Archive for January, 2009

The Trip part one.

One of the Privileges of being a fourth year medical student at my institution is that you can go on an international rotation. I ofcourse chose to got to Nigeria and had the time of my life. While I was there, I kept an electronic journal that I knew I would use as blog pages.  This trip is meant to be the first installments of the many adventures I hope to have as I start my journey into clinical medicine.  The title of each post will be the date that I wrote the entry.

This is the second time I have been to Nigeria since medical school..well actually since my family and I migrated to the states. The first time (the summer between first and second year of medical school), I went to work with orphans of HIV and AIDS. My goal was to talk with them and get their perception of the disease that had put them in the situation they were now in. I wanted and did write a book based on their stories, but it never got published. I will post that on this blog site in hopes that their stories will be heard by more than me.

This time, as a fourth year medical student and with a more clinical background, I went to work in a pediatric ward in a teaching hospital. It was really an amazing trip. I learned, and did things that I am not sure I was ready to learn or do.

I essentially acted like an intern or House Officer (HO) as they were called in Ife. The structure of the hospital is essentially the same as you have here in the states. Morning lecture or review, rounds, clinic if there is one, and ward work. There are medical students that we teach, and attendings that pimp us. On the outside, the structure is the same, but as I got deeper, I saw that it was not. So, here are the posts as they begin.

Outside view of Pediatric Ward at Ilesha

Outside view of Pediatric Ward at Ilesha

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The Start.

beginningSo, I made it. I am finally a fourth year medical student…actually I am at the end of my Fourth year. Graduation is only a couple of months away and match day is only two weeks away. Honestly, I went through hell and back to get here, but I made it. I made it with the love and support of my family, my friends and fellow students. I have only lost one person in the process, but he wanted to to be lost, so it’s alright. I lost another person at the very start of my journey, but I don’t think he is really lost. I feel him around me everyday.

Who knows how long I will be able to keep this up once I start Residency…especially intern year, but I wanted to try. This blog, like most of its kind is just to share my stories throughout my journey. I waited until towards the end of my fourth year because, lets be honest, anything else would just be me bitching. But here, I hope to share some stories, and most likely figure out how I will do all I want to do with my life.

What do I want to do?

1) I am doing my residency in Pediatrics because, as silly as it may sound to some, I really do believe children are the future. I feel that children are the most vulnerable aspect of our society and they deserve the most attention. I feel that they are the most likely to change and thus, I really believe that pediatrics is the most like field in medicine where one can truly make a difference in someone’s life.  I love it, and I could not imagine doing anything else. I can’t wait to learn just how much I don’t know and I can’t wait to fill in thoes gaps. I want to learn how I can be the best advocate for the children.

2) Under served population, both in the U.S and international – they are poor, usually don’t have any one to speak out for them, get crappy healthcare because they get crappy facilities and low end diagnostic tools after waiting forever to be seen. Also, I feel like if you get a hold of even one of these kids, and can act as a mentor for him or her, and show that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, well then, the long hours and little pay is all worth it.

3) Health Policy – I want to learn more and understand more about the healthcare system so that I can make a positive change. I want to learn how to make good quality healthcare available and affordable to everyone. I want to learn what it takes, I want to learn out to write grants, I want to be a leader in this field.

3)International medicine – Let me be specific, by international, I mean third world countries, and for now, I really mean Nigeria. Not just because it is where I am from, but for other reasons.  First, I believe that it has the potential to hang in the developed Country group; Second, the stratification of wealth is sickening; Third, it holds the largest population of black people in the entire world and I want it to succeed and I want to see it rise to its full potential; Fourth, it is an educational gold mind. Well, I could keep on going but I think that is enough for now

4) In my “spare” time I want to be a team doctor for a kid’s track team, and I want to learn more about community peds.

So yeah, its a lot and I can’t wait to see how much I learn for this experience and to see how it changes me or vice versa.

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