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Housemanship Chronicles || My Medicine Posting Experience.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017
Back on my housemanship in Nigeria chronicles - Yesterday was "officially" my last day as a house officer in the Endocrinology unit of the Department of medicine, LUTH and it feels so good to be leaving. Although, officially in quote because I still have a two weeks extension to spend there sometime in the future but that's a story for another day.

In case you're new around here and wondering what this housemanship of a thing is or what a house officer means, I've explained all that here and also blogged about my first three months of my housemanship experience in LUTH here.

Ah Medicine! How do I go into my medicine posting experience. I'll just start by saying it was real.
Most people get confused when I say I'm in medicine posting because isn't it generally called medicine? Well yes, but here's the thing - So it's called Medicine and Surgery as a whole with various sub branches including (internal) medicine. We get to rotate through that and the three other branches - OnG, Surgery and Paediatrics spending three months in each and a month of external posting.

Now, internal medicine also has its own sub branches - there are the people that deal with the heart (hypertension, heart failure and co), the lungs (TB,asthma and co), the kidneys, GIT  and there's also the endocrinology unit that deals with hormone issues like diabetes, thyroid problems etc.
I was a bit apprehensive when I got to the department to find out where I'll be getting posted to. I was hoping/praying for a unit that won't be so busy so I'd have time for my other life here but noooo, I got posted to the endocrinology unit (only the most stressful and malignant unit in Medicine everrrr). At first, I didn't know what I was getting into. I had no idea why people kept looking at me with pity when I said I got endo but I was quick to find out. Haha.

On my first day, I got a one month extension. No, I didn't kill anybody or disrespect anyone or do anything really drastic. That's just the endocrinology unit for you. Extension (which is kind of like a punishment - you get to work extra days/months depending on how long you get without pay) is just a second nature for them. It's like that Oprah Winfrey's show - You get an extension, he gets an extension, everybody gets an extension!

In the Endo unit, we get to see a whole lot of diabetic patients with complications - hyperglycaemia and diabetic foot ulcers. Especially the foot ulcers! They come in flocks so we were never short of patients. We had them in every ward and it seemed like we had a new admission every other day.
DMFS(diabetic foot) is such a nasty thing that I don't wish on anyone. It takes ages to heal if it's just the minor stage and it can lead to amputation if it's gone past the stage where it can still be managed. Most diabetic patients that come with these complications are usually those that stop taking their drugs regularly or just stop taking it completely. Drug compliance is a major problem with patients so let me just use this medium also to beg you all that happen to have diabetic relatives. Please try to ensure that they take their medications seriously. 
Endo was stress! Having to work long hours, be on call everyday at some point and then have the fear of extension coupled with all that wasn't an easy feat. The good thing though is that it is such a hands on unit and since we basically do all the work - correcting all the hyperglycaemias and hypos - having to give insulin shots hourly and recheck their blood glucose levels sometimes till the early morning, I got to learn how to manage those complications without having to rely on the senior doctors so much. Knowledge is a super cool thing, you know? 
I know a couple of people thought I was going to break down lol but I guess I showed them that I'm not as weak as I look. Also, the mind is an amazing thing plus we humans can adapt to anything we decide to. It's all about your mindset towards it. Mine was - I've got to do this regardless so I better just put my back into it, try to stay out of trouble and get it done as soon as I can. Too bad, that didn't erase my extension sha lool.

My colleagues weren't as fun as or as sympathetic to my cause as a blogger by helping me take pictures like my OnG colleagues but we all thrived together well.
At this point too, let me just add a quick shout out to my senior registrar who might probably never see this : Dr Yusuf Bashir! Thanks for being the realest MVP in the Endocrinology unit. For always sticking your neck out for house officers and for being innately good.
I also did a one month stint at the guiness eye centre opthalmology as my secondary posting. Remember I mentioned that we get to do one month of outside posting? Well, I was unfortunate enough to get another equally busy posting. The positive side was that I got weekends off, didn't have to work till 12am and got most of them to check out my blog lol.  I'm not going to comment much on my Opthalmology posting so I'll be ending this post right here! 

Just like the last time, here's just a quick list of the common cases we see in both Endo and Opthalmology.

Diabetes Mellitus
a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin which helps to reduce blood glucose levels is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood. You can peep some of the symptoms and complications in the picture of a chart above. 

Glaucoma : is a group of eye diseases which result in damage to the optic nerve and vision loss. It is usually due to increased introccular pressure and family history is an important riskfactor. If anyone in your family has glaucoma, go to the Opthalmologist so you can be screened too. 

