Monthly Archives: April 2016

Poem: At the Forefront

A poem written by Dr Amid, a junior doctor.

 

At the forefront

They say that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

Say that to the oncology patients, the pain in their eyes, wishing not to remain any longer

My heart tremors as I walk down the corridor

The palpitations of my index fingers are too persistent to ignore

My trachea collapses every time my beeper goes off

I sweat and sweat, I try to replenish it with water, but it’s not enough

Hours on the ward seem to be long days that make me weary

I think I’ve caught what the patient was diagnosed with in bed three

Although I’m told not to, I self-diagnose

Lists of symptoms and signs I compose:

  • Fears of not being able to supply their demand
  • Suffocating my thoughts with predictions and plans
  • My imagination runs wild as I begin to contemplate
  • Mistakes and devastating actions I could make
  • That leaves someone who trusted me in pain
  • Scribbling my signature at the bottom of their records – shame
  • Blood stained resume no longer fit for practise

(A disgrace to the Medical Council, incompetent and useless)

  • These notions come to greet me every moment of the day
  • They’re absent at breakfast, present at lunch, occasionally there at dinner, they never go away
  • Making me question my ability and sanity in this field
  • I’m no longer in control of how I feel

But since I’ve started sharing the content of my mind

Something has been fertilised inside

Teamwork introduced me to ‘Mechanism to cope’

These thoughts of the day seem to be replaced with hope

Lately I’ve befriended a new angle of view

It is a subtle friendship because those that know about it are few

The budding beginnings bring about brand new brainwaves

Constantly contemplating and constructing confident considerations which are crucial

I think I’ve come to understand that I’m not the superhero the world has been waiting for

This fight isn’t over; battles are being won every day but we all remain in war

Nevertheless it is the daily combat that keeps things ticking

The persistent resistance against invasion

The inconsistent resilience that makes us human

And the hope of tomorrow that keeps us going

 

 

 

This poem is titled ‘At the forefront’ because it expresses the thoughts of a doctor who is struggling with the harsh uncontrolled reality of death and disease. They are constantly faced with patients who look to them for help to overcome their terrible disease they battle. At first it is all too much for Doctor A, the mental and emotional problems are presenting themselves physically, or so he believes. This portrays the first big idea in Whole Person Care, ‘Illness and its remedies lie at many levels within a system’; although the pathology can be explained through the activity of adrenaline in the body there is an emotional level that suggests a the trigger for the release of adrenaline, it is more likely that clinical signs have emotional factors are their trigger. This also addresses idea seven, “We can learn from different philosophies of health.”; the psychobiological relationship presented by Doctor Amid shows that his mental health affected his physical health, hence the physical manifestations of his worries. Integrative Medicine is employed by many practitioners to focus on the patient as a whole and to make use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches; if Dr Amid presented his physical symptoms to a fellow doctor it would be easy for his colleague to be absent-minded towards Dr Amid’s emotional symptoms and only treat the physical issue.

He comes to a point where he is emotional attached to the patients he cares for. In order for a practitioner to relate to their patient they must be able to empathise, it should be something that is constantly applied throughout a consultation. Although, being human means a doctor is often subject to emotion, empathy can consume a doctor, leaving them in a dysfunctional state. “…I think I’ve caught what the patient was diagnosed with in bed three. Although I’m told not to, I self-diagnose. Lists of symptoms and signs I compose…”. But this is something that we can all identify with, when we’re too attached to a vulnerable person we become we bear their burdens as if we were them. Empathy should be a costume doctors wear when needed, but in order to make rational decisions this costume must be taken off, it is then put on again when appropriate.

‘…Effective relationships are central to effective care…’ is the fourth Big idea, kit wasn’t until Dr Amid shared his fears and used the support system around him that he was able be released from his prison of negative thoughts. It was through teamwork that he was able to know about these mechanisms.“…But since I’ve started sharing the content of my mind. Something has been fertilised inside. Teamwork introduced me to MOC ‘Mechanism to cope’. These thoughts of the day seems to be replaced with hope. Lately I’ve befriended a new angle of view…”. The effective relationship between Dr Amid and his colleagues lead him to effective care.

The poem ends with Dr Amids new thinking; it is evident that the new technique adopted by him has created resilience. This ending does not paint a safe, comfortable and nice image of life as a doctor but accepts the reality that death is painful and despite human intervention, is inevitable. “…The inconsistent resilience that makes us human…” this shows that Dr Amid is still on a journey, like many us this journey may last for a lifetime. In practise resilience can be hard to define because people are different therefore their resilience will manifest differently; there can be no time allocation, characteristics criteria, physical duties or a check list to be ticked off. Resilience in intrinsic, it is a characteristic that can only be activated by yourself, which confirms the sixth Big Idea ‘…Self-care helps create resilient practitioners..’.

Dr Amid is a fictional character that represents the thoughts and worries of medical students and doctors.

