With so much pride and happiness, I received the news that I had been given admission to study medicine at Babcock university. It had always been registered deep in my cerebrum from time immemorial that medicine was the way for me and to be given this opportunity was something i was really happy about. More so, given the stiff competition and bureaucracy involved in getting admission to study medicine in universities.
And then the journey began. I quickly got to know that in medical school, right from 100 level, the way the examinations and assessments are structured are done in a bid to weed out the weak students. Meaning it wasn’t just enough to be admitted to study medicine, you had to fight tooth and nail to keep your place. Knowing that those admitted to study medicine were usually top dogs at their various secondary schools, really made it one hell of a fight for survival.
I was a champion at my secondary school (Chrisland College) but at Babcock I didn’t get off to a good start. I was indeed relaxed in heart which translated to average and the occasional excellent performance in academics and I managed to scale through the first hurdle by a whisker!. That was a warning.
Apart from academics, it is a well known fact that the female folk were particularly interested in medical students. Such was the celestial pedestal placed on us that it was relatively easier to woo a girl as a medical student than as a non-medical student. However, I was never a social butterfly right from primary school so i never approached any girl and used the line but many of my colleagues were successful in the art.
I entered 200 level still somewhat shaken by the mediocre performances I had amassed in my 100 level and I determined in my heart to do better. 200 level alas was very very much harder than 100 level. Not that I didn’t put effort but the difference between studying anatomy, physiology and biochemistry and studying physics, chemistry and biology was crystal clear. Reading wasn’t optional. Seriousness wasn’t optional. The bulk of work was enormous and I wondered what had I gotten myself into!. Imagine thinking that when I was just in 200 level at such an embryonic stage of my medical school.
Adjusting wasn’t easy, I didn’t have time for anything else apart from academics and yet it wasn’t showing in my scores. Imagine reading hard for a test with so much vigour and vitality only to see you got 57 over 100!. To the average student who is serious that score would seem very much basic but in medical school getting above 50 is a thing of joy. Such is how hard it was to get 50(Pass mark).
Then came something called MB, a term seasoned medical students are familiar with.MB is no ordinary exam. It’s an exam that tests you mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. My first MB came in my 300 level and all I had learnt from my 200 level to 300 level would be tested. This was the 2nd hurdle to be crossed and this hurdle was a mountain. If I survived my first hurdle by a whisker, how would I avoid being crushed by such an ominous looking mountain. I had heard that many have run mad, many had been thrown into depression following preparation for the MB, during the MB or most commonly after the MB when results would be out.
I formed strong friendships with some guys in my class with similar visions, we studied and climbed and with God we scaled through this mountain. The day of the result coming out was a day of mixed feelings. Initially the feeling of anxiety which even the most confident person did little to hide followed by a feeling of fear as initially I didn’t see my number on the list and then a feeling of pure joy and ecstasy as I saw my number. A feeling of pure triumph. An orgasmic feeling! And then followed by a feeling of hurt and disappointment as some of my friends had to repeat the year. That means repeating the year with the junior class and paying school fees all over again. That was a serious blow to progress in life and the individual is at crossroads on what he or she wants to do with her life. Continue with medicine ? Or leave medicine all together? In my happiness at my result I had to be careful not to be insensitive to the fallen warriors.
Now I had gained sufficient knowledge and experience in this never ending journey of medicine and I entered 400 level with renewed deal and vigour.