It is a popular believe amongst aspiring medical students(eventually doctors) to feel that the hardest part about medicine is getting accepted into the University of our choice, or just any University.
But there is more hardwork involved in staying in med. School than actually getting admitted to study it.
One thing with Medicine is you only realise it is not for you when it’s too late.
That must sound a bit confusing. Let me try to explain.
When we are in secondary school, we understand that we are really good in biology and then automatically we decide we want to study medicine-because well we thought medicine was all about biology. Just in an advanced manner.
Or maybe we thought we were good in biology, but we were good maybe just at memorising.
Fast forward, you are now studying medicine, you come to realise how totally unrelated biology and medicine are. Well maybe they are.
Well then their similitude will have to be like rocket science and Physics/maths.
That’s a bit extreme. But it isn’t, really.
In biology, mitochondria is the power of the cell. In medicine, mitochondria suddenly has these many enzymes involved in TCA cycle??? ETC?( ETC meant ecetra ecetra in secondry school), now ETC means electron transport chain.
In biology, plasma membrane was what enclosed a cytosol. In medicine, phospholipid, cholestrol, carbs. Enclose cytosol. Hokay.
Should i even get to the most annoying parts of how totally irrelevant topics like Kingdoms; i don’t even know what topic that even falls under. Kingdom Monera, protista,fungi whatever. Those are totally irrelevant in med school.
Mitosis that we know is involved cell division. Now mitosis can result in Trisomy 21(down syndrome). Hokay.
I could go on… but then we would never reach the end.
Fast forward, you are now studying medicine, you realise how totally unrelated biology is to medicine.
The funniest part, is us thinking because we scaled through biology with A’s then we can scale through medicine with A’s(brother, sister, brace yourself). You about to be electrocuted.
Or us thinking we studied biology and got an A by engaging in TDB, we are going to apply that crap in Medical school. Well goodluck to you, if that is still your mentality.
At this point, i’d like to add that teenagers or whomsoever has gotten admission at any school to study MBBS should be counselled. I am not joking. serious counselling. Where you talk to them about how their life is going to change. Low self-esteem, depression, but atleast you will develop a resistance to failure-cus boy. are you gonna fail woefully.
Okay. Let’s press that forward button again, you are studying medicine(finally the brutal part), you are in level 2 or 3; and your Anatomy; comprises of Gross Anatomy, embryology and histology is staring back at you. Oh wait, you thought that was it???
Your gross anatomy which comprises of 8 other parts on its own has found its own gyri on your sensory area(sensory because each time you remember them, you shall be moved, sister).
Your embryology also; general and systemic. Also starring at you like you are some bradd pitt or tom cruise???
Histology follows suit.
And none of those sub courses, are even 1/1000th of all that you’ve been taught in biology.
Wait. You thought that was all??? Are you a med student or an anatony student??
Oh you are a med student. You have 2 more courses. Which are full grown courses on their own-biochemistry and physiology hanging somewhere like; yo, dude, where do you think you are going without us?”
Yea. Where do you think you are going? Those guys right there are the crux of the party.
At this point, if you aren’t terrified to study medicine, then i feel i haven’t done a great job at elaborating and if you are terrified, then what can i say??? You are just a coward.
Hah. The best part. Is when Physiology or Anatomy students that don’t even know the colour of their textbooks are looking at you like-we are doing a lot more work than you are- and at that point you are like, dude. What is in your head is a subset of what is in mine.
It’s like a venn diagram that has 3 subsets. Medicine is like the universal set. Medicine is the universal set. So basically almost everything that an anatomist,biochemist or physiologist knows on its own, you know all of the three combined. By the time you are done with preclimicals, you are gonna have 3 degrees.
Hah. You will learn to ignore them. Don’t worry, chap.
So at this point, you are starting to understand to second guess yourself. Everything you thought you knew about yourself or everything you were told. Ranging from you are a fast learner, to things stick pretty well in your brain. Hah. You will realise how untrue that is.
You are a 200L or 300L student and you begin to realise that. wow. Okay welcome, to the abyss(okay, if you are a 100L student, you still have a chance to turn your back at this point, okay? Fishling)
You come to realise that well, you know how much i said i loved to memorise and how much i used to hate maths. I don’t really feel the same way. and remember how much i said i was not creative? Well at this point you are starting to realise that you could actually be a good poet.
You begin to harness your poetry skills. Even more than you should be reading. Your drawing skills have gotten even better, now you are thinking of being an artist. You develop an interest for coding. You hated computer science in sec. School. Your photography skills are begining to show face. Your modelling skills are begining to bloom like sunflower that’s been exposed to the sun. You suddenly develop an interest for painting,sewing and what not.
At this point baby, everyone at your village, already knows you are gonna be a doctor. You call your great grandmother and she tells you your ancestors told her; you are going to be the greatest surgeon. And you give that satirical laugh that only your colleagues will understand.
At this point, you get a new family, your colleagues become your new family, well because we call family, family because we feel they understand us the most. At this point, your family members don’t even understand you amymore. Only your colleagues understand you, your moods, your stress. Everything.
Amidst this, you are trying to keep up with the pace of the lecturers, your colleagues, your notes. You haven’t read in 30minutes but the lecturer is done with abdomen, he is at P&p. Okay.
At this point, you second guess yourself, i could have been the next Chinua Achebe by now. I was soo good at writing essays.
Amidst those thoughts; you just see yourself at the examination hall, in front of an oral examiner being asked; auditory meatus and choncha. You are pretty sure it’s nose. But you’ve never really read nose. You have. You read part of it and watched some of it on youtube. and you said you were going to read it up later, (now your brain sounds like dr. Murphy from the good doctor and you start to wonder whose side are you on?).
Sir, meatus and concha? Suddenly, your phone starts to ring. And you are like, wondering whose phone is it that’s ringing. You are waiting for the oral examiner to pick up his phone. Then you realise, it’s actually your phone. You were so busy trying to revise the corticospinal tract, amidst the tension, that you forgot to swich off your phone. and you curse the day your parents decided you were old enough to have a phone(finally, you are an adult).
Your oral examiner smiles and asks you to pick up the phone whilst you go ahead and start reading for your resit. Because you are def. Gonna fail. he doesn’t care if you got 98/100. Because well, if you haven’t noticed, medicine is a military school.
Okay. Now you are resitting, luckily you passed physiology. You failed anatomy and BCH and you are wondering, how in the world, you got to this abyss. okay. But the abyss isn’t quite done with you.
And you remember how good you were in TD. Technical drawing? Dysarthria is what you are supposed to be reading. Lesions of cerebellum that just doesn’t want to absorb into your brain, is what you are at at the moment. But you are off to your favourite place-day dreaming. About how you could have made it as a successful entrepreneur.
You pass by the dangote business school and you are wondering how you could have been the next dangote. Suddenly, opportunities you did not see, prospects you had no idea existed are finally starting to open up. Where were all these courses when i was about to fill the jamb form?
So, what is the solution to all these inadequacies prompted by the abyss called medicine.
Well, simply put, there isn’t any solution. You just learn to live with it. and hope that maybe when your first patient smiles at you and thanks you for saving their lives, you’ll fimd peace that you made the right decision-well up untill your next patient dies and you are out there receiving slaps from the patient’s family.
Okay. On a more serious note, the solution lies in you living your life, whilst still in med school. You want to be an artist? Go for it. Harness your skills. A poet. Write everyday. Write about your pain. Use your pain as a tool. Just get something to get your mind off it.