God that can keep such a person going. 

Miracles do happen. And I’ve seen a number of them. 

I believe as doctors, we will show more empathy if we routinely put ourselves in our patients’ shoes. 

So help us God.

***

– call food: the food served when a doctor is on call duty.

Cheers,
:::requ1ne:::

     ❤️❤️❤️

HouseJob Chronicles: A Surgery Resident’s Profile.

An interesting aspect of housejob for me, is getting to meet senior colleagues from various backgrounds, with unique personalities and a wide-range of interests in the medical field. 

As part of the HouseJob Chronicles series, I’ll be featuring some residents from my centre (FMCL) who will give insights about the expectations and demands of residency (in Nigeria).

Enjoy!
***

“A good doctor cares. He cares about his patients. He’s not necessarily the doctor with the greatest knowledge, [but] he is empathic and shows compassion.”

– Dr. Fola Aduloju.


Q1. Why Surgery?

Dr. Fola: I’ve always loved the idea and I’ve always been fascinated by it. I studied medicine because I wanted to be a surgeon. Apart from that, surgery is physically and mentally challenging and I loved that too. Also, surgery is very lucrative. I also like the fact that surgeons don’t rely on medications alone, they identify the problem and take it out or fix it. Even the best of surgeons would need the services of another surgeon if he has a surgical problem… he won’t operate on himself, meaning that surgeons will always be sought after.
Lastly, I love the the theater environment.

Q2. What does a fulfilled day look like for you?

Dr. Fola: As a resident, a fulfilled day for me is one in which I have successfully balanced service rendering, academic activity, family life and rest. One hardly experiences a fulfilled day as a surgery resident. There always something that gives for another. This might be different for other residents though

A Surgery Resident’s Profile
Q3. What keeps you going on tough days?

Dr Fola: On tough days, I remind myself that this was the path I chose for myself and I won’t let temporary circumstances derail me. I keep my eyes on the prize and get going. “No pain, no gain.”

Q4. Do you have a favorite mantra? Please share.

Dr. Fola: No favorite mantra, sorry. Lol

Q5. What’s the most life-changing lesson you’ve learnt as a doctor?

Dr. Fola: Life is ephemeral and one must value every day and maximize it like it’s the last. 

There’s a thin line between life and death.

Q6. If not medicine, what?

Dr. Fola: Aviation. I would most definitely become a pilot. That was my first love before the idea of becoming a surgeon came.

Q7. What are your favorite activities outside work?

Dr. Fola: I love reading about music theory, drawing and painting, programming and foreign languages. Unfortunately most of these are time consuming and residency won’t permit. So instead, I just watch TV and sleep when I have the chance.

Q8. How do you keep your “work-life” balance?

Dr. Fola: It’s difficult in surgery. The demands are enormous and time consuming. A surgery resident would always be skewed towards work. When there is opportunity, I hang out with friends and keep myself up to date with happenings.

A Surgery Resident’s Profile

Q9. What are the attributes of a good doctor?

Dr. Fola: A good doctor cares. He cares about his patients. He’s not necessarily the doctor with the greatest knowledge, [but] he is empathic and shows compassion. 

Of course, he hungers for knowledge to improve the quality of patient care.

Q10. What advice will you give to a Naija House Officer?

Dr. Fola: Naija House officers should know that the work environment is harsh and stressful. They should find ways of simplifying their tasks and reducing the stress. In other words, they should work smart.

Most importantly, they should consider getting licensed to practice in other places irrespective of their love to practice in Nigeria. This will give them more exposure and possibly better finance to have an independent and comfortable practice. There are things one does when one is younger, do them now. Lastly, they should go after skills acquisition and thirst after knowlege/self-improvement.

***

Dr. Fola Aduloju, is a graduate of University of Ilorin Medical School, and a Surgery Resident at Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Nigeria. He is interested in Neurosurgery specialty. 


Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::

    ❤️❤️❤️

HouseJob Chronicles: Financial Wisdom 101

Well, this series was supposed to be all fun but this particular post may take on a serious tone.

Let’s talk about that thing called SALARY!

