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Ifeoluwa Odedere: Illusions…The Doctor’s Lost Dignity

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dreamstime_l_33292090Recently I stumbled across the Instagram handles of some Nigerian pilots and  I must say that they were really fresh. I was awed by their sense of swag. It reminded me of those times when I wanted to be a fighter pilot growing up. The interesting thing I realized about pilots is that you don’t see any of these funny memes about ‘Love a pilot, it’s healthy’ or ‘Pilots stay awake all night so you can land safely in Afghanistan’ and other kinds of sentiment being peddled by different professions. I suppose there are some things you don’t engage in when you have a healthy self esteem – which brings me to the real topic of discussion.

The mention of self esteem reminds me of those who are supposed to be the crème de la crème of the society – Medical Doctors. Many Nigerian parents will give their last drop of blood to see their precious little ones become a doctor. Why?you might ask. Well it’s because Medicine is considered one of, if not the only, elite professions anyone can aspire to in Nigeria.
At least that’s what the society seems to believe. How else can you explain people waiting at home for 3-4 years just to gain admission to study Medicine? Or how do you explain the high cut-off score for Medicine in most universities?

Back to the issue of self esteem, have you ever wondered why doctors (and other health workers) periodically flood your timelines and updates with memes that made you feel like you had less to contribute on this earth? Why don’t pilots do the same? This post is an attempt at answering that question.

Enter the intern, popularly known as House-officer.
The House-officer, by virtue of his position is at a level higher than the other members of the health team, excluding his superiors of course. Owing to the famed rigors of Medical School and the intense internship training that follows, the House-officer is expected to be well equipped to lead a Health Team comprising of nurses and other paramedicals. Well, it turns out you find just the opposite. The House-officer is actually at the bottom of the Hospital food chain, far above below maids and porters.

What he is not told during induction is that his role profile resembles that of a glorified errand boy, with the luxury of a white coat. On any typical day, the House-officer is usually seen carrying a bag or a knapsack of some sort, not because he is such an avid consumer of medical knowledge, but because he has evolved into the biological equivalent of a logistics system. If he is not carrying a bag, then he has a bulging ward coat pocket.

What exactly is the doctor carrying in his bag or pocket? It turns out he is carrying in his bag a collection of syringes, lab request forms, patient continuation sheets and sample bottles. Why is he carrying all these? Simple. The hospital printing press for some reason doesn’t supply enough papers to be used on ward rounds and for the same unknown reason, disposables such as gloves, syringes and intravenous access sets are readily unavailable. This leads to rationing of materials by nurses so that on any given ward round, there are not enough materials to see the medical team through its patient visits.
Since the nurses can’t manufacture hospital materials, the solution therefore, as deemed fit by the House-officer’s superiors, is to saddle the newest member of the medical family with the responsibility of providing the missing items. Left with no other alternative, the House-officer, who is supposed to be the pride of the community and a leader in the making, becomes a scavenger perambulating the corridors of the hospital in search of paper, syringes and other materials that the hospital has failed to provide. In doing this, he has to employ a variety of skills such as cajoling, begging and even shoplifting in order to get materials from the nurses.

But it doesn’t end there. His unofficial duties see him take multiple visits to the blood bank to, you guessed right, beg for blood for his patients – a task meant for errand maids. Here he is kept waiting by the lab technician who may be busy having her lunch or just simply does not want to be disturbed. Then the House-officer, partly moved by his patient’s plight and partly driven by the fear of being labeled incompetent by his superiors, starts to plead with the technician to do what she was already paid to do. Eventually the pint of blood is released to him and he clutches to it with the tenacity of Smigel holding my precious. Other menial tasks fit for student nurses such as recording pulse rates, respiratory rates, body temperature and blood pressure become part of his daily routine because, as the excuse goes, the nurses cannot be trusted! In the end, the House-officer spends well over 70% of his time in the hospital running errands, virtually all of them unrelated to his training either as a doctor or as a leader of the health team. In fact, his KPIs are almost entirely based on how efficiently he runs these errands. Little wonder the health sector is so pathetic and doctors sometimes don’t reflect the prestige and dignity associated with the profession. How can they aspire to innovative thinking when they are entangled with all that daily mess? Passing through this process repeatedly for a year is bound to reduce self-confidence levels of any individual such that the thought of being a leader becomes as distant as a morning star.

