What have you heard? What have you been told? What is the myth you hold about the Ibadan Medical School? Having tasted some of its waters, should I tell you a little about it? 

The end of the 100level second-semester exams saw most of us moving from one orientation to another. We wanted to know the right things to do, to fill in where our seniors couldn’t. Despite hearing so much, some persons took further steps watching motivational speakers on YouTube, especially those who talked about how they passed excellently in medical school. With the way Strange was fond of Ali Abdaal, one might wonder if watching the guy’s video was enough to prepare for exams. One thing was certain: we wanted to do well and were never going to take chances, at least so long we had the capacity.

It wasn’t long before the corona lockdown sent everyone home. The session was expected to begin in May and hence, might not have been affected by 30 days of lockdown. However, days of waiting turned into months of anticipation, then speculation and finally exhaustion. Quite a couple of persons especially at BOGA made use of this time to study and cover up the syllabus. The aim was simple – by the time school resumed, they’d be so used to everything that it might just be a revision class for them.

The long Corona break is seen bringing out talents from amongst class members. Shoneye Michael, known by all as Marco, started a YouTube channel where he taught Medicine to medical students and the general public. His popular video on finishing Keith Moore in one month made waves among medical students and doctors alike all over the country. Later, Olasukanmi Wealth, Eze Peace and Emmanuella Asogwa would also start YouTube channels. Several classmates also volunteered for different programs and organizations.

The average medical student hopes against all odds that medical school will have its round and someday come to an end. It was in the same way that the long break came to an end and a new session began. The 2K21 class now the new 2k22 class were faced with a new normal. For the first time, classes would be online, and students wouldn’t be accommodated on campus.

Many found the online lectures interesting and comfortable, as it reduced the stress of having to prepare for classes and probably walk to school as is the usual morning routine. Yet, some peculiarities made it particularly unfavourable for both students and lecturers. For one thing, lecturers were used to the traditional method of delivering the lecture physically and so this pattern left little time for interaction. There was also the issue of erratic power supply and the cost of data for the online classes. Coupled with the loss of enthusiasm, the attendance in class reduced gradually. 

Soon, preparations for resumption of physical classes were in progress; classes were opened and students were accommodated on campus. A lot of classes had been held and the first round of tests was approaching. Dissection and Histology practicals would begin in earnest as well. Now that physical contacts were more frequent, the realm of stuff-moving was in view. The tension was raised even more when the dates for the 1st Anatomy and Physiology CAs were announced. The efforts put into the preparations can be seen in the high pass rate in the results. 

We must have thought we’d seen it all until the full picture of medical school was made real before our eyes in 2nd semester. From daily classes to daily practicals and the 8am-5 pm schedule of Thursdays, not forgetting the bone library visitation every Monday. In the midst of this, one was meant to sit with group members to study the bones allotted to them. Nobody realised when we finished the classes on Abdomen, Pelvis and Perineum and a date was announced for the test. It was another round of tumult as we had to quit the Biochemistry CA 1 preparation for that which was imminent. And then we had to face the Physiology CA 2 that sent shockwaves through our marrow.

I’ve come to the point where I begin to wonder if there would ever be a time of rest for us medical students. “Regular” university students were rounding off their second semester exams and preparing to go home for the Christmas break while medical students were burning the midnight candle. When asked if we had an exam, we’d respond in the negative, yet we had to prepare for Biochemistry CA 1 which had almost been forgotten.

All Anatomy CAs have been taken; Physiology department isn’t done with lectures and we still have the third and fourth CAs to take; Biochemistry department is done with lectures yet they were silent regarding the undone tests as at March.

“Wild” is the word that best describes the news of our MB being proposed to hold in April. “What will become of such proposition?”, many wondered. ASUU provided the answer soon enough, embarking on a 4-week warning strike that got rolled over by an additional 8 weeks.
Right now, a majority of us have had to go home. We’re on a “break” but we dare not take a break from preparations for the next round of CAs and MB . . . or not. Hopefully, they will come out fine.
Still, an exasperated Medic.