education

Elective Reports

Abiola Adeogun – Medical Elective – Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria


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Name: Abiola Adeogun

Country of study: United Kingdom

Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Elective Period: 28/03/16 – 22/04/16

Duration of Elective4 weeks

Speciality: Cardiology, Diabetes and Endocrine, Neurology and Respiratory Medicine

 

 

  • What was a typical week like?

A typical week included attending ward rounds and clinics attending occasional teaching with the doctors.

 

 

  • What 3 things did you learn?

1) Making a diagnosis without relying on e.g. imaging and test results.

2) Management of tropical diseases.

3) The structure of the healthcare system in Nigeria.

 

  • What were your most enjoyable moments during your elective?

Being able to go to theatre.

 

  • What similarities and differences did you notice whilst on your elective in Nigeria, in comparison to the healthcare service you have witness whilst at medical school?

Differences in doctor patient relationship, communications skills, organisation and resources.

 

  • What were your goals? Where you able to achieve your goals, and how?

To have a better understanding of healthcare system in Nigeria and be able to compare team dynamics. To identify medical ethical challenges in the hospital and their implications. To explore the possibility of working as a Doctor in Nigeria in the future.

 

  • If you had the opportunity to reorganise or redo your elective, what would you change and why?

I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to work in a state hospital and I have no regrets. If I had to redo my electives, I think I would prefer to work in a smaller hospital or private hospital as I feel I would have been more involved and the experience would have been more hands on. I felt the environment in the state hospital that I worked at was sometimes too busy and lacked organisation.

 

 

 

  • Looking forward, how has your experience impacted your career and personal life?

A lot of communication with patents was in Yoruba. As I don’t understand the language I had trouble following some of the consultations. I realise that if I decide to work in Nigeria in the future, I may need to learn the common languages. My cousin was admitted to a private hospital whilst I was in Nigeria. Visiting her at the private hospital enabled me to see what practicing medicine is like in a private hospital, observe doctor-patient interactions and the general work ethos. I think I would prefer to work in a private hospital in Nigeria in the future.

 

Elective Reports

Wumi Oworu – Medical Elective – University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja, Nigeria


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Name: Wumi Oworu

Country of study: United Kingdom

Elective Location: University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja, Nigeria

Elective Period: 04/04/16 to 27/05/16

Duration of Elective8 weeks

Speciality: Obstetrics & Gynaecology

 

My experience in Nigeria was a wonderful experience, although I have visited Nigeria several times before, this elective period was my first experience of living in Nigeria independently and working in a healthcare setting. Starting at the beginning, I arrived in Gwagwalada on Monday and met with my supervisor Professor Ekele, who briefly described what was to come while at AUTH. I was introduced to the head of the O&G department and the senior class representative from the University of Abuja Medical school, a young man called Etuk, who assisted me with settling in. Etuk showed me to my accommodation and was kind enough to take me to a few places to buy some food, utensils, etc. My accommodation, was a 2-bedroom flat in a block of flats containing only medical students, I had my own bathroom and I shared the kitchen and living room with my flatmate. The accommodation was a few minutes from the hospital, but still on the hospital grounds. The flat was clean and well kept, with good space and the basics. Later that day I met my flat mate Tolu, who was a lovely young woman in her penultimate year of medical school.

                                           

During my 8 week placement, I was allocated to one team for 4 weeks, where I joined them on their ward rounds, gynaecology clinics, antenatal and post-natal clinics, theatre sessions and on-call duties. Every week day morning began with a morning meeting, cases that were managed the day before were discussed and assessed. I spent 2 weeks in the labour ward, observing and assisting in the management of labour and Caesarean sections. I spent a total of 2 weeks in the gynaecological emergency unit and special care baby unit. During my elective I was taught how to perform vaginal examinations and perform a pelvic examination using a speculum. During antenatal clinics I had the opportunity to examine numerous women at various gestations. I attended to a few patients independently under the supervision of consultants in the gynaecology clinics. I performed investigations such as pap smears, endocervical swabs and high vaginal swabs. I observed cases that are uncommon in the UK, such as large uterine fibroids, primary presentation of metastatic endometrial cancer and the management of labour in a patient with sickle cell disease. I understand the Nigerian Healthcare system consists of both a private sector and national health service insurance scheme, both with their own advantages and disadvantages. The use of traditional medicine also had an impact on health, I often observed patients with advanced disease because they delayed their presentation to the hospital because they sought cheaper traditional alternatives. I had theopportunity to complete a cross-sectional study titled, ‘The Perception of pregnant women about Caesarean section at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada’. It consisted of 131 pregnant women presenting to ante-natal clinic. I was granted ethics approval for this study. I used interviewer-assisted structured questionnaire to collect data. The acceptance rate was 70%, other literature quoted acceptance rates of 7-30%. The study showed a higher acceptance rate amongst pregnancy women who were older, married, multiparous, educated and have had a previous Caesarean section. This developed my research skills; it also exposed me to the difficulties of international research such as language barrier and limited resourced such as electricity, internet and time constraints.

