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My Medical School Tales


Dr Ola

Good morning and welcome back! To my blog. It’s been a very long break🤗

Today, I’ll be sharing with you the story of my journey through my medical school. The good times, the bad moments and most importantly, the difficult times.


Just like yesterday, I remember gaining admission to study Medicine and Surgery in Imo State University, Owerri for “6 years” . A supposedly 6yr program was stretched to 11 years! Five (5) extra years, without failing or repeating any class. I must share my experience, I thought to myself, hopefully it will inspire someone. Who knows?


Like every science student in college, my dream was to become a Medical Doctor. I also aspired to become a Medical Doctor; a decision that was influenced largely by my very brilliant friend and classmate in F.G.G.C. Umuahia, Linda Agalaga (of blessed memory). However, I wasn’t the I-must-be-a-Dr-or-I-die type. I kept an open mind, I had a second option in Medical Biochemistry. Which at some point, I actually preferred to Medicine, for reasons I still couldn’t understand. Thank God my choice for medicine turned out to be the right one for me

During my first year in medical school, I was young, naive, fragile, but not timid. You can’t be a Feddy girl and be timid, that was out of the question. But it wasn’t a smooth year for me. I made it through the first professional exam (MBBS) with a “50” in Physics. This particular score changed my life. Yeah, you will know why….

The initial in-course assessment exam I wrote after the first year was the first medical exam. The first year course exams were classified under the basic sciences. I challenged myself, I read, I read and I read. The result came out and I scored 79%. “I can do this then!” All it requires is time, dedication, determination and… indeed, the feeling was reassuring. Subsequently, I didn’t just study to pass, I aimed for the highest score I was capable of, always! Graduating as the best in my class remained a secondary thought. I didn’t just ever want to be under anyone’s mercy. I wanted to pass, effortlessly.


Medical school requires 5 professional exams to qualify as a medical Doctor. You must have heard us say “MB”, it actually means BACHELOR OF MEDICINE, BACHELOR OF SURGERY (MB;BS). So we write 5-MBs. This exam, according to Guiness book of Record, is the MOST DIFFICULT EXAM IN THE WORLD. Guys, really they’re! The fear of Medicine is ,was and will always be the beginning of wisdom.

Faculty of Medicine, unlike other faculties does not use CGPA. Rather the MB examination results are presented as “PASS”, “FAIL” or “DISTINCTION”
The pass mark in Medicine is 50%, while to be awarded a distinction one needs to score 70% and above; a feat that is much easier to imagine than accomplish. The MB examinations generally involve a written (theoretical) component, an oral component and, during the later clinical stages, practical clinical examination conducted by both internal and external examiners using live patients. No doubt, this exam is very difficult, however with proper planning, hard work and grace one can excel, exceptionally.


Where do I even start from? The “Almighty” paediatrics had a way of putting students on their toes. The exam is reputed to have the highest failure rate. In some instances, over 70% of the candidates could fail! Maybe because the lecturers have a passion for babies and children, making them punish severely any student who makes avoidable mistakes. Others like Pathology, Biochemistry, Surgery and Medicine all had their peculiar challenges. Oh! Grace found me… realizing how much effort we all put in for these exams and still seeing a lot of my colleagues having one challenge or the other. Truly, it’s not of he that readth or writeth, but of God that shows mercy. I have to add, provided the hard work is proportional…

This girl called Ola…

Let me brag a little… she’s this smart, fashionable, hard working, game changer, always willing to learn, industrious, skillful, innocent looking, young girl. Very very captivating, yeah. But never jokes with her studies.

Ola is an enigma, she rules her world. I always told myself, YOU MUST BE A GOOD DOCTOR. I WANTED TO BE A VERY GOOD DOCTOR. SMART. ACKNOWLEDGEABLE. COMPASSIONATE. Through out my medical school training, I met very good Doctors, very good and inspiring ones that I looked up to. I wanted to be to my patients, as they were to theirs. I also met bad ones, or rather mean ones. I learnt from all, irrespective. My goal was to be a DOCTOR. THAT WAS THE ONLY IMPORTANT THING TO ME.

Life asides being a “Medic”

No medical student in Nigeria can deny the fact that the program takes a toll on one’s social life.
On my part, I made concerted efforts at balancing my social, spiritual and academic life. Even politics. I left none unchecked.
My social life wasn’t boring. In fact, I had a way of taking a break from the stress of academics once I felt intellectually saturated. The most important thing is not to forget the reason why you’re in school, with that mindset, everything can be taken care of with proper planning. I made out time for my family too, they are very important to me.
I got involved in a lot of extracurricular activities. Politics, church activities,  skills acquisition,  personality development, etc.

