Today’s article focuses on a doctor’s Housemanship experience at Eko Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos.
If you enjoy these articles and would like to share your own experience, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a direct message to @mytutorafrica on Instagram and Twitter.
Hello, I am a Nigerian doctor who is currently working as a medical officer. I had my housejob experience at Eko Hospital.
The application process was actually the most straightforward application process compared to the others I applied to. It involved me sending an email with my CV & license to their company’s mailbox. They sent me an invitation to come to the hospital and pay the application fee (N10,000) when the interview was near. On interview day, we had a written (multiple-choice) exam and an oral interview with a board of their top staff after that. The oral interview involved a brief introduction of yourself (biodata, where you finished, awards, extracurricular activity), answering a medical question of their choosing and any other question they want to ask.
There is in-house accommodation for all the house officers. Everyone ideally each stays in a room which comes en-suite, however if the house officers are more than the rooms they have to pair up. It’s located in Ikeja, so it’s middle-to-high, depending on where you go to in the area.
The general tasks irrespective of postings are ward rounds, clinics and – for Surgery – theatre cases. As a house officer, you expected to be punctual at rounds, be up to date with your patient’s information, do all plans from the rounds as early as possible and be present at clinic to assist in whatever dimension each one requires. This is a general overview. Of course the duties are adjusted based on the unit, and I advise that you get yourself acquainted with a list of what you’re expected to do on your first day in each posting. Write them down. And yes, always carry a small jotter and a pen, that always comes in handy.
We were paid #145,500 monthly (after tax). Ideally it should be paid by month end, but one huge downside is that unless they miraculously change, you will most likely be owed. A lot. Housejob salary for me was a gigantic leap from pocket money I recieved as a student, so that definitely was fun to look at in my bank account lol.
The best thing about where I worked was probably the good people and colleagues I had the chance to work with. It was a tough year for me, and I’m grateful for the people who were kind & easy to work with. Dealing with HMOs (Health Management Organisations i.e health insurance) on the other hand? The absolute ghetto. Those things gave me a headache. Getting involved in non-medical aspects of patient care was also quite unnerving for me. I also disliked that there wasn’t as much intention regarding teaching standard practices as there is in public teaching hospitals. Even if there was a seminar or presentation, the house officers were too swamped with responsibilities simultaneously to even walk towards the venue. This was a major issue for me, in retrospect. I enjoy getting stimulated intellectually and updating my knowledge, so I was mostly doing this by myself. I wish there was more teaching, and I wish that non-emergency work was placed on hold while academic meetings were being held. They also didn’t have much of an accident & emergency unit while I was there, so if you would love an A&E posting, it’s probably not the best for you.
Aha! I almost forgot this important one. The call schedule can get really stressful. HOs are usually not more than 12 for the whole hospital on a good day, and 2 have to be on-call per day. Remember, this is a good day. On other not-so-good days, there may be half of little half of that. Say hello to alternate-day calls friends, and goodbye to work-free weekends.
You’re in Ikeja, right smack in the middle of town. So yes, if you want to find a place to hang out there are many to choose from. As long as your budget can handle it, forge ahead. My advice is to get acquainted and explore the area beyond what you’re used to.
See, this whole thing is basically house boy/girl life. The older doctors don’t trust you yet (for good reason) so you have to prove yourself, some of the other non-doctor staff turn their noses up at you because you’re new and make a few mistakes, you too aren’t too sure of yourself, it can be quite overwhelming. But you have to remember that you are a doctor. Not a ‘baby doctor’, a doctor. 6 years is not beans. Also, give yourself grace. You may not get it right the first time, but you will get better if you continue to apply yourself, trust me. I messed up my first IV line and venupuncture on my first day and cried in a bathroom, and here I am now, siting IVs with ease (I even enjoy them). It gets better. Remember to always call for help and ask for clarification. That is the point of an internship, you are meant to be supervised.
Be diligent always, no one likes a sloppy or lazy HO. Get your work done in time, don’t try to cut corners or run away from work, be on time to places. Be thorough, make sure you tie up loose ends before closing work. Learn to give feedback to your superiors. Develop the habit of handing over updates about patients to the team taking over from you at any time.
Would you recommend this hospital?
I would be dishonest if I reply only in the affirmative, however I have to say that this was my experience and if that is where opens up for you, please don’t use mine to judge it wholly.
Did you enjoy this post? Share with someone!
Follow us on our social media platforms @mytutorafrica on Twitter and Instagram to study connected.