I was given the opportunity to be the surgeon’s assistant for a left inguinal hernia repair procedure. I felt honoured because I had no previous experience with the surgeon but nevertheless gave me this opportunity. This opportunity sowed a seed, I have discovered my interest in surgery and as I have progressed through the Junior Medicine and Surgery unit I have seen this interest develop even more. This is one of the few occasions since the beginning of my clinical placement that I have more than a mere medical student but part of the medical team.
Although this opportunity was given to me by a senior surgeon, I had to enthusiastically seek out this opportunity and make myself available. Enthusiasm is most certainly a tool that every medical student should possess, as well as a stethoscope.
I hope to explore this interest even more and seek such opportunities as I progress through the medical programme.
Anonymous, 3rd Year Student Doctor
Photo credit: PhotoPin
When you are in Abuja Nigeria, consider exploring these places!
“This impressive waterfall, an hour’s drive from Abuja, is 30 metres tall with a span of up to 200 metres across, dependent on the season. There are two main streams of water crashing over the cliff face, however during the height of rainy season the whole cliff face is engulfed by a formidable curtain of white water.
The Gurara river is a large tributary of the famous River Niger and is most impressive after the rainy season when the water becomes a raging torrent while in January, during the dry season and when water levels are low, there are clear pools at the bottom of the falls in which visitors can swim.
As well as being an area of outstanding natural beauty the area surrounding Gurara Waterfall is also a fantastic place for bird watching.”
Source: My Destination
Photo Credit: Visit Abuja
“Millennium Park Abuja is the largest of the green areas and parks in Abuja covering a land area of about 32 hectares. It is located in the Maitama district of the federal capital territory. The Millennium park was commissioned in December 2003 by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.”
Photo Credit: Travel Start Blog
Yankari Park and Wikki Warm Springs
“Yankari Park and Wikki Warm Springs are located around the Gagi River, approximately one and a half hours by road, southeast of Bauchi Town. The best time to visit is between November and May, when tourists are likely to see more game since the dense vegetation has dried out and the animals congregate around the rivers. The reserve habours over 50 wide range of prized indigenous wildlife, including Baboons, Monkeys, Warthogs, Hippopotamuses, Lions, Elephants and Leopards.Other animals include Buffalo, Gannet, Roan antelope, Bubal Hartebeest and spotted Hyena in addition to African hunting Dogs, Cheetahs, western Kobs, red-fronted Gazelles, Waterbucks, Grimm’s Dockers, Oribi and red-fl anked Dockers. The reserve also hosted more than 350 species of indigenous birds, 26 species of fish, 7 amphibians and 17 species of reptiles.”
About 7-8 hours drive form Abuja, so head out early!
Source & Photo Credit: The Green White Green
Usuma Lake/Usuma Dam
Photo Credit: Sky Scraper City
Golf at the IBB Golf Course
“ General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, as the then Head of State relocated the Federal Capital from Lagos to Abuja, which could not boast of a golf club. As a result, many key Officers of the government, who were of course avid golfers, desert the City at short notices to Lagos to enjoy their game of golf. In order to solve this problem of unusual trips to Lagos to play golf, the idea of providing a befitting golf course in the City was conceived by then Col. John Nanzip Shagaya with Alhaji Kazaure, Chief C. A. Mbanefo, C. N. Chigbo, B. I. Eze, O. O. Odunuga Nana H. Aliyu and S. O. Jones. The golf course concept was packaged and presented to General Babginda, who as a lover of the game enthusiastically approved it.
The categories of members of the club include ordinary, honorary, overseas, corporate and junior members. It has Ladies and Lawn tennis sections and regular Wednesday and Sunday kitties apart from other small and big tournaments that are organized frequently by the club and outsiders. The club also regularly organizes public lectures on various issues to keep its members abreast of current national and international issues. The club has a well equipped workshop and modern clubhouse with a pro-shop, two standard car parks, six locker rooms for males and females, administrative offices and standard Bar/Restaurant managed by the popular Sheraton Hotel and Towers.”
Source & Photo Credit: IBB Golf Club
“Abuja carnival is a yearly program that hold in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria most in the month of November. It feature road shows, musics, cultural dances, masquerades, durbar and lots more with participants from all the states of Nigeria. It’s a great occasion and has spectators from around the globe.”
Photo Credit: African Spotlight
There are numerous art galleries to be inspired and entertained by!
Look out for part 2 and 3! Please tell us in the comment box below where you would encourage others to visit!
In medical school, you adopt the ‘work hard’ culture, but it is equally important to remember the culture of relaxation. Sometimes, the moment you sit still, you feel a sense of guilt for not doing ‘something’. The truth is, in Medical School, there will always be ‘something’ for you to do. There is always work to do; this could be revision for an up-coming exam, research for a written assignment, follow-up work in the lab, staying after working-hours to practise a particular clinical skill, spending some time in theatre, preparing for your next tutorial/lecture/lab project – these demands do not include the extra-curricular activities you have picked up along the way or paid work. Sports, dance classes, creative workshops or conferences that require the submission of a paper/abstract/poster, etc. The list is endless. The list will continue to be endless. So it is import to relax and truly switch off. Put to one side the daily, weekly and monthly demands of medicine for a moment and just relax.
