Life as a Foreign-Trained Medical Graduate in Lagos. (Final part)

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Hey y’all! Finally, the last post! If you’ve not been reading then you should probably check the last four posts. 🙂

So, they called the first hundred in. I was number 61. The nerves that day was unreal. I was finally called in. I got to the first station and the question was so basic like ‘take a gynaecological history on this woman’. I already practised the most common cases here like ‘Fibroids, Infertility, Uterine prolapse’ so I was pretty confident after station 1. I got to the next station and I was asked to do an abdominal examination. That went well too until I got to the third station where they asked me to take a history on a woman that came in with her 6 hour old newborn that had difficulty breathing and the woman was an actual illiterate. Jesus take the wheel. I didn’t even know where to start. I was asking this woman some random ass questions and she wasn’t even answering properly so I was like why me?

The examiners were just looking at me like are you actually stupid? They rang the bell and I moved to the next station still so worried about my last station. They asked me to do  a cardiovascular examination on a man. I had practiced this the night before so I was supposed to be confident but station 3 had me so confused that I kept second guessing my every move.  I finished and I wasn’t so confident over all. I felt like I could’ve done way better. They told us the results would be out the week after and honestly it was the longest four days of my life. I tried not to think of my performance and just hope for the best but every now and then the thought of failing would pop in my head and I’d freak out. I prayed every day. I talked to my friends to try to calm myself but it didn’t really work.

On Tuesday, the day has come o. I woke up nervous. I tried to pretend not to be too nervous. My friend told me they said they’d release the results around 4pm and by release I mean put our names on a website for the world to see. Oh Jesus.

4pm and still nothing. My phone vibrated and it was whatsapp message from my friend saying ‘ITS OUT O!’ I quickly requested for the link, opened it and looked for my number. THERE IT WAS! NUMBER 61. I SAW MY NAME YOU GUYS. I SHOUTED. My dad knew what was up immediately and was like yaaayyyy Congrats. Then I relaxed and obviously started looking for my friends numbers. Almost all of them made it! So very proud of every one of them!

Life lesson: Even when you feel like your best isn’t or wasn’t enough, all you gotta do is trust God. It’s okay to freak out once in  a while tho 😉

Hope yall are having a wonderful day and to the New Medical Graduates coming back home for the assessment examination! You can do it. Ezz nothing! 😉

I thought the hard part was over until I started looking for a job. You’d think a Doctor should be able to get a job easily considering how populated we are in Nigeria. Well, that’s not the case because I am still looking for a job. :/

 

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Life as a Foreign-Trained Medical Graduate in Lagos (Part 4)

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Hey everyone! I hope you’ve been able to catch up with the first 3 parts.  Problem is, i don’t like extremely long posts so i decided to turn it into a four post something. LOL

If you haven’t read the first three parts. You can read them here , here, and here.

The day of the exam, I couldn’t sleep properly. I mean what is sleep really? I had like three hours of sleep, showered and left my house. I wanted to get there early because Lagos traffic was insane at the time and I wasn’t gonna let Lagos traffic win! We were to get there 8am. I was there 7am.  I know my own was a bit too much. You can’t blame me tho. We were given mdcn numbers weeks before the exam and were instructed to enter the hall according to our numbers. They searched us and made sure we went into the exam hall with just our writing/shading materials. I was so nervous but I calmed down while waiting for like two hours before the exam actually started. Smh. We got sitted around 9 and the exam officially started around 10.

They had three different exam papers (same questions) to avoid cheating as if anyone was going to risk cheating and ruining their life. I got paper 1. I took a deep breath and started the exam which was multiple choice questions; pick the best answer. We were instructed on how to shade our numbers and write our numbers on every page of the question paper (Still not sure why). First 5 questions in, I was like ‘odikwa serious!’

