A soon-to-be alumnus of the Benjamin S. Carson School of Medicine, Babcock University, these words sound surreal. I cannot shake off the joy welled up in my heart – joy from the unbelievable fact that it is almost over! The clock is ticking, and like a time bomb, my heart is about to explode with joy. These six years shaped me into who I have become; I can indeed say they were my formative years.
The first year made medical school seem like the alphabet – it got me feeling all good with myself. Little did I know that I was just in pre-med. Back then, I could go about hanging out with people. I even got a four-month break after the first year. I thought to myself, “Pfftt, medicine is easy after all”. Then like a wild storm, second year hit me “boom!”. Till date, my second year stands out as my worst year in medical school – the year I was so lost, trying to find my bearing. The first in-course assessment came, and though I didn’t fail It, I barely passed. I thought to myself, “Welcome to Medicine 101”. Gradually, I picked up. I was getting the hang of this; once I got to understand my study pattern, it did not sound so out of this world. In my 3rd year, however, while preparing for my Part 1 Medical Board exam, I had lots of lows, frustration from the thought that this was the life I was resigned to. That phase of my life passed rather quickly. I got into clinical class, became a big girl. When I walked around in my scrubs, I did not need to introduce myself – my appearance spoke for me. I walked around feeling undefeated, little did I know that Pathology and Pharmacology were about to throw its deadly punches at me. Haematology was one hell of a course; the struggle to pass it was real! I had to re-strategise. My friends and I organized a study group, and amidst the arguments, the sleepy eyes and tiredness, we made it to fifth year. Fifth year was the longest but best year of my life so far in Medical School then. In my fifth year, the pressure, though still there, was less. We did not have as many assignments or exams to prepare for; I got to understand my classmates; I got to fall in love with medicine all over again.
To say these years were easy, would be a blatant lie, but I had a strong support system. First off, God held me up every step of the way. My parents were ever-supportive, making sacrifices for me on a daily basis; and my friends too helped me along this path in my quest to success. The road was rough, but I did not dwell on the hitches because I stood on solid ground, given the support I had around me. Medical school taught me to be resilient, to grow a tough skin. I learnt how to work with people with all kinds of personality. Medical. School does not just teach you how to save lives, it imparts survival skills and provides a ‘holistic education’.
In retrospect, I would do it all over again if I had to. I cannot put a price on the height of maturity I have attained and the quality of relationships I have built. At the end, it was worth the while. As I get ready to take a bow, I dare say “it was thorough while it lasted”.
Written by Ojima Alabi, final year medical student.