Have a break. Enjoy the break.
Photo Credit: Photo Pin
I really enjoyed the experience of working in a clinical environment. I was excited because it felt unreal, I’d fought hard to get into medical school and I was potentially standing in the environment I would be working in in the near future. It gave me that extra encouragement from time to time when I doubted if being a doctor is the right profession for me. A lot of the time it did make me upset, I spoke to a lot of people who suffered with chronic illnesses and the description of their physical and emotional pain made me feel down. A lot of what I thought about medicine came from the media; there are also times when the doctor has to tell family members of their recent loss. Speaking to someone who describes their chronic pain really hits home how emotionally draining this profession will be and medical school can be. In a way it has taken me from childhood to adulthood, my faith also. There is so much pain and suffering in the world, it reinforces my belief that God really has a plan.
Photo Credit: PhotoPin
Year 1 Student Doctor
Which do you prefer: Medical Student Vs Student Doctor?
How do you introduce yourself to patients and other doctors?
Does it really make a difference? Aren’t they the same thing?
We like – Student Doctor. It easily communicates to patients what profession you are training for. And it also gives you a subtle reminder:
Yes, I am training towards being a doctor, diagnosis diseases, treating diseases, prescribing drugs and caring for my patients.
Yes, I have already obtained medical knowledge and skills that will be of help the care of patients.
Yes, I am a work in progress, I do not know it all and I do not need to know it all at this stage, even if it were possible.
So, Medics’ Inn likes the term ‘Student Doctor’.
What do you think?
We have put together a list of items to consider for your elective.
- White coat
- Disposable gloves
- Plastic aprons
- Face mask (with visors)
- Antiseptic hand scrubs
- Liquid plaster
- Theatre shoes
- Accommodation essentials: bedding, mosquito net, insect repellent, antibacterial hand wipes
Think carefully about the following questions in respect to your purchases:
- Can I guarantee the hospital/clinic/etc will be able to provide me all my protective wear for the duration of my elective?
- Does the speciality I am working in require these items? Is it a surgical specialty? Is it community based?
- Could I just buy a few items to manage for the first week or 2, then stock up when I get there?
- Will I be working outdoors?
Here are 3 things you should know before you venture into the practical world of clinical medicine. If you’re already on the wards/theatres/etc., it’s not too late – this will still help!
- You are a valuable member of the team! It’s easy to feel insignificant on a busy ward, ward round, clinic or theatre. But remember you are a valuable member of the team! With this thought at the back of your mind, stir up the courage to approach a member of staff (it doesn’t always have to be a doctor) and let them know who you are and what you want to do. E.g. “Hello, My name is Leo/Liz, I am a medical student in my third year. I will be spending the morning with the doctors and learning on the cardiology ward round. How can I help and get stuck in?” You will be pleasantly surprised with the responses you will receive.
- Be early, not on time, but early. Getting to your location 10-15 minutes early keeps you calm and prepared. You’ll also notice that, just because you arrived several minutes earlier, you will have greater learning opportunities.
- Remember it is a learning process; you are in a safe and perfect environment to learn from highly skilled professionals and kind patients. You will not be an expert at lumbar punctures, diagnosing aortic stenosis, taking a history or examining a patient on the first day! These are skills you will learn and continue to master throughout medical school and even after you start working as a doctor. Do not be too hard on yourself, enjoy it.
Include the basics: title (+/- subtitle), author(s), introduction, method, results, discussion, conclusion, references.
Colours: keep it simple, your poster should not include more than 3 different colours. Blue and white are great colours i.e. motorway sign colours. Also, green and red colour blindness are the most common form of colour blindness, so try to avoid putting these together on a slide or graph.
Declutter, ‘less is more’; make sure your poster can easily be ready from 1-2 meters away.
Opinions; share your poster with friends, family, mentors, junior and senior doctors. Get their opinion and advice.
If you are medical student studying at a Medical School outside of Nigeria (and do not possess a Nigerian passport) it is important you contact the Nigerian Embassy to be aware of the cost of a visa application and the documents required. It is important to do this many months in advance of your elective to avoid disappointment.
To help, we have provided a letter you can download and edit to send to the Nigerian Embassy in your residing country. Making Contact With The Nigerian Embassy (download)
We have included some links below.
Nigerian Embassy Australia (link)
Nigerian Embassy Brazil (link)
Nigerian Embassy France (link)
Nigerian Embassy India (link)
Nigerian Embassy Ireland (link)
Nigerian Embassy Italy (link)
Nigerian Embassy Malaysia (link)
Nigerian Embassy Singapore (link)
Nigerian Embassy Spain (link)
Nigerian Embassy UK (link)