‘WRONG ANSWERS WOULD BE PENALIZED’ was written boldly in front of the question paper. I don’t and would never understand the need for negative marking which basically means for every wrong answer you shade, some marks will be deducted from your total score. Stress.com. Now you can’t even guess answers. You are either very sure like 100% sure or not. I left a bunch of numbers blank after I was sure the ones I did know were more than half of the entire thing.  We finished around past 12 and were asked to report back at 1pm for the next exam which was ‘OSPE’ – Meaning they project a picture for 3-5 minutes and then you’re given about 14 true or false questions to answer based on that picture. They projected 18 pictures I think.

The part they forgot to mention was that they won’t even give us extra time even if it was five minutes after the entire thing to go through our answers.  I didn’t finish and that was when the panic attacks started. I finished late and when I got home everyone was waiting to hear how my day went. I was more concerned about day two because I know I may or may not have fucked up in OSPE. Day 2 was OSCE so I practiced some physical exams on my parents. Tbh, i practiced the history taking so much that I was taking a focused history in my sleep. We had four stations, five minutes for each station. (two history taking (Peds and Obgyn) and two physical examinations (Surgery & Medicine). Two examiners per station watching your every move.

Stay tuned for the last and final part!!

Thank you for taking time out to read these posts! 🙂

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Life as a Foreign-Trained Medical Graduate in Lagos (Part 3)

 

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Hey y’all! Hope you’re having a fantastic day! Well, i promised that part 3 would be up soon. So, here you go!! If you’ve not read Part 1 and 2, then you probably should read them here –>PART 1PART 2.

Postings went by quickly and we started the secondary lectures (Psychiatry, Ophthalmology, Radiology, Microbiology, Haematology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Community medicine and Anaesthesiology). They were actually more interesting than the primary lectures to me anyway.

My social life was pretty much still the same and I was feeling some type of way because I felt like I wasn’t taking it seriously when I see some people reading like their lives depended on it. If there is one thing I learnt. Don’t compare your progress to others. Don’t feel like others are way ahead. Do it at your own pace. Of course try to cover the materials given but when you meet with others, try not to feel bad because someone answered a question that you couldn’t answer. I compared myself to my sister a lot. When she did hers in Enugu, we barely talked because she was so busy.

I had a lot to study but it didn’t hit me till like September. That was when I said to myself ‘ This girl, do you not understand that this is your life?? You better not fail! Everyone will say shey your sister has two heads abi the people that passed once had bigger brains’. I started reading a lot more. I had most of the lectures on my phone so any chance I got, i’d open them and start reading or staring at it.

Lectures were supposed to end in September but of course they didn’t stick to the schedule and we had lectures even two weeks before the exam. We had a lot of reviews!! Please if you’re planning to write this exam in Lagos. NEVER MISS THE REVIEWS!!! Basically all they focused on in the reviews came out in the exam. They went over the exam format so we could get familiar with how things would go. Tension was building up as the exam date got closer. Friendships were tested (Because everyone felt like everyone was hiding stuff from them). People planned sessions with Snr. Registrars (Basically like Snr. Residents) and didn’t tell others about it even people that were supposed to be friends. It was tough. I may or may not have lost a friend or two to the process. RIP to those friendships. LOL. I was sha saying to myself. We will all pass, if you people like organize lectures in the middle of the night when no one would be able to attend.

Days to the exam and the freaking out sessions became more regular. I had a lot of things planned for the week before the exam so that was making me so nervous. My sister’s introduction was the week before the exam. I was there posting pictures on Instagram and tweeting like I didn’t have exams the week after. I had a study group with four other girls but suddenly I wasn’t being included in the plans and the study sessions but I didn’t let that get to me because I had a right hand man. Lmao Shout out to T! I was able to attend a few study sessions and felt so out of place that I didn’t bother joining them anymore.

Word of advice: Do what works for you! Don’t feel pressured to join a large group but if that works for you, then go for it!

Part 4 should be up tomorrow. I’m doing this everyday because why prolong it? Ya know? Feel free to ask me questions in the comments section. 🙂

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Life as a Foreign-Trained Medical Graduate in Lagos. (Part 2)

DSC_0289Hey everyone, i’m sure you were waiting for part 2! Or not. Well, here you go!