I know my salary is my business and your salary is your business, but when all is said and done, you can be a great doctor and still be broke.

That’s why I’d like to share some of the insight I’ve acquired, mostly by experience with you.

Since I’m no expert, this post is as good for me as it is for any Newbie House Officer.

That said, let’s dig in.

Now that you have a job, it feels like you have finally arrived.

It is not funny when a few months into HouseJob you start going broke left and right, and just as you finish clearing one debt, another one accumulates.

Here are a few tips that have helped me stay financially sane:

1. BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND


Sounds cliché, right?

Trust me on this one, your salary can develop invisible wings and fly away overnight.

As a doctor, you should have clear-cut SALARY GOALS.

And the best time to decide that is before you earn your first salary!

What are your immediate Post House-Job plans?

*Port abroad?

*Write Primaries for residency in Nigeria?

*Take a well-deserved trip to Dubai?

*Get married?

*Buy a Car?

Whatever it is, you’ll probably need a substantial amount to follow through.

The average Naija Houseofficer has a “take-home” of 100k (minus taxes and other deductions).

So what will you do with all that money?

Spend it all? Or Save some of it?

What will be your Spending:Saving Ratio?

50:50?

20:80?

10:90?

60:40 is comfortable and works well for me.

So find out what works for you, and make it work.

2. HAVE A BUDGET

Maybe you never had a budget as a medical student because pocket money was not an issue.

Now that you’re earning your own pay, it’s wise for you to have a basic budget.

It’s hard to plan a budget, it’s even harder to follow through.

The goodnews is that a budget should serve as your guide and not your master.

Before that alert hits your phone, get a pen/notepad and write out your budget.

* How much goes for feeding/groceries?

* How much for utilities? transport? rent?

* How about emergencies?

Having a budget may not make sense to you initially, but soon you’ll realize its importance.

3. BE GENEROUS BUT APPLY WISDOM


Here in Nigeria, doctors are a big deal as far as an average family is concerned.

In some families, a doctor is seen as a beacon of hope to alleviate all forms of financial distress.

While there is nothing wrong with meeting some of the financial needs of your loved ones, don’t throw caution to the wind and think you can solve every money related problem that arises.

You’re not the GREAT Provider.

It is even more tricky for guys, when “baes” of different sizes and shapes are involved.

Bros, your name is not Santa Claus. Receive sense in Jesus’ name!

Before you became a doctor, there were needs. Now that you’re a doctor, there are needs.

God forbid that you lose your medical license or fall ill, there will still be needs.

Wisdom, is profitable to direct.

4. BEWARE OF 419

Everyone wants to get richer and doctors are no exception.

Doctors are easy targets to scammers in the name of investors.


If you’re a Nigerian living in Nigeria, you’ll know that Passive Income is the trending thing.

I’m no expert in the world of Multilevel marketing or Cryptocurrency, but I’ve seen people put in a whole lot of money with zero returns.
It can be devastating.

My point is, don’t say YES to every invitation to invest. Double check any idea you’re being offered and do your home work before you launch in.

May you not fall a victim of 419. Amen.

5. DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY.

When all is said and done, your present salary is not enough to fulfill all your future dreams.

It’s very tempting to want to save to the last kobo and live like a peasant during housejob.

That however is unwise.

You’re not in this world to suffer. 

You worked hard for this money (remember the many years you spent studying tirelessly in school), so you deserve to enjoy it.

Flex a little. Shop for some new clothes or shoes. Go on a mini-vacation. Give yourself a treat from time to time.

Don’t WORRY about the future. After all, no one is guaranteed of tomorrow.

Save what you can. Give what you can. Invest what you can.

And spend the rest like a boss.

6. MONEY IS NOT EVERYTHING.

You know this.

I know this.

We all know this.

But for some weird reason(s), we like to think/act the opposite. 

As if everything depends on money.

You worth much more than your pay check. Remember this. 

So even if you don’t earn enough, to save, invest or spend as you like-the value of your life is definitely more important to God than your salary.  

***

For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it. Ecclesiastes 7:12 KJV

Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️

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. 

Enjoy!

***

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


T.G.I.F

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)
Again,

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,
:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️