 

Photo Credit: PhotoPin

Anonymous

Year 2 Student Doctor

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When you are in Abuja, these are the places to visit! Part 2

When you are in Abuja Nigeria, consider exploring these places! Have a look at part 1!

 

Malls

There are many shopping malls/centres to visit while in Abuja, for example:

Ceddi Plaza, 264 Tafawa Balewa Way Central Business Area, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria

ceddi-plaza-abuja-nigeriaceddi-plaza-abuja-nigeria

Photo Credit: Ceddi Plaza

 

Silverbird Cinema

silverbird-cinema-abuja-nigeria

Photo Credit: Silverbird Cinema

 

National Children’s Park and Zoo Abuja

“The National Children’s Park and Zoo in Abuja is new, with modern spacious enclosures for the animals and plenty of playgrounds and activities for children. Visitors can see African animals such as cheetah, giraffe, ostrich, zebra and lion (now extinct in Nigeria’s national parks), and there are also domestic animals like camels, donkeys and chickens.”

Source: Wikimapia

national-childrens-park-and-zoo-abujaPhoto Credit: Tourism News Nigeria

 

The Hilton pool, gym and Fulani Bar

“With its traditional thatched roofing, mats and statues, this Abuja bar’s design reflects the culture of Nigeria’s Fulani people. Order barbecue à la carte specialties for your lunch or dinner. Unwind with a snack as you take in views of the Transcorp Hilton Abuja hotel’s beautifully landscaped gardens.”

Source: Hilton

Fulani Pool BarSource & Photo Credit: Hilton

 

The Hash House Harriers Run/walk

“Hashing is a state of mind – a friendship of kindred spirits joined together for the sole purpose of reliving their fraternity days, releasing the tensions of everyday life, and generally, acting a fool amongst others who will not judge you or measure you by anything more than your sense of humour.” (by Stray Dog on http://www.gthhh.com). Every other Saturday, a group of 70 to 90 avid runners and leisurely walkers alike convene to explore the countryside around Abuja. The walk, accessible to all – from elders to kids – is around 4 to 6 km while the run is around double that distance with a drink stop along the way. Earlier in the day, a group of ‘Hares’ have set the trails in some nice spots near Abuja with great scenery. So, the Hashers’ objective is to find the true course and to be ‘On On’. After the run/walk, Hashers gather in a circle to welcome newcomers, to send off leavers and to honour each other for any number of reasons by giving them ‘down downs’ – this is chugging a beer, traditionally, soft drinks for those choosing. While the run/walk is completely family-friendly, humour in the circle can get slightly saucy (mostly a lot of double entendre … though from time to time people have been known to drink out of their shoes.) A good sense of humour is a must! After the run, for those willing, there is a “chop” – dinner at a local establishment.”

Source:

abuja-dashers

Source & Photo Credit: Inside Track Abuja

 

The Dome

“This is Abuja’s all-in-one retail and leisure destination of shops, restaurants and night clubs, located at 423 Cadastral Business Zone, AO, Central Business District. Attractions in the Dome include Bodyline Fitness Centre, The Tropical Flowers and Palm trees of the Para disco Garden, Octagon Nite club,  Wesley Snipes VIP Lounge, the Summit Restaurant (Offering Nigeria, Asian and European Food), swimming pool and an indoor games arcade with a ten-lane bowling alley, a gymnasium with a pool table”

Source: The Nordic Villa

the-dome-abuja-nigeriaPhoto Credit: Logbaby

 

 

Grand Square Supermarket

“It is the best place to enjoy eatables and is renowned for its bread outside Paris. You can cherish the ice cream quite favorite among people of Abuja.  Though the rates are high but the taste of the meats and cheese is best.  The supermarket is known for its great service and selected food it serves.”

Source: Est Travel

the-grand-square-supermarketPhoto Credit: Logbaby

 

Catch up on part 1 and look out for part 3! Please tell us in the comment box below where you would encourage others to visit!

Medical School Can Be Tuff

Medicine is similar to other professions is many ways, but it is also different from other professions in many more ways. The hustle of medical school is like no other undergraduate course. As well as studying for a degree, you have begun your training for the career. Your career starts now.

You have now adopted a culture where juggling numerous extracurricular activities is the norm; you turn down more social events than you’d like; your term/semester begins with, is interrupted by or end with 1-3 assessments or exams! The list goes on. Only other medical students/student doctors understand this way of life. Although your family and friends are very proud of you, there is an air of disappointment. Even though you try to explain the structure of your course, the emotional demands, the time constraints, your goals and aspiration, “they just don’t get it”.

But remember you are not alone on this journey, there are hundreds of students just like you in the country, and there are thousands of students around the world in your position (some worse off). Stay true to your convictions and try to maintain a healthy balance of things. Know your priorities. Remember, medical school is but for a season; how you handle medical school is an indicator of how you will handle life as a doctor.

Medics’ Inn