                    

 

I enjoyed the food to the absolute maximum, I probably ate grilled catfish at least twice a week and utilised the hospital canteen and ate pounded yam with egusi (my favourite) often. I definitely ate well while in Nigeria. The heat Gwagwalada was a different experience entirely, one I have never experienced before, I learnt to avoid being outdoors between 9am-4pm, to be well stocked up on bottled water and bought a mini-fridge as soon as I arrived (to the manifold wisdom of my mother).

 

                                                 

 

When not working at the hospital, I often enjoyed myself in Abuja with my cousin and the new friends I’d made. I appreciated the order and subtleness of Abuja, in comparison to the hustle of Lagos.

I also had the opportunity to visit Kaduna, which was just a 2 hour drive away from Abuja, or an hour flight from Lagos. I also visited an orphanage a couple of times and gave some assistance.

            

I wish I had taken the opportunity to visit Jos, a popular city known for their cool climate, internationally known for their medical education at the University of Jos, as well as other things. Once my elective was complete, I travelled to Lagos to spend some time with friends and family.

                                      

 

My elective has enriched my undergraduate education, I developed basic obstetric and gynaecological skills which will be useful throughout my career. I have improved my knowledge and skills in maternal and foetal medicine. It has also given me an appreciation for the healthcare system available to patients in the UK. I have experienced another element of medicine that I will always be  grateful for.

My experience has made me more passionate about pursing a medical career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. It has also exposed me to potential opportunities in the Nigeria, especially for someone like myself – young, ambitious and open-minded.

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Medical School Can Be Tuff


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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

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Medical School:Have A Kit Kat…Take A Break!


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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

Medics’ Inn

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Medical Student Vs Student Doctor


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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?

Medics’ Inn

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Graduate Medicine? What to consider


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Are you thinking about studying medicine as a second degree or as a mature student? Here are 3 things to definitely consider!

 

1.Money!

All over the world, obtaining a medical degree is not cheap! So the wise thing to do would be to count the cost first before you embark on this journey!

Tuition fees? Living costs? Travel costs? Books, resources, etc? Can you really afford to study medicine for 4-5 years?

Medical schools provide a variety of financial support for mature students, there are also many organisations and charities that could provide financial support. The important issue is to be fully aware of the financial responsibility of your decision and how this may have an impact on yourself and those around you. It would be a horrible thing, to leave the medical programme because of insufficient funds.

 

2.Be sure

Be sure a career in medicine is what you truly desire. Healthcare experience before your application is essential, but as well as this, have a real good look at the life of a junior doctor in your country. Is this the kind of working life you want? The hours? Team dynamics? Career trajectory?

(Keep in mind, aspects of professional practise may change by the time you qualify as a doctor.)

Know what you’re getting into.

 

3. Be open-minded and connected

Sometimes, being a mature student amongst 18 year olds or 20 year olds can bring a sense of failure or insecurity when in fact it is a strength. You have previous experience in higher education, a degree, life experiences, a career etc. Be open to meeting new people, you will soon find out, students are unbothered about the fact that you have done a previous degree or are several years their senior, because in reality everyone is starting at the same level – year 1 of medical school. Also, it may help to connect with other mature or graduate students, a problem shared is a problem halved (most of the time).

 

If you would like to study medicine as a second degree or as a mature student please leave your questions and comments below. You can also contact us privately with your questions.

If you are currently studying medicine as your second degree, or have ‘been there, done that, got the t-shirt and the debt that goes with it’, please share your experiences below for someone else to be enlightened!

Medics’ Inn

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Repeating The Year – Some Words of Wisdom Part 2


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To be told you have to repeat the year to remain in medical school is a scary thing, but having the option to repeat the year is an opportunity that is not provided to all medical students. Medics’ Inn have provided a few pearls of wisdom for our readers, we have gathered some advice from several medical students who repeated a year of medical school. Have a read of Repeating The Year – Some Words of Wisdom Part 1.