Cataract : 
a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque (the small black circle in the eye becomes whitish) , resulting in blurred vision. It's commoner n elderly people but can also be found in babies (congenital).
Congenital cataract is an emergency so if you happen to know anyone with a baby born with a whitish speck in their eyes, let them know they have to get to the hospital quickly.

Pterygium : 
is a non cancerous growth of fleshy tissue on the conjunctiva, the clear tissue that lines your eyelids and covers your eyeball. It usually forms on the side closest to your nose and grows toward the pupil area.
I start my surgery posting tomorrow and I'm just praying/hoping I don't get another malignant posting. I should probably share it on my instastory tomorrow so let's be friends on instagram : @cassiedaves.
Also peep some of my housemanship chronicles with the hashtag #cassiedaveshousejobchronicles 

Please let me know if there's any extra details you'll like to know for my subsequent housejob chronicle posts! 
If you're a doctor (medical) currently doing your housemanship or already done, I'll love to know what hospital you're working in and also read about your own experience so please leave me a comment.
And let's connect!

P.S - Took these pictures with my infinix hot S. Check out my review of the phone here.
P.P.S - Check out other posts in my med diary here. And as break down of some of the med life terminologies like senior registrar here

20 comments on "Housemanship Chronicles || My Medicine Posting Experience."
  1. This is beautifully curated Cassie. All the best with surgery :)

  2. I read this and it was like deja vu. I haven't even started rotations yet. I did just two weeks of observerships. On diabetics and hypertension day which is every thursday i lamost fainted. I was light headed and tired from standing for almost 5hrs straight. Apparently the world isn't lacking patients in this area. I didn't see the diabetic foot but I saw a woman had already been amputated. So much fun to read, good luck in your next posting.

  3. Cassie, I am a long time fan and ardent reader of your blog and I did like you to know I like the way you infuse 'fun' and style into your profession. It's super cool! With you medicine feels like a stylish profession, if there is anything like that lol.

  4. I'm happy for you. I wish you the best in surgery. Also, I'm stealing your tally of 7s to countdown my godforsaken unit.

  5. aww the joys and woes o being a doctor.
    I was at Luth in January bcos of a family emergency and I think I saw you twice but my mind was on other things.
    wish you luck in your future posting(s)
    You make medicine look so cool btw!!

  6. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. LUTH struggle can be so real, its amazing.
    Wishing God's best in surgery. No matter what, Jeremiah 29: 11 still got you girl!

  7. Eeek! I definitely don't regret not pursuing medicine, as I originally intended. But thank God you've been able to get through your housemanship so far. It's not easy, but imagine the feeling when you're finally done!

    Woot woot to you!

    Berry Dakara Blog

  8. Aww Well done dear and best of luck with Surgery!


  9. "It's like that Oprah Winfrey's show - You get an extension, he gets an extension, everybody gets an extension!" LMAO I can totally wait to get to the house job struggle. But so far, looks like you're steady killing it. Goodluck with your surgery posting and i'm looking forward to reading about it.

  10. Interesting post, cassie

  11. That moment when people feel nothing but pity for you but you decide to prove them wrong. Keep pushing. God bless people like Dr Bashir for making housejob life less traumatic

  12. I'm reading this and getting palpitations about my house job that will start this year ����.
    God is our strength sha ���� You go Dr Cassie!

  13. "No, I didn't kill anybody or disrespect anyone or do anything really drastic."
    That part burst my brain 😂😂
    I know first hand or should I say second hand. My elder brother also did his Housejob @ LUTH.

    It wasn't funny at all and they're yet pay him his outstanding salaries.

  14. I can't wait. I would be starting my internship next month

  15. .....And my comment disappeared.

  16. Extension on the first day?

    I did housejob 5/6years ago and Medicine was my least liked posting.
    I ws in Gastroenterology unit.

    I pray your other rotations are less malignant.

  17. Congrats on finishing strong in the endo departmet and God's favour as you go to the surgery one. I really tried to understand all the medical "jargons" even though you explained it really well. I think you'll be a great medical teacher.

    Moma's Healthy Hair Journey

  18. Congratulations!! I’m sure you’re gonna conquer surgery xx

    Do hygiene right

  19. Whaooo...Pele! That Oprah's part got me cracking sha... I hope your Colleagues at Surgery would be sympathetic to help with pictures. I hope you enjoy your new posting and no more oprah's

  20. Kudos to you Dr.

    This post was beautifully curated.


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