Friends…

I wasn’t so lucky, I must say. I had my fair share of backstabbing, jealous coleagues masqurading as friends, who peddled heartbreaking gossip with attendant betrayal. At some point, I made the decision to stay on my own. Over 70% of my medical school years was just me, myself and I. I can’t deny the fact that this also helped me academically.

I strove through with the realization that I may not have a true friend among my mates, I had no option but to be at my best. Attend lectures, clinics, ward rounds, theatre sessions, tutorials, etc. I never missed out of my academic program. Yeah, I was a one man squad, choosing not rely on anyone for my academic progress.

However, later stage of the program, I met really amazing friends…Dr Uba Justice, Dr Chika, Dr Mandy, Dr Kenneth, Dr Peace, Dr Chidera, Dr Solomon, etc. I bless God for them🙌

R-L. Dr Mandy, Dr Chika and Dr Ola
With Dr Mandy and Dr Chika

Happy moments…

Relationship…

This part of my life is very personal and at the moment not appropriate for public consumption.

Achievements…

First, I was one time the MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN MEDICINE.

One time VICE PRESIDENT , Imo State University Medical Students Association. A position that gave me a glimpse into the true nature of human political life and how easy it is to influence others positively through change. However, this is a story for another day.

I learnt a lot of skills as a student. Wig making, graphic design, blogging, online marketing and retailing. A lot! I combined all these with my studies and, they never weighed me down. Queen!

I made this wig, I designed the dress…

Academically, I graduated with an amazing result. Looking back, I never saw myself bagging these awards. Yeah, I had always known I was a smart chap, but with the kind of “brains” we have in medicine, I made it!!! I graduated with a total of Seven awards.

Distinction in Medicine

Best in Paediatrics

Best in Physiology

Best in biochemistry

Just to mention the notable ones.

Medical school helped me in discovering potentials I never knew I had. I realized I could achieve just anything I put my mind into. Just anything. No matter how difficult the course appeared to be, I always scaled through. For me failure was never an option. Just passing wasn’t an option either. I wanted to pass and pass well….! And I did!!
I’m most grateful to God, my parents (Chief & Lolo Theodore Otis Ndukwe) and my siblings (Barr. Mrs Theodora, Officer Millicent, Engr. Eustace, Vivian and the last but not the least, Blaise-Kizito) , Lecturers, friends and relations. Thank you for the love and support. It ended beautifully. Thank you.

My parents….

Looking forward, I hope to make myself proud. I hope to be the Good doctor I’ve always talked about. I hope to be meek, kind, gentle, understanding and tolerant. I pray never to be the “bad” doctor I always criticized; I pray I don’t ever have to be in a position where I have to choose money over a patient’s life. I hope to be the role model our sons and daughters would have. I hope to write my name in the sands of time. All I ask for is for God’s direction. His purpose for me, I shall fulfil ❤❤

Dr OLA

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General

MEET DR STELLA, THE FIT DOCTOR!


Dr Stella Achimole

Happy New Year Friends.
In our first post for the year 2021, I shall be bringing you a series of interviews aimed at motivating you towards adopting a healthier lifestyle this year. Our first guest for the year is a Beautiful Medical Doctor who doubles also as a FITNESS COACH.


Dr Stella Achimole studied at Sumy State Medical University but currently works in Abuja. Her hobbies include reading and working out.
I have known Dr Stella for over 17 years!
She’s a Medical Doctor with an AMAZING AND WELL-TONED BODY; a combination of beauty and brains that many only fantasise about but indeed a reality.
We all can have a piece of her by reading this post over the next few minutes.
Sit tight and enjoy

You are most welcome Dr Stella to my blog. As a fitness Doctor, what motivated you to become a fitness Dr and how long have you been training?

I have been working out consistently for 8 years now. What motivated me? Who doesn’t like to look good? I’m a sucker for good skin and perfect health. Back then in Medical school there were girls that really worked out and I just caught the vibe. The power it attracts , the sense of knowing that after the sweat/hardwork, the results are amazing.My motto is “ LOOK 20 AT 50”

What is a typical day for you as a medical Doctor and fitness coach?

I  wake up 4:30am , pray then I run off to the gym , finish up my workout before work resumes at 8am. I am a planner so I plan my week before it starts. I have loads of shifts at the hospital so I always find a way to fix my workout program in. I arrange my meals for the week, I write down my daily workout programs for the week, I arrange my social media post for the week.

What are the different types of exercises one can do? What is the effect of exercise on weight?

There are loads of exercises one can  do . My favorites includes: squats, push-ups, sit ups with weights .            Combining exercise with a healthy diet is a more effective way to lose weight than depending on calorie restriction alone. Exercise can prevent or even reverse the effects of certain diseases. Exercise lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, which may prevent a heart attack.In addition, if you exercise, you lower your risk of developing certain types of cancers such as colon and breast cancer. Exercise is also known to help contribute to a sense of confidence and well-being, thus possibly lowering rates of anxiety and depression.

