After now I really do not know what to think or what to call myself. It is not that I am nit-wit, nor am I bereft of ideas, but I truly do not want to sound insensitive to the plight of others around. By others I mean those whom I have shared all this years, sequestered within the walls of medical school. Undoubtedly, we had sleepless nights, long tortuous days that can make even the bravest melt. Now, it seems the end is here… No, scratch that!!! The end is indeed here.
When it all started, that particular year that have kept every other person wondering if we were not scams, we were all happy that the opportunity have been given to us to shape what the world should look like. Yea… I recall one of us boasting about reversing how he would change his community by being a selfless doctor to everybody who comes his way. But after all this years, with the harsh reality staring him in the face, he recanted his statement and only hopes he even practice at all.
How can anyone expect me not to rejoice after scaling through my Last (literally so) Professional MBBS Examination. It has been one month since we started the exam and about one week since we finished same exam.
The very last exam that would unleash me from the shackles of medical school came and is gone like the wind. It was so uneventful but loaded with the trappings of a time bomb, that may explode right in ones face if you had not come prepared, academically and spiritually of course.
So when I say I must rejoice, even though the exam actually exploded in the face of many of my closest friends, you can now understand my dilemma.
I must rejoice because this last MBBS exam is akin to Victory Over Coma. I dare not say ‘Death’, since death in itself is a threshold where it’s victims go and never come back. Final MBBS is definitely not that bad.
I must rejoice since the system structured so that you only can celebrate just once, since it is all about me at the moment. It is all about those who succeed, who are to be inducted, who are victorious.
Do I sound insensitive? Maybe I do, but that is what the training does to people. The medical program imbibes in her student the character of ‘man-alone-efforts’. Man-alone-effort implies that, one should be a moving encyclopedia, that should be able to offer the most basic of medical services. It implies that, you and you alone would be faced with medical situations and you must offer well articulated solutions. It implies that, if failure comes your way, you must take responsibility and move on. It implies that, success in the field, is success to one… most times the consultant.
All our examinations take this form, all our clinical sessions, our bed-side tutorials, our ward rounds, except maybe our project Dissertations. This, I believe has always been the Nigerian Way.
Looking at the future, my induction into the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria is just a few days away. I tell myself I must rejoice and make merry because the conventional ‘man-alone-effort’ principle supports this. But I find this extremely difficult to carry out.
Haa, what a waste!!! Medical school should be more about team work. It should not make us ‘monsters’, it should not reduce us to animals. Man-alone-effort may be good as a teaching aid, but I know there is a thin line between humanity and monstrosity. This, I find, is the solution. A blend of what is good for me and what is good for other.
Many still do not understand this and they never would. Conventional practices are easier to follow. But if it removes a little bit of humanity from me, I cannot sustain that… it must be jettisoned. After all, I am a little bit radical.
Anonymously written by an inducting graduate doctor from The Prestigious Madonna University Nigeria.