 

 

*Sigh*

Let yourself feel rubbish for a while, your feelings are valid. Repeating the year is a big deal and it is not easy. Let yourself go through the journey. Failure is part of the human experience.

 

 “My family are not supportive…”

It’s difficult to not take it to heart, it’s not right but it’s not your fault. They will come round eventually, but mean while find your support from elsewhere. Don’t bottle it up, there are other people who are genuinely concerned and there are lots of places to get support from.

 

“Is medicine still right for me?”

Talk to people about your concerns but make sure you frame your own thoughts first, the pros and cons. Intercalating or taking a year out may be beneficial. Give yourself as many options as you can. Have a think about these questions:

  1. What were the reasons you initially chose to do medicine?
  2. Could you see yourself working as a doctor several years (or decades) from now?
  3. What is stopping you from pressing on? Fear?

 

“I don’t want to be judged by colleagues, lectures, friends, family…”

If you’re being judged, that’s their problem, not yours. You cannot control what other people think about you, but you can control how you respond. Don’t hide away and don’t be scared of making friends in your new year.

 

“It will just be the same thing, and another year wasted …”

Use your old notes to help you. Try new things, join a new club, etc. It may be scary, but new experiences will tell you who you are as a person and not who you should be. With the right attitude, you will have a new found sense of freedom and there will be open doors of opportunity if you’re looking. You will develop resilience and courage. This experience can stop you from fearing failure.

 

At the end of your repeated year, ask yourself these questions and really thinking about your answers and what they mean to you. (It might help to write your answers down on a piece of paper)

  1. How did you feel when you first received this information?
  2. What was your greatest motivation?
  3. How have you used your repeated year to better yourself?
  4. What did you learn about yourself that you did not know?
  5. What were your greatest fears and how did you overcome these fears (if you have)?

 

 

Medics’ Inn

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Repeating The Year – Some Words of Wisdom Part 1


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To be told you have to repeat the year to remain in medical school is a scary thing, but having the option to repeat the year is an opportunity that is not provided to all medical students. Medics’ Inn have provided a few pearls of wisdom for our readers, we have gathered some advice from several medical students who repeated a year of medical school. Look out for Repeating The Year – Some Words of Wisdom Part 2.

  • Feelings of the following are normal: embarrassment, failure, shock, fear, loneliness, insecurity, pain, inadequacy, etc…
  • Stop trying to rationalise why this has happened.
  • Accept help, correction, advise from others, other students, teaching fellows, there is no shame in that, nor in repeating itself.
  • Don’t become obsessed with the numbers, e.g. things like “rankings” – ranking is surmountable, and you will still get a job, top or bottom decile.
  • Don’t be complacent, e.g. complacent with only making one change, or no changes, or just doing what you deem will get you just the 50% or will match the bare-pass you achieved last time!
  • Mentally prepare yourself and even practise how you may or may not wish to explain your position, about why you are in this year group, and who you may or may not care to tell, because the most tactless to those with the best intentions may ask at the least convenient times. Not everyone needs to know your business, and similarly you don’t need to be ashamed. Remember that in a year or so, people will no longer care/ know about your detour
  • Don’t compare yourself to others ever, whether they have or have not intercalated, know all the answers in teaching, get 100% in every e-biolab or quiz, are years younger than you, are first authors in the Lancet – don’t compare
  • If you are ever, for any reason experiencing difficulties (health-related, personal and emotional) beyond the work of revision, during the year – do not miss the opportunity to submit extenuating circumstances before God-forbid, you may find yourself repeating anything!
  • Don’t burn-out by setting unrealistic expectations of yourself. Seek help from friends, Faculty, GP, student advice service, if necessary!

Now, answer these questions and really thinking about your answers and what they mean to you. (It might help to write your answers down on a piece of paper)

  1. What is your greatest motivation in life?
  2. In the past, what were your greatest fears and how did you overcome them?
  3. What do you want to achieve in this year you will repeat?

Medics’ Inn

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Reputation and Ranking


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Reputation and Ranking
Reputation and Ranking

Are educational performance measure (EPM) scores validation for all medical student needs? Should we just aim to rank in the top 10-25% of the year? Are the results of clinical and written exams predictor of your effectiveness as a future doctor?

It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race of medical school. It’s easy to be consumed by the surmounting pressure to exceed a standard.  But the question to ask yourself is: How do you want to be remembered by your patients and colleagues?

Pick 2-3 words that sum up how you would like patients and colleagues to remember you e.g. safe and caring or efficient and honest.

Good educational performance is essential to pass medical school, but a good reputation is essential for life.