But there’s more. In some cases, it gets downright demeaning: doctors being slapped by their superiors, regularly being scolded in front of patients in the name of teaching; some are even told to wash the coats of their superiors (add wash-man to the list of duties). And the effects are now becoming apparent; nurses no longer show doctors respect, even the consultants; patients talking down on doctors. What’s more? Even the government no longer sees them as a profession worth treating with respect. It explains why they have to go on annual strikes for pitiful increases in wages. And speaking of wages, a doctor gets N5000 as hazard allowance! Every day, a doctor is exposed to a battery of deadly infections from unpredictable sources and yet an allowance of N5000 is deemed the compensation for such hazard. You may be interested in finding out if doctors (or other health-workers) even have pension or any form of insurance? Answer that question and you will understand why dignity and doctors are on parallel tracks.

If you ask me, I’ll say all of this is a reflection of the failure of the senior doctors to hold other members of the health team accountable. How on earth do you hold a House-officer accountable for the failure of other team members to do their jobs? Doctors have no business in blood banks. The nursing system leveraging on porters is supposed to take care of that. But when that isn’t done, rather than face the culprits, the senior doctors (consultants), either because of fear or mental laziness, turn to the House-officer for explanation, in some cases culminating in punishment. This is nothing but a failure to hold the right people accountable for their actions, which is why we have such a derelict health system.

Of course, there are exceptions to all I’ve said. Some consultants actually go out of their way to ensure that these House-officers learn what they are supposed to learn on the job and even go as far as ensuring they don’t engage in servant work. But these are few and far between. This behavior by majority of doctors have shown that man, regardless of his formal education and training, is mostly a product of his culture. Few people are able to rise above the limitations of their cultural backgrounds and when they do, it’s not because they studied Medicine or any other sophisticated course. It’s because they chose to.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

57 Comments

  1. dane

    June 6, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Wonderful write up.True as the gospel.

  2. Bowl

    June 6, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    I would even say the plight of the house officer is better these days considering all of ARD fight s to give him a little dignity and a better definition of his roles. I ‘d say some of these problems can be addressed by giving the medical student an orientation of who he is meant to be. That said, the senior Registrar just because he is being trained to become a consultant eats the worst shit. He is something less than than a ward maid particularly if he is in a surgical discipline . By the time he becomes the kind fucking consultant he has sustained enough comminuted fracture of the psyche to lose confidence in his person. Does any body know what it takes to pass those horror movies called fellowship exams. Anyways I saw what medical profession in Nigeria for what it was when I was in 4th year medical. School. I made my grand plans for profession and the federal government. I don’t care how many times my superiors bring me down before other health workers. How many times the fellowship exams humiliates me. I ‘m stronger and bigger than medicine and Nigeria put together.

  3. Bowl

    June 6, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    BN where is my comment.?

  4. Chioma

    June 6, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Great piece

  5. Looking4karo

    June 6, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Sigh! Couldn’t be more accurate…this is a good read. And yeah, my plight right now…
    Looking4karo.blogspot.com.ng

  6. aerosop

    June 6, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Nigerian pilots with swag be sleeping around anyhow. ehnnn if i start to talk …….

    • A

      June 7, 2016 at 12:05 am

      Who asked you now? Is that the point of this article? You stumbled upon one small goat and now we should not hear word again. Biko

  7. Nuella

    June 6, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    The writer couldn’t have put it better. This write up brings back so many memories. The health system in Nigeria needs a complete overhaul

  8. Somebody

    June 6, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    I’ll keep reading your posts, just to convince myself you’re not stupid and shallow. You decided to make every other health personnel (apart from the Dr) seem incompetent : lab technicians and nurses. I know that most of the house officers learn how to take deliveries from experienced midwives but no, only your profession is painted good. I hope the Government does better for the hazard allowances and all, the risks…

    • me again

      June 6, 2016 at 11:20 pm

      You can really see the medical selfishness through out the article. I kept on reading and asking myself, can someone truly be this ignorant in this day and age. He is bashing other healthcare professionals while disguising it as ‘let treat doctors better, because they are the leaders’. I wonder how he even got a feature on Bella naija. Oh well, I hope people are not misinformed by this article.

  9. One Day

    June 6, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Dear Mr writer,
    While I understand the crux of your argument and agree with you, what bothers me is your mindset and the foundation of your argument “doctors are the leaders of the health team…” Dont you feel that it is such mindsets that has led to the constant conflict in the Nigerian health sector. If you are proferring solutions for healthcare in Nigeria (as it seems you are in this write up), why not come from a position that would benefit all parties? or dont you think the patients benefits most when the whole health team members are satisfied.

