Gratitude to Perry’s Tots for the opportunity to share this not so great or not so beautiful tale but it’s a story of how a young boy went through the thick and thin or is it the ups and downs of life. *pensive*
So it all started like this……….
Before I start let me brief you that this is not a story of my MBBS journey but of how it even came to be that I had an MBBS journey in the first place. So lets call it *Drum rolls* My MBBS Story: The story before the journey. Catchy, isn’t it?
So it all started like this……….
Once upon a time, long long ago, long before the complexity of the Biochemical metabolic pathways or the mnemonics of the internal branches of the Internal Carotid artery, Long before the hustle to clerk patients the night before the consultant ward rounds…… okay, fine!!! Not so long ago, when I was in secondary school, unlike majority of you I didn’t actually know what I wanted to study in the tertiary institution neither were my parents influencing my decision to carry on a family tradition nor to go into a professional course. Y’all know how these things work now. My classmates even as early as the SS1 could say “this is my path” They all had career goals. I just knew I was made for the sciences. Business studies in junior class was a torture and I knew arts wasn’t my thing although fine-arts used to be fun and I was pretty good Sighs, what happened to me *sad face*. I could be a “drama-king” but as Rango would say; ‘My role was ill-defined’.
As a senior secondary school student, I prided myself on my natural affinity for Biology. It came spontaneously, maybe it’s because I had copied lots of notes and assignments for my seniors whilst I was still in junior class or because I could spend the whole day watching National Geographic Channel or something related to life, living and being. As for Chemistry, our love affair was a start and stop special thanks to my Chemistry teacher who was also my House-Master (Boarding school students would know why his presence affected my school work) and as fate would have it, he taught me chemistry all through my senior year *Tears*. Physics *sighs* I fought so hard to grasp it probably because my SS1 Physics teacher was the hottest young damsel in school… a n!gg@ could hardly concentrate. Don’t let me get started on Mathematics!!! Let me say as blank as I was on my career path, I knew engineering wasn’t my call.*Yuck*
Fast-foward to SS3 when I was the Health and Water prefect. (Don’t ask me why the ‘water’ was added) it looked like fate was giving me clues to where my career line should follow, even the school doctor and nurses teased me by calling me ‘Doctor’ but I couldn’t even visualize it. Time came to write JAMB and I was still blank. “What is your childhood dream?” asked a friend of mine. Sincerely, the only dreams I could remember was me driving a Police Car or Racing with a sports car. These were because my favorite movies were: Police Story and Gone in 60 seconds, so I couldn’t be blamed for such bizarre dreams. After glancing through the brochure for a long time or in Dr Alero Roberts favorite words, I critically appraised the brochure before I finally concluded that Biology has to be a key instrument for my career choice and it came to me like a revelation………….. VOILA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AN EPHIPHANY
MICROBIOLOGY or BIOCHEMISTRY…. Anything with little Physics and Mathematics. I had made-up my mind, even called my dad to tell him of my choice. Yes, Ofcourse! He supported it. But I still didn’t fill out my form, I didn’t want to make a life decision from a hunch that came overnight. Something was wrong but I couldn’t place my focus on it (Plaze your vocoze *In Falz voice*) After much ado, I realized that I should aim for the sun in order to land on the moon. So riddle me this, What was the most prestigious and most respectable course in which I could utilize my flair for Biology, seduce Chemistry and a little bit of physics. Your guess is right, Medicine came up. I decided to enter Medicine as my first choice and second choice so that I could at least get my Microbiology or Biochemistry. Funny enough, after the examination I hoped I got into medicine (….into the sun) I didn’t want the moon any more. It wasn’t as bright as the sun. Unlike the recent UTME Examinations popularly known as JAMB, we had to wait some weeks for the results. My scores were good, Post-UTME was even better and I gained admission into the University of Lagos; School of first choice and Nations pride. It was after I saw that I passed the cut-off for Medicine I told my parents about it. I cannot forget how proud my dad was and my mom made me feel like a super hero. At this point, I was glad I chose Medicine and Surgery, I knew I had made the right choice and this gave me a sense of pride but also a huge sense of humility (Story for another day).
And so, this is how I started on the journey of which 6 years down the road I can only thank God and be grateful to my parents, friends and acquaintances for their love and support. As one story ends another begins and I think I can end this story with a Latin phrase popularly attributed to Julius Caesar “Veni, Vidi,Veci”
Medical School wasn’t a bed of roses, each class or level had its own challenges. Most challenging was my 300L in which I failed a course in my professional examination also known as PROS. I failed Microbiology …LOL. When I saw the result, I wasn’t surprised because the Part 2 (300L) PROS was very challenging. Hardest class in MediLag (Some may beg to differ but with popular opinion I can say it is). I thought to myself, you failed because you couldn’t find your Student ID Card. I wasn’t allowed into the exam until about 2 hours into the exam when I later found my card. Sincerely, it was an excuse I gave myself but whilst I prepared for the resit I realized that I wasn’t even prepared for the initial exam. The resit was one of the best things to happen to me in medical school because I got to learn how to read without cramming, memorizing or relying on poorly made-up mnemonics and I got to understand my abilities and test myself with multitasking as I was attending 400L junior posting as well as reading for my resit. I acted like it didn’t faze me but inside it drove me crazy, the insecurity that surrounded the exam was eating me alive but after the exam even before the results I knew I had vindicated myself.
Preparing for my Final MBBS examination was another mountain to climb. It was ALL or NOTHING, I have failed before and I refuse to fail again. I had doubts, I was scared and believe me I wanted the easy way out. I could swear I didn’t know what I was doing. I made a resolution to read till my eyes bled and I wasn’t new to using caffeine (Coke in the morning, Coffee at night). I noticed I was reading alone and most of my colleagues were already in groups. I am not one that likes reading in groups but I had to make an exception but majority of these reading groups were formed months ago and joining would prove difficult as they have gone a long way. I felt I had let myself down, I felt gutted but was determined to crash any reading group available so I crashed “OSCE ALL MEN” (Please ask GB where he got that name from). The group was to focus on only the Clinical aspect of the examination which worked for me and I am grateful to its 11 members including yours sincerely for an eye opening experience and all round practice that proved to be useful during the course of the examination. Words cannot describe how I felt during the exam, like a Robotic Zombie sleeping for only 2 hours ( believe me when I say some people don’t sleep but their secrets are safe with me) I would go for each paper feeling sore, sour and with a feeling of not knowing anything. Day by day when I feel like I cannot take another step I got inspiration from a theme song from the movie “My name is Khaan” which goes thus; HUM HONGE KAMYAB translated as WE SHALL OVERCOME and indeed, we did overcome. I could finally look MBBS in the face and say ‘Checkmate’
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Awwww…we have great writers as Doctors…Dr Bello….well done…