A doctor once told a group of us medical students, “Once you decide to study and practise medicine, you may not know it, but you have dedicated your life for the lives of others”. And that’s the ultimate truth. Medicine is the practise, an art, of saving of the lives of whoever comes around us with this health problem or that other dysfunction. Some people might have chosen medicine because of the promise of job opportunities, a stable income that can afford at least a comfortable lifestyle, and so on. But while getting all these things, know that you are getting them because you have to spend a great deal of your life helping others. Some people might not truly appreciate all these, but once you get into a position where you’ve participated in the saving of someone’s life and have seen the joy upon a family member’s face, you begin to understand what saving a life is all about.
Yes, we all know about the stress in clinical school – increased size of books to read, clerking and following up of patients, getting to class by 8am and hoping to leave by 5pm or later depending on your posting (rarely ever earlier). Some have testimonies of 12am. But let’s look beyond the work, I mean some of the medicine greats went through all these and some of them even gave themselves more workload. So why would you go through all these stress and decide not to give a damn? I mean come on, look beyond the stress and think, what are you truly studying medicine for?
There’s only one major mission for all this and it can’t be overemphasized. Ever.
“You never really feel the joy of medical school until you’ve assisted a doctor in saving a patient in Accidents and Emergencies”. These were the words of a senior colleague to me when he was regaling me with stories about the clinical life before I myself crossed over. Of course there are many places and ways to help, but the point made was that there is joy in saving lives. So while you might have to crash read once in a while or tell yourself that “if I don’t clerk that patient, he won’t die”, remind yourself of what you’re here for. Medicine and Surgery isn’t just a profession, it’s a responsibility – a responsibility to save lives.

Akande Michael Bolatito

Akande Michael is a a final year medical student of the University of Ibadan. He started as a blogger for Pendical and is currently pushing for greater strides for the group. He also volunteers at medical Non-Governmental Organizations in order to promote healthy living among people in his community. His hobbies are reading novels (mainly fantasy, science fiction, and crime thrillers), singing, writ- ing, and playing football. He does all these while still going through the rigours of medical school. He likes helping people and hopes to meet the needs of very many people through his course of choice. He is the third child out of four, because of which growing up was a big struggle.

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  1. “Once you decide to study and practise medicine, you may not know it, but you have dedicated your life for the lives of others.”
    “Medicine and Surgery isn’t just a profession, it’s a responsibility-a responsibility to save lives.”
    Motivated and inspired.

  2. Pingback: Memoir of a Medic

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