    I am not trying to bash, please dont get me wrong. Just that, it seems you are saying doctors deserved to be treated better just because they are the head of the medical team and should be given the so called professional prestige and respect. Are you then saying that other health professionals that are not team leaders shouldn’t be given the same professional prestige as doctors? I say this because you mentioned that “nurses no longer respect them” Are doctors really better than everyone else? In more developed countries, nurses lead medical teams and are most times hospital administrators. Should we then respect them since they are the leaders without caring for the others (including the doctors). I for one would argue that doctors or rather house officers in Nigeria should be treated better simply because they are human beings and no one deserves to be treated that way.

    A lot of people would read this post and some would leave with the mindset that only doctors care about the patients while the nurses and lab scientists just “sit down and eat their food and hide medical supplies” rather than take care of the patient. I think thats a disservice to the readers. Whether it was intentional or not, this article would have been a more excellent read if you had not come from a medical supremacy (which I would reiterate again is the cause of conflict in the health sector) point of view. You could have made your point without giving the appearance that the doctor is the alpha and omega. It is everyone working together, doctor, nurses, lab scientists, physiotherapists, pharmacists and many others, everyone working as a team that would help the patients get the most out of the Nigerian healthcare system. The team and the patients are now the center of healthcare, and every contemporary solution proferred should reflect that.

    Thank you.

    • Frida

      June 6, 2016 at 11:30 pm

      There no country not one…where a nurse leads the health team when a doctor is there. Every profession is important….but it’s what it is. The sooner people accept this the better for everyone.
      Can a midwife head an obstetric unit when an obstetrician is there?
      Please let’s be truthful to ourselves biko.

    • hello from the other side

      June 7, 2016 at 5:53 am

      Dear Frida, you are making the common mistake that leadership is about having the most knowledge. That’s what doctors think. That because they spent the most time in school accumulating knowledge, they deserve to be the leaders. Leadership is much more than that. It is inspiring people. It is the ability to get people to be the best version of themselves (and consequently give the best service). Leadership is not about supremacy or isolating others. That’s the point. Also, healthcare teams should not be formed by unit, they are formed by the needs of the patient. An obstetrician can lead other obstetricians without bossing the physiotherapist around. And yes, a nurse can lead all of them. You need to really research and get more knowledge about modern healthcare. There is more than what you experience in Nigeria.

    • "changing moniker"

      June 7, 2016 at 10:06 am

      i’m not a doctor, but from watching Grey’s Anatomy, House, ER and other medical series, i can tell you for free that the nurse doesn’t lead any team. Even midwifery sef, the obstetricians are the leads.
      However, i agree with you that every member of the team is important and as such should be considered valuable and treated with respect.

    • Wizee

      June 8, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Try see Chicago med since your knowledge comes movies. Again read wide!

    • True Talk

      June 7, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      Thank you you have said my mind. imagine the pride.Nurses no longer respect doctors. May be to follow them up and down and yes sir! yes sir as we see in Nigerian films. No body in the hospital is important not so only doctors. The pharmacist, radiographers, physiotherapist, the BSC Nurses all spend 5years in the university but they are less important The maid thaparck the blood is not important, . the one that issues the card is not important. In the teaching hospitals doctors collects 50000 for harzard allowance EVERY OTHER PERSON collects 5000, where is the justice Continue bragging mr do tor. When you visit some pf them as a patient after listening to you they will go into a room counsult a book before giving you a prescription. Enough of this rubbish, grow up please, visit other countries and see how patients need is the priority.

    • oluwole

      June 9, 2016 at 12:59 am

      Well in my own little knowledge, I know dat by way of training doctors are made to be superior, other health workers dont av this privilege simply because dey re not trained to,av you ever asked yourself why doctors can handle any dept in d hosp,its because was trained too,he is trained to lead the team……..there wont b crisis if everyone know their places in a team and act accordingly…….moreover everyone is free to b a doctor.

