In this interview with Punch Newspaper, Joy OmuboA best gratuate from the Department of medicine talks about what she feels about N250 reward for being the best in paediatric and what attracted her to Medicine.

What informed your decision to study medicine or was that your dream as a child?

The decision to study medicine was one I made by myself at the early stage of my academic career. I knew I wanted to make significant contribution to humanity, and I saw this profession as a good way to do that. Also, I discovered I was better in biological sciences which served as the foundation for my medical career. From that point, the passion became stronger and the vision became clearer. So, those were the things that informed that choice. Medicine is voluminous, but it’s a nice and interesting course. You have to cover your basic sciences like Biology, Chemistry and Physics, then proceed to Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry. In your clinical years, you go through Pathology, Pharmacology, Paediatrics/Child Health, Obstetrics/Gynaecology, Preventive and Social Medicine and then Internal Medicine and Surgery. You’ll spend a minimum of six years to go through these departments and somehow it still doesn’t feel sufficient considering what is expected of you and the time frame available.

With all these stages to go through, were there times you were despaired of moving on?

Sometimes, I became afraid, but when I remembered the decision I made from the outset, my fears became transformed into motivation. I chose to ‘Face Everything And Rise,’ an acronym for FEAR and that was my own way of tackling it. Medicine and Surgery as a course has its special requirements, so, to excel or have an excellent result, you have to be willing to make sacrifices. Going the extra mile is not an easy step to take, however, anyone who dares to would discover that it’s not crowded up there. It wasn’t easy but I was willing to give it my best and that made the difference. For academic excellence, I believe there has to be a conscious decision made from the beginning and this decision will be relived on a daily basis. There are challenges in medical school; there are times one would be exhausted physically, emotionally and mentally. Sometimes, you might get to the point you just want to quit and redirect your dreams in another discipline, but you won’t let the numerous challenges that come with life overwhelm you. So, I didn’t have the time to be struggling with doubt or indecision. Success depends on a balanced interplay between that decision and hard work; I worked hard and I remained consistent. No magic tricks and no cutting corners. To be successful at anything, you would have to work hard.

Did you see it coming that you would be the best in that course or were you surprised when you were named?

The award didn’t come as a surprise as I was already aware. For medical doctors, following our graduation, (by that I mean successfully concluding our professional exams), we are registered by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. An induction ceremony is conducted where our provisional licences are given to us and best graduating students are usually recognised. I was already recognised at my induction in 2015, so the recent convocation recognition didn’t come as a surprise to me.

You made the headlines when it was announced that you won the cash award of N250 given by the Paediatrics Association of Nigeria. How did you feel when you received it?

About the cash prize, I’m grateful for the gesture. I do not feel entitled to anything and nobody actually owes me anything, so I don’t feel sad. I would always be grateful for everything I got and anything it brings to me in the nearest future. I appreciate my lecturers especially the paediatricians because without the knowledge they imparted in me, I wouldn’t have achieved this. I’m also grateful to UNIPORT for giving me the platform to achieve my dreams. The cash reward was inconsequential to me because following this award, I was already recognised at my induction ceremony and the smile on the faces of my family members and friends made the entire journey worthwhile. The Chief Medical Director, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Prof. Aaron Ojule, also offered myself and 24 of my colleagues immediate placement for internship. The Association of Resident Doctors gave us a warm reception upon our resumption of internship as well as gifts to celebrate our achievements. So in all, I’m actually very grateful.

Were you given cash or a cheque?

I was given cash.

And have you had offers from persons or individuals?

Yes, some persons were moved to top up the amount I was given. Those gestures meant a lot to me than I can possibly explain. Thanks again for everyone that reached out to me. God bless you all.

What were your early days like as a medical student?

I did one-year remedial programme when I wasn’t offered medicine, and fortunately, I was among the top five out of over 1,000 candidates. It was a wonderful experience. During that programme, we always looked up to undergraduates to share in their experiences and advice. At some point I had to develop a mental filter to sieve information because everyone seemed to have an opinion on medicine and they weren’t always pleasant, so I had to decide what information I needed to save to avoid unnecessary fears. Most persons had a very bad impression about studying medicine and some would even give up before starting. Despite the negative comments, I chose to remain focused and surprisingly in my first year, I had straight A’s in my second semester giving me a GPA of 5.00. My result inspired me and others, and that alone is satisfying.

Was your schedule all about reading, because people talk about how tedious the course is?

I made sure I balanced everything. I had no calendar for reading, sleeping or doing other things. I just focused on what worked for me. While reading, there’s a difference between flipping pages and actual studying. I did more of studying, in line with my capacity. I could go from not opening any book in two days to studying for 10 – 12 hours in a day. I knew my strengths and weaknesses and I used both to my advantage. Once I make a decision on what I want to achieve, I follow it through until it’s achieved, so I didn’t need anybody to coerce me into anything. When I think of my parents I want to give my best to make them proud. But, honestly, a good part of my free time was spent sleeping. Other times, I saw movies and read motivational literature. I was an active member of my fellowship, Christian Medical and Dental Association and I was privileged to serve as the Financial Secretary for two years. I also enjoyed the conferences, outreaches and other programmes, especially the drama sessions because I participated in most of them.

What are your hobbies?

I love sports. I watched all kinds, including football, sometimes. I’m a Chelsea fan. Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo are my birthday mates so I love them too. Growing up, I was good at track events and I know that energy can be rebuilt anytime necessary.

Read Also: DELSU should recalculate my CGPA, I can’t graduate with second class lower –31-year-old Alumnus, Ifeanyi

Are there things you would have loved to do as a student that you could not do?

I would have loved to travel, explore different environments and learn new cultures. However, that opportunity hasn’t been available, but it’s still on my checklist.

What are the basic ingredients of success?

To have excellent results in any discipline; first you have to make a decision never to give up no matter the challenges because they are inevitable. Then, you have to be willing and prepared to put in hard work, and most importantly, be consistent.

SOURCE: PUNCH.           

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