In attempting to start this write-up, I ran into a problem, a problem which basically is a simple question I asked myself, “when and where did my MBBS journey start?”. Though I remember vividly that it was September 2009 that the merit list for admission was posted and even in Punch newspaper and my name was on it, my issue is when did I become conscious of the fact that yes, I was actually studying medicine and surgery and my endpoint was being a doctor.
Was it when family and friends started calling me doctor even without a first semester result to show in 100level or was it when the list of those that crossed safely to Idi-araba came out; was it when I sat for my first professional exam or was it the second which was like the “height” of exams; was it when I clerked my first patient alone in clinical school or was it when i had neurosurgery posting; was it when we became Royals XV or finally was it when we sat for our final professional exam, the MBBS exam. In all of these, I still don’t know when it was established in me or when I came to that realization that I was in fact, a doctor in training. Despite this little issue, I guess I will just have to start this momentous piece from somewhere, picking on unforgettable moments.
First of all, I would say a big thank you to my parents, Mr and Mrs S.B Lawal, my grandmas Late chief Mrs R.A Lawal and Alhaja Nana Mohammed and also to friends that became family, Olasupo tolu, my brother Greatson, Subomi, Idowu, Toyin, Dami and Dolapo and to my dearest friend Seyi.
100 level was a very funny class for me academic wise with a lot of reliance on excellent background from secondary school (FEDGO), not knowing it was a different ball game entirely. Was involved in so many church activities, was an exco in the famous MSSF and in three different departments in the same, was a worker in another fellowship, entangled in two choirs and other groups; was really crazy but was fun, stretched capacity I must say. Stabbed a lot of classes…jesus, second semester was worse, didn’t go to school at all on Fridays, setting up at chapel all day, me and dimeji. My exco year was wonderful and it ended with the God-helped thanksgiving service. I almost never read, many days of attempted reading ended up in sleeping for hours under the adorable a.c in main library. First semester exam didn’t help again because it was good. To be honest, how I made it to idi-araba, I wasn’t surprised but only God knows. Met a couple of wonderful people, Greatson and my other family members, also some funny folks, creating a lot of impressions. It was a fun year but I’m grateful we moved to idi-araba, my medicine would have ended terribly if it had continued at Akoka. Love for music was really expressed at this time, wonderful people contributing, Laolu my M.D, Aisha, Dimeji, Dami, Ebuka etc. Another funny thing was that growing up you see all this U.K brochures about university students, smiling on green grasses and with laptop and all, there was some unmet expectations, everyone young, no green grass, university didn’t give laptops…….laughs, I even thought by the time I was in university I would be married and all…….7 year old me. It was always medicine, medicine all the way. One key lesson for me was that in the end service has its returns.
Moving to med school, different ball game, the initial chills and rigor of you have to “fap” 24/7 and all but I’ve never been the overtly reading type, I really just had to believe my way through, holding on to God, medicine is indeed spiritual. Classmates were uping their games and all, a lot of babes started wearing makeup amongst other things. Since it was a new beginning, I had to outline my game plan which was simple, lay low especially due to the fact that I was a shy dude, interact with very few people and have my own success story, little did I know that it doesn’t work like that, people matter and are important. Tried opening up and I met some people particularly the guys that did diploma. It was also a wonderful time to venture into music and it was a good experience, that’s when I met Nery Collins with whom some good tracks have been dropped. My first crush was also in part one, an amazing lady, don’t ask who. What can I can say but that we fapped in 200level….it wasn’t a small something but thank God.
Part two was the most challenging class for me, there was a lot to do in terms of school work, from lecture to lab to tutorial to seminar to field trips, too much and I was both M.D and organizing sec at that time for harvesters amongst other churchy entanglement. They first deceived us with BTS, folks were deceived about being clinical students till it was time for the killer five. I can only say that I’m thankful for that year. Remember the times Dr Sekoni, who finally became my supervisor would call me out to come read slides in comm health class. Funny slangs and chants during lectures, we have Glo to thank for that. I’m sure everyone has a story to tell about Part two professional exam, had to break out of my comfort zone and I even started moving from one group discussion to another, who has being alone ever helped. It ended in praise.
Clinical school, wawu, a different face of med school with a lot of stories and humiliating experiences in 400level as well as some exciting ones. In 400level, it was hard for me because I now had to interact with people more and make a public presentation that almost assuredly would be picked on. Another scenario, is that you know you will certainly be picked on if you bear both the same surname and initials with your consultant, LAWAL A.O. I remember the sarcasm of the urologists, arguments of the general surgeons, the ever threatening but true words of Late Dr Adegbesan Omilabu the ever “stuff-seeking” attitudes of pediatricians and physicians and the calming assurances of Prof K to his Hbss patients.
Project year was tasking but fun, a big thank you to Dr A.O Sekoni who was a pillar and with whom I knelt and learned project work. Community Health was initially boring, really boring but got better when the outreaches kicked in. It was also the time that the precious fingers for analysis were unveiled which has helped a lot of people and made some money for me. Secondary positing was interesting, because it was a re-introduction to clinicals, it was fun for me, I enjoyed it all, every bit. This was when I met my dear friend Seyi as well, grateful I did.
In final year, instead of just laying low, I challenged myself and did a lot of stuffs together. Apart from being an exco still at harvesters, I sang in Heart of Worship (HOW) for which we rehearsed for four months which didn’t seem like a wise decision and spanned from surgery to medicine posting. It was also the year I really worked in an AMSUL committee, we hosted NIMSA general assembly and it was successful. During that period was OnG EOP, even at the exam venue instead of preparing we were still fighting over budget with other heads in the committee, Ladi the chairman, Amida and Banji , I was demanding for feeding allocation and all, funny times. It was a period of my life I had just about 3 hours sleep daily for 4 days, grateful God came through for us. There was a lot of stories just in one year but the summary is that I got to my elastic limit, came to my breaking point but God came through for me and for which I will forever be grateful.
As this write-up ends, there’s one thing I realize, life is about people and the story outlining my MBBS journey just showcases different people at different times meaning a lot to me and also relationships that persisted. I wish I could but I couldn’t mention everyone that brought me joy and made schooling worthwhile. Through the pain, disappointments and victories, I’m proud to be a ROYAL…..
In all of these, I’m still not sure when it became real that I would end up being a doctor, but it doesn’t matter at what point I caught the “vision”, I am now one, a MEDICAL DOCTOR, MBBS Lagos.
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