Lessons I learned from my summer practise (or an ode to doctors I worked with)…

As stated in my previous post, I approached the idea of summer practise in Nigeria with quite a bit of anxiety (one morning I actually hid in my sister’s bathroom… the entire why of that deserves its own post).. So, I was actually surprised I ended up enjoying it.

And this is all because of the doctors I met/was assigned to while there :

(From left to right) Dr Oyelu; Dr Arit; Dr Bomari; Dr Oyedeji; Dr Adamu; and Dr Falade

Dr Falade : was always patient with patients (no pun intended), acknowledging their concerns, easily going into hourly lectures over dosages/side effects/lifestyle modulations/recommendations…

Most times, the patients have an idea of what the problem is. They do their research, especially the educated ones, and they need you to either confirm their suspicions or prove otherwise. You have to be ready and willing to address their concerns”

With his 6’^^ frame and outgoing/friendly nature, he is by far, the friendliest giant I know.

Dr B : took me under her wings from the first day (and I must confess, i was completely intimidated by how much knowledge she shared in our first conversation), and became my de-facto teacher. It was such a relief to find out she had also schooled in “the abroad”, and in Ukraine for that matter.

They are going to underestimate you, and try to discredit you because you studied abroad. Don’t give them the chance. You have to be better”.

She provides me with textbooks, answered my questions and assured that as long as I came ready to learn, she was ready to teach.

(I realize I’m making her waay more strict than she was.. Which she actually wasn’t… She’s actually one of the funnest persons to be around.. And that’s where I’ll end that)

Dr Oyedeji : was….quiet, till you got him talking. He has the amazing ability of switching between polar topics of conversation without any warning or facial cues. In one sentence, he’ll be joking with Dr. F and the next telling me about the possible causes of miscarriage.

Unexpectedly, he became my gist partner, and due to the doctor/doctor confidentiality preventing me from revealing stuff, I’ll end with this : sometimes, practising medicine is like Grey’s Anatomy with all the drama. Not all the time, but… Yeah…

(Ps, thanks for all the free rides. You didn’t have to but did it anyway).

Dr. Arit : turned out to be my sister (we’re both from Akwa-Ibom), and yet she’s the one I know least about. That however, in no way reflects the type of person she is, or suggests in any way that she was cold towards me :

Reserved people are reserved people. Don’t over think it.

Dr. Oyelu : who was courteous and kind, and drew me into a conversation about feminism and Chimamanda and opening car doors. Latched me to his burns’ patient and endured all my weird conversations.

(Here i could tease about a particular trait he has, which causes him to “endure pseudo-seizures during ward rounds”, but I won’t…)

Dr. Adamu : who became my unexpected sweetheart. She was the first to call, the first day I missed practise (and per fault of mine, i had forgotten to exchange numbers the week before.. Luckily, Dr F and TruCaller go hand in hand…), let me carry her beautiful baby and was always ready to talk with me/teach me. Somehow, also being an amazing mother, doctor, wife and person….

It’s important to prioritize, wherever you approach a task. It’s okay to take break if you need to, but you have to decide that for yourself. Don’t give that power to anyone else.

There’s much more than can be expressed here, and there are some stories I’d prefer to keep, but more than anything, I’m grateful for the people who were my teachers, and now friends.

Thanks for enduring my “simbi goes to medical school” look, and for all your patience with me. [May God bless you and all your own].

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