Entering into clinical class had afforded me quite some time to pay some strict attention to this blogosphere. Speaking of Clinical class, over here we are quite busy with the introductions to the various clinical skills. The program here is called Basic Clinical Skills and so far it’s been an experience getting introduced to the sphere where some of us might end up for years. A lot of things are fun though while some are not; the new self-adjusted clinical coats as against the former lab coats, the official or corporate attires which we have to get used to (especially having to wear a tie around your neck for hours; this is where I envy the ladies), the selfies during clinical rotations!!!!(Here I am king), the standing!!!(Some of us are still trying to figure out why we have to stand all through clinic hours, the first day wasn’t funny) and of course the learning, the skills, I mean we all want to be Doctors.
Here we have to spend a total of three days in each of Medicine, Dentistry, Surgery, Ophthalmology, Paediatrics, and Obstetrics and Gynaecology departments, and for my group we are currently in ophthalmology. There is something about that Department though, it seems every Doctor there is strict, or are just fond of the rules. The first thing that happened was that the Doctor had to scold some of us who were two, three minutes late, even when the program had not started, then we spent another set of minutes listening to the Dress Code of the University. I mean that was when I heard things like ‘Wicked Spaghetti’ for the first time. Plus it was really hilarious seeing my female colleagues with long flowing gowns well prepared in advance to avoid embarrassment.
But straight to the main issue, of all the things the Doctor Spoke about-he did talk a lot by the way- one stood out and that was his comments about inter-departmental sporting competitions in the College of Medicine. His opinion which I quite buy is that such competitions tend to stir up tensions, and draw lines between professions in the medical field that end up being detrimental to working relationships among members of the Healthcare team in the future. He compared the situation now to how it was during his time when such sporting competitions used to be ‘inter-class’ and not ‘Inter-departmental’, that means a class team was made up of students from various departments in the medical field who were in the same level, playing football, volleyball, tennis etc together and working hand in hand in something seemingly as little as sports. The mélange of various departments in a team helped to further the spirit of teamwork, mutual respect and the game was about fun and not about departmental segregation like we see today.
For me, this is very important especially now when the Doctors are at war with the allied medical professions, every department is busy fighting for special recognition over and above the health and general well-being of the patients under their care. We hear of Doctors looking down on Nurses and Nurses claiming to be equal to Doctors etc. And both parties embarking on strike actions for the same reasons. It would therefore seem that the whole department oriented competitive spirit is being fueled by such sporting competitions which sometimes involve disagreements between departments that could escalate into personal grudges against one department or another. Every department in the medical field is important, with areas of convergence and divergence, all working together for the well-being of the patient. There are even areas of convergence in our courses of study.
The more students in the medical field learn to do things together irrespective of department, especially something as seemingly insignificant as sports, the more the inter-personal relationships among members of the healthcare field would be built and team work would be very much possible in the medical field, and the more the attention would be on the patient and his well-being. The question that would then be asked after a sporting event would be ‘which team was the best’ and not ‘which department was the best’. This is something Medical students, especially student leaders should deeply consider for our own benefit and for the future of the healthcare field.
Chibuzor F. Ogamba
PS. Happy New Month Guys!!!