(If you’ve not read part 1, you probably should read it here.)

We were divided into small groups for our ward rotations. Two weeks each in the four major departments (Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medicine, Surgery and Pediatrics). I was confused about that.. like two weeks only? Jesus take the wheel. They kept emphasizing that they are not teaching us all over again and that it was a review. A week after the postings started, we started lectures. The lectures were from 8-10/12. After lectures, we’d go to the wards to see what we can learn. It was a struggle and It got to a point I felt like should I even bother going to the ward? Lectures went well for the most part. Most of the lecturers are consultants… actually all of them that taught from the four major departments were consultants and they were so nice, welcoming and patient. That helped us relax. By week 4, I already made some new friends and that was exciting for me because I’m not so friendly and I’m trying to be better in that aspect. I honestly didn’t study so hard in the first month, partly because I was familiar with all they were teaching so I wasn’t nervous… yet! Then things started getting crazy and I was seeing new handouts and books every  other day. I got tired of buying them and was like ‘finish the ones you have first na!’

We were like 120 for the first two months and I was wondering is this it? Is this the lagos everyone is always talking about. I heard people wait for the Lagos batch so the numbers are always insane.. I’m talking 500 Doctors. By August the number doubled as graduates from Ukraine/Russia registered. Class got fuller, things got a bit more intense.

Oh sorry, I didn’t share my ward experience. First department I rotated in was Medicine (Neurology). I was not happy about it. I wanted Cardiology or Gastro or even Nephrology. I hated Neuro in Med school. It was solely memorisation for me back then. I was scared I was going to look so stupid and they’ll be like ‘ahn so this is what you people went abroad to learn’. I was with 5 other Doctors. First day wasn’t so bad as my sister already warned me not to take every critism seriously or else I’ll have a bad experience. She might have given a few high yield topics too. 😉 (perks of having a doctor sister). She also told me they love their definitions which was strange to me because I feel like as Doctors emphasis should be placed on how to save lives and not how to define Stroke because I’m not sure how the definitions will save that life if you don’t know what to do next.

First day, they asked a couple of questions. It wasn’t so bad. They asked for the definition of stroke and of course I gave it to them like a boss! It got annoying when every doctor we meet would ask for our names and where we studied or as they like to put it ‘trained’. The doctors went back to the basic stuff and I felt stupid sometimes but I didn’t let it bother me too much.

Part 3 coming up soon. Stay tuned.

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Life as a Foreign-Trained Medical Graduate in Lagos (Part 1)

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Hey everyone. So as you all know, I passed the licensing exam here in Nigeria. Some friends asked me to talk about my experience on the blog and I thought why not? I mean, I think it’ll help new medical graduates thinking of writing the exam in terms of preparing themselves for what to expect.

This post is quite long so it’ll have 3-4 parts.

So the journey started in June at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Idi-Araba. I was excited and I didn’t know what to expect. From the website, I got the information about registration. It was somewhere in Victoria Island, Lagos. I was born and raised in Lagos and I still don’t know Lagos. Partly because I didn’t get a chance to explore Lagos before I went to med school. Anyway, I finally got there and they requested for two photocopies of all my documents. I was like really?? I had to find somewhere around to do the photocopies and trust them to say one  ridiculous price because Victoria Island. I finally made all the copies and headed back to the office to submit them. The lady there was nice and it went well.

First day was orientation day. We were all lost. I have never been inside LUTH so I had no idea where to go. I asked around till I got to the place we were directed to. I was late from all the wandering. About 60 people were sitted there waiting for them to start. As usual, they started late. It started with the coordinator of the program in LUTH welcoming us and wishing us a wonderful time in LUTH.

He gave us the schedule for the program and it was then shit started getting real. I was excited and nervous at the same time. I saw some familiar faces from my school and that was refreshing like thank God I’m not alone in this! No one in my school has failed this exam, my sister passed the exam two years ago in Enugu so this is doable right? I said to myself. Ah the pressure was REAL.

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