Are in Door exercises as effective as outdoor ones?

The short answer is yes. Providing you are prepared to put a little time and effort into your workout at home, it can be just as effective as a gym workout. It all depends on the individual, some people prefer to see others working out to find motivation and know that if they did not make the effort to go to the gym, then they would not bother carrying out any exercise at home. However for others, the prospect of going into a gym is daunting and therefore exercising in the comfort of their own home is much more appealing.

There’s a myth that exercise reduces breast and buttocks fats in females. Is this true?

It is still a myth–but you can tone and sculpt your backside. When you reduce your overall body fat, see them disappear but however sculpting is never difficult. Can you lose weight from just your butt?The idea behind losing weight from one particular body part is called spot reduction. The thinking goes that you can target specific areas of the body and selectively decide where the fat will disappear. But it has shown time and time again that spot reduction is as much of a myth as unicorns. That’s because fat cells are distributed all over your body,                                            Working a certain muscle group doesn’t mean that you’re going to lose the fat that covers and surrounds that muscle. However, you can still train a specific muscle group. People often use the terms “spot reduction” and “spot training” interchangeably, but they’re actually different. “One is BS, forgive my language and one can help build a booty,” Spot training is the idea that you can develop a certain muscle or muscle group by training those muscles.”

How long is one expected to exercise before the changes become obvious?


My clients always ask me “how long will it take to see results?”. And it’s a good question. Whether they want to build muscle or increase aerobic endurance to run 10K in a set time, everyone is looking for RESULTS.                                          

  Just remember that to get results, you need to do ‘regular physical activity’. This means doing at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. If you can’t, then try to be as physically active as you can in your current state of health. Any activity is good activity and something is always better than nothing.                                 Let’s go medical here let’s talk about the heart. HEART RATE – CHANGES WITHIN A COUPLE OF WEEKS.                             The heart is a muscle, and as you get fitter, it will become stronger. This leads to an increased stroke volume, which means your heart will pump more blood per beat than before. This can, in turn, decrease your resting heart rate. Resting heart rate can decrease by up to 1 beat/min in sedentary individuals with each week of aerobic training, at least for a few weeks. studies have shown smaller reductions with fewer than 5 beats following up to 20 weeks of aerobic training.  Your maximum heart rate typically stays unchanged with regular training and is more likely to decrease over time as part of the normal aging process. People who are fitter also tend to have a heart rate that recovers faster after exercise

Are abdominal exercises effective if I want to lose fat around my tummy ?

The problem with many abs exercises is that they promote the idea of ″spot training,″ aka focusing on one body part during exercise to change it. No matter how you slice it, spot training your stomach cannot get you ripped abs. ″You could do 1,000 crunches and sit-ups a night, but if there is a layer of fat on top, you will never see your abs come through,” abs are made in the kitchen,” but you can also credit genetics for whether you have a six-pack or not. Trainers are well aware of this, so exercise classes often diversify which abs moves are included for maximum benefit for all body types. As for what you can do? “Focus on full-body exercises that force you to use your entire core and burn fat and calories overall.

How safe are these exercises during pregnancyand lactation?

Gentle exercise during pregnancy keeps a woman’s body strong and better able to bear the physical stressors of pregnancy, as well as get ready for labor and delivery.
Gentle postpartum exercise, after clearance from an Obstetrician can help a woman lose baby weight and improve postpartum anxiety and depression.                                          Walking is usually considered the safest prenatal exercise option, but some women may struggle with going longer distances in their third trimester, if swelling feet and abdominal pressure become an issue. Consider finding exercise classes and fitness choices specifically geared toward pregnancy, such as prenatal yoga, swimming or water aerobics. If you are healthy and you are not experiencing complications in your pregnancy, continue this level of activity throughout pregnancy, or until it becomes uncomfortable for you to do so.
Be guided by your doctor, physiotherapist or healthcare professional.

How important is nutrition? And what are the short term and long term benefits of exercise?

Have you heard the phrase “you can’t out-exercise a bad diet,” and this is the bottom line when it comes to maintaining a healthy body. Nutrition and exercise are both important parts of losing fat and gaining strength. Nutritional habits will have a far greater impact on your body composition and physique goals than any other fitness component. When a combination of exercise and healthy nutrition are implemented is when successful body change happens. So here you go.     

  Thanks for having me Ola.

You are welcome! And Thank you Dr Stella for resonating the workout passion. I’m aware this has motivated a lot of us to keep fit. Of course, everyone wants a healthy and younger looking body irrespective of age.
A beautiful body boosts confidence and oozes grace.
Definitely, we’re hitting the gym this year!
It was delightful chatting with you and, we look forward to doing this again soon.

If you have any questions please drop them here. You can follow Dr Stella on Instagram @the.fit_dr