Today’s article focuses on a doctor’s Housemanship experience at University College Hospital, Ibadan.
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My name is Tolu. I did my housemanship at UCH Ibadan and concluded in January, 2021. I currently work as a medical researcher, musician and a creative.
Just before entering housemanship…
First you need to understand that the way the country is wired is in such a way that for most things to work, you may have to ‘go through someone’. Just have that at the back of your mind. It will save you a lot of mental stress especially if you are from a background where you really don’t have leverage (what they call ‘leg’).
So know what you want to get out of housejob before setting out. Housejob is only the ignition to actually start your career. A lot of life decisions are moulded during this period. You will learn a lot and unlearn so many things.
Some want to do their housejob in a place where they can learn all the stuff, the crème de la crème of management of diseases and where they can see the big cases… usually teaching hospitals and federal medical centres.
Some just want to get hands-on learning so that they’ll be able to have performed certain procedures which they would otherwise not have performed if they did their housejob elsewhere… usually General hospitals and State hospitals
Some just want to chill or perhaps have enough time to do other stuff like writing exams, applying for foreign programmes etc… usually centre-dependent
Whichever way, it all depends on you as person and how well you plan towards housemanhip. I worked in a teaching hospital, but still performed quite a number of procedures and operated a functional music/media studio whilst still doing business. That is some real grind there though!
Also understand that most centres will be busy. There are very few places that are totally chilled places to do housejob. There will be some point where you will be stretched to limits.
Let me hold on that.
To apply to anywhere, you’ll need to have your provisional license and registration, CV, letters of recommendations and a letter of application at the least. Other documents may follow too… but don’t forget the power of leverage… you know what it’s called.
Things may change however if MDCN starts posting houseofficers to places for their housemanship.
For where I did housejob(UCH), an interview is not usually done, unlike some other centres. You’re chosen according to ‘leverage’, need for houseofficers and merit.
Accommodation is a great problem in my centre because the spaces are not enough to accommodate all houseofficers. You’ll find houseofficers who are 6 months into housejob still waiting for accommodation. But like I said, if you have ‘leverage’, use it… it works!
Or else plan to get a place around or squat with a friend. This centre best requires that you live in the hospital or at least a stone throw from there.
Cost of living in Ibadan is generally fair… It is not too different in the hospital. However, you can always plan for living. I had subscriptions for feeding and laundry, but you can easily choose what best suits you.
Now to the job…
For housemanship here, just have it at the back your mind that your job description is flexible. It can range from the most ridiculous errands to what is actually expected of you.
You will do work meant for other health professionals, you will chase blood like witches and wizards for patients and chase investigation results alike, you will do errands that hospital maids and janitors should do sometimes… like wheeling patients, wheeling machines etc.
You will overwork. If you’re religious, have a good support system, or your church/mosque people will think you have backslid… which can actually happen.
You will be stressed out and very few people will ‘notice’ you, even when you sincerely just want to help. You may be shouted on and made to feel miserable sometimes.
But you have to keep your head in shape… No do pass yourself, nothing go happen.
YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IS HIGHLY IMPORTANT.
This statement above is the only statement in full capitals and it’s because it’s so important! Don’t let anyone mess with your mind. Keep your head high.
Have fun when you can, make friends, go out, build healthy relationships, even with senior colleagues… you go need am o.
The salary is not something I can really explain at this time because of the ongoing adjustments by MDCN being made to the salary structure. But expect an average of N170000 per month.
But spend wisely and save. I had a plan for my money, so I did not exactly save much. I invested into assets. The idea is not to ‘blow’ the money on ephemerals. There may be points when you’ll be owed salary for months too. It can be derogatory to go begging for money… you don’t want to know what it’s like.
I don’t have any best experience. I have good experiences however… a number of them.
There were many bad experiences too. One was when I lay down exhausted (at 2am) and slept off (for about 15mins) in the open, on a bench in front of blood bank waiting for blood bank to give us blood for a patient who was at the brink of death. The patient survived… and that was the only rest I got till the next morning… housejob huzzu continued that morning o.
If you’re going to do housejob here, you cannot not prepare for it. Don’t crowd up commitments at this time. Have a watchlist of what you want to gain from this 1 year period and fit them into your housejob. Like I said, I did a lot during housejob… and I planned for them.
Write exams too! Especially if you’re going to japa. I had friends who had their Plab 1 during housejob already. I had one who already had his Plab 2 ( had been writing before housejob though).
Not everybody will leave the country, but be wise in everything you do. Some things are pretty obvious already in Nigeria, so be wise.
Places to hang out?
I’m not good at that. I was either making music/media at my studio, making sales or watching tech reviews on youtube… I’m boring right
But there are some really good eateries in Ibadan… Café Chrysalis, Oliver’s Café, Golden Tulip (the 7pm buffet here make sense), Amala Skye (very fingerlickin’ amala…lol) etc.
Whether to do housejob here or not?
My frank advice to anyone is to do the damn thing where you can and get ahead with life. Don’t waste time waiting for one other place or something.
All the best!
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