Rapturous delight and joyful pride filled the gigantic walls of the university auditorium on the 14th of February, 2018 as Eighty-four (84) medical graduands, referred by common folk as the Valentine Doctors, got initiated into the medical profession as rightly exemplified and acknowledged by the laws and guidelines of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. In the usual manner of this Hippocratic tradition, the medical doctors, being the first batch of their highly deserving set, Magna Victores [class of 2017], became the 34th set to be inducted and admitted into the profession since the inception of the University Faculty in 1978. The glorious event was graced and heralded by the University’s main figures of authority, the College of Health Sciences’ heads of administration, Faculty Deans, Sub-deans, Heads of Departments and directorial forces to reckon with.
In the regnant words of the guest speaker, Prof Akinyinnka Olusegun, a seasoned medical practitioner and erudite physician in the field of Pediatrics and Child Health at The University of Ibadan, gave the ceremonial speech titled: “Contemporary healthcare, Medical Education and Global Competitiveness: Nigerian Medical Graduates as pilots on the runways of their professional lives”.
Highlighting the numerous problems affecting medical education in Nigeria, the University don admonished the graduands to always ensure that they are in good standing so as to diminish the scourge of curricular atrophy, lack of awareness of global change in medical education and brain drain in the National Health workforce. He stressed further that as new spawns, the baton of progressive change lies in the palm of their hands and like pilots taxiing across an asphalted runway, there is indeed a huge responsibility to stand up to, focus on, surmount and make landmarks of in the vicissitudes of professional life.
The vice-chancellor of the University, Prof. Sulaimon Age Abdulkareem, ably represented by the Deputy Vice-chancellor for Research, Technology and Innovation; Prof. G.A Olatunji, having lauded and appraised the inductees, implored them to be just and efficient in duty in their chosen line of occupation because saving lives demands compassion and selflessness.
However, unlike the past years where all the graduating awards were almost given to a single graduand, the medical class of 2017 did its best to equilibrate the share of laurels. With Dr BADA ENIOLA SANDRA being crowned as the overall best graduating student. Dr. Bada Eniola Sandra got a bountiful lot (best in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Community Health, Chemical Pathology and Surgery). Dr. Abdullahi clinched a good catch of awards (Final MBBS Part III best, Pediatrics, Pathology). Dr. Chijioke Chidindu bagged the gallant prize award for Best in Medicine; Dr. Yahaya Kenny got the Overall best preclinical result; Dr. Olaniyi Lanre got the best result in Physiology; Dr. Adeniyi Saheed got the best result award in Ophthalmology (distinction) and Dr. Alabi Tomisin got the best award in Neuropsychiatry (distinction). Supplementary awards of leadership and fair friendliness were allotted to Drs. Sunday and Yusuff Rasheedat respectively as the hall roared in frenzy and good envy.
Futhermore, the class governor of the graduating class in the person of Dr. Oloruntobi Oluwamuyiwa, an elegantly intelligent, spontaneous and admirable man, gave the monumental graduation speech that expressed a deeply profound gratitude to their teachers and parents, established a burning longing in the hearts of the junior colleagues and sealed the concluding part of the hallowed initiation programme.
Dr. Muyiwa, populary known as ‘Pastey’ in the College of Health sciences, having had a chit-chat with him, amidst warmth and mirth, couldn’t find the right words to describe his happiness.
“ I don’t know what to say. I’m so happy. I just thank God for everything, for you all, my colleagues and family. It has been God. It has been him all through the wahala and rigors. It has been God. Chai… Its been God.( laughs out loud)”.
In conclusion, the provost of the College of Health sciences, Prof. Wahab Rotimi Johnson in his usual jocosity, gave the vote of thanks which was valedictorian to his tenure as provost and forthwith advised the graduating class to set good examples for themselves and for the ones coming after them. He reminded the graduands to be sure of attending the University’s convocation ceremony later in the year, after which they will become full-fledged graduates of the institution stating further that the induction ceremony was a professional one which has not taken the place of the academic one.
Written and sent in by Pat Ashinze, Clinical Student of the College of Medicine, University of Ilorin.