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WHAT YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE LEAVING MED SCHOOL!


EPISODE 1 by Kayode Kuku MB;BS

How ironic is it that after spending nearly a decade in the fore walls of medical school, medical graduates leave school and yet remain bereft of information that are crucial to them succeeding in the real world.





The truth remains that there are as many reasons people enter into medical school to study medicine as there are to choose whether or not to practice the profession following graduation. Many medical students commonly state that their "passion to help people and a desire to save lives" led to the decision to study medicine following high school, and many indeed confess to have found themselves in medical school as a result of parental influences and pressures, while others just loved having the "Dr" title before their names. Whatever may have been a medical student's reason for ending up in this selfless profession, I have always believed that making the best use of the medical degree is extremely important, as is having success and fulfillment as an individual, beyond the sacrifices along the way.

This conviction has led me to closely observe the lives of "happy" and seemingly "successful" older collegues as well as their probably less fortunate counterparts during my soujourn through medical school and few years of practice. I am forever seeking answers to burning questions (medical school did teach me to question situations!) ; questions like "what makes this doctor different from others" , "what did he know that others didn't", "what leverage did he attain and at what level in his career" , what drives this "extra-diligent" and ever-radiating resident doctor in this manner, and many more similar questions. I have fortunately been able to find some of the answers over the years, answers that medical school and it's laborious course work may not have provided to even the most studious of medical scholars.

I strongly believe that these are subjects that every medical student (and even resident doctor) would benefit greatly from considering keenly prior to "swearing the Physician's oath or throwing that fancy induction party. 





THE WHAT'S!

NUMBER 1!
WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM MEDICINE: This is perhaps the most integral question, everyone leaving medical school or infact anyone who already has left medical school should have a clear answer to. Truly, everyone wants riches, wealth, fame, a good life and all those lovely things, but it's important to figure out the "IF and HOW "Medicine" can provide you with some of those things, for example. Consequently, knowing the answer to this question will to a great extent help you decide on the following 2! ; 

i.Whether or not to stay in the medical field altogether (if all you wanted from Medicine was the Prestige of being called a "Doc" or the Title "Dr"),  ii.The level you wish to attain in the Medical profession. *That actually makes it "3" Questions to start with!

NUMBER 2. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO GIVE TO THE MEDICAL PROFESSION: 
Over the years I have met great individuals who have contributed immensely to Medicine, probably more than the medical profession has given to them. I have seen and heard of Medical practitioners who consistently give " even a little more than their all" in providing quality care to patients and training younger colleagues; men and women who never take for granted the privilege of caring for precious human lives! Do you have something to give to Medicine? Either through your passion for clinical practice or your love for humanity? Or Perhaps, you wake up each day with a burden to see research breakthroughs in cancer treatment or some other aspect of medicine. Do you worry about health policies and systems in your home country or on a global scale? What Do You Have To Give To Medicine? What burdens do you have ?

These first 2, should probably be pondered on deeply before we begin to look at some of the other things a "new medical doctor" has to have figured out clearly very early in his/her career.
Now , lets look at another important "WHAT!,


NUMBER 3. WHAT ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE TO ME WITH MY MEDICAL DEGREE:
This is a question many medical graduates fail to ask or are probably too lazy to find out or are rather content with knowing only about a path threaded by some senior colleague because he/she didn't have so many choices at the time. The obvious Truth is that- THERE ARE DIVERSE OPPORTUNITIES AND CAREERS ACCESSIBLE TO YOU VIA YOUR MEDICAL DEGREE!". Gone are the days when, Doctors belonged in the hospitals and clinics, there are diverse opportunities opening up in the areas of healthcare management and administration, public health, research, medical journalism and even medical architecture to mention a few. Additionally, Clinical practice remains attractive, with diverse sub-specialities being carved out as the medical world continues to seek mavens in every field. Interestinginly, searching out such opportunities and the medical field you would love to ply your trade has been made easy by the internet. There is simply no excuse to settle for what our Fathers (with due Respect!) settled for. Liberate your mind and make the best of your medical degree. GET TO WORK!

End of Episode 1..

CLICK HERE FOR EPISODE 2 ; LIFE AFTER MEDICAL SCHOOL

Glowing Tribute to my teachers and mentors at the Lagos State University College of Medicine, Lagos, Nigeria

Kayode Omowale Kuku MB;BS
drmowalekuku@gmail.com



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