    • sammy

      June 13, 2016 at 10:05 am

      My dear, I’m quite not sure if the reader of the article unlike the site if the one with bias mind here. If you observe closely, the writer , as much as possible tries to put the blame of the experience of the HO as these set of doctors are called, on their superiors, noting that whatever the nurses are doing as regarding the necessary materials for use for patients, is as a result of nonavailability or scarceness of resources. Then the superiors of these sets of doctors disregard this and yet expect the younger doctor to provide what he knows nothing about is production.
      In medicine, the health team is led by doctors not only in Nigeria but across the globe and this is different entirely from the work of administration which you are referring to. The CMD of any tertiary institution is merely an administrator of the whole hospital seeing to the smooth running of the institution.
      If you are chanced to experience what a house officer goes through daily in any of these health institutions,I believe you’ll understand better.
      The main aim of this article as I see it is for all to see why medical profession has lost its virtue and respect and the source of incessant industrial disharmony in the health sector not to put a profession as the most important. For the head to be successful, it needs the perfect workings of the rest of the body and so for the doctor to be effective and successful, other health care workers are needed including the porters and maids. Shikena

  10. memories

    June 6, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    Definitely brought back memories of my house job experience. It was easier to spend my money stocking up on gloves, cannula, 10ml syringes, and plain sheets and better for my sanity. Blood bank was a nightmare.
    My 2 cents: I think we need better properly documented protocols in hospitals. Where somebody’s job is their job because that’s what they are to do, not because it’s too low for someone else.
    Some of the best teachers I’ve had checked vital signs themselves. It’s not for ‘lesser’ members of the team. Student nurses like medical students are important members of the health team.
    There’s a need to recognize that every member of the health team’s contribution is essential, that’s the only way people can give their best and feel that their work is honourable.
    And while the hazard allowance is pitiful… how about the ward maids for example who get paid less and are the ones cleaning up the blood and faeces and urine and all else? Who’s fighting for them?

    • Wizee

      June 8, 2016 at 11:10 am

      You are learned. Keep your readership up.

  11. Ego

    June 7, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Doctors and IT people are the most obnoxious and shallow people. Your article confirms this. Lmao you guys and your ego though

    • Mama

      June 7, 2016 at 9:55 am

      I couldn’t have put it better. I have never seen a more selfish and prideful bunch like Nigerian doctors. Left to them the rest of us should just jump into the Lagos lagoon. They are the only ones who possess knowledge. Mtchewww!

  12. Dr on Call

    June 7, 2016 at 3:44 am

    Well written article! Perfect gospel only 2 be understood by fellow Drs or Doctors in training. It’s easy 2 call d Doctors shallow whn u have no idea the sacrifice they make to keep others alive and healthy. The bodily damage nd harm they expose themselves too. Other professions are prestigious too but the dr is the rightful leader of the health team. If una like mk una use sentiments twist common sense. I’m a doctor nd I knw what I hav seen. Whn a lab personell cnt evn understand emergency situations, u need 2 see how sluggish some can act @ d blood bank then u Aask urself, hw wld u lead d health team? Pple who wntd 2 read medicine but cudnt nd ended up in oda courses be leading d fight of hatred against Dr’s. Everything stated in ds article is 101percnt true. Well all d Dr’s go soon run go abroad, so y*all hatn on us cn go see d nurses, pharmacists nd lab tech 4 treatment nd lv d shallow nd obnoxious Dr’s alone. Who nor go nor knw. If u havnt Walkd d path of a Dr, dnt criticize. Nice write-up once again.

  13. Prideful Article

    June 7, 2016 at 5:55 am

    Look at how you made every other health professional look incompetent.. Sit down and be looking for respect. “Patients shouting down at doctors”.. No… They should lick your feet, worship you and be afraid because they are standing before the almighty doctor. The last time I checked the patient is the reason you are there. A patient is your customer and your customer is always right. You provide a service and they pay for it.. Pride is a feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by other people.. Go figure

  14. Bowl

    June 7, 2016 at 6:11 am

    @one day ,pls in which more developed country do nurses lead the health team . You people are always migrating to America to work . Go there and lead the health team.Refer to the yahala report . Even though there is a place for team management of the patient .you capitalize on the lawlessness of the Nigerian system to spew nonsense.One day, the teaching hospital setting wil collapse so the rest of the health teams can get what they want. I pity many who’s entire life and dream is being a doctor or carrying on with the aplomb of a . doctor. Everybody feels threatened by the doctor. No problem .

  15. Bowl

    June 7, 2016 at 6:23 am

    If I were a pepper seller , I would seek to be a champion there. I would want to raise the pepper selling game to another level and impact humanity in more sunny ways . The rest of the health team can sit down and keep clamoring to be leaders of health team . No problem , life goes by ,and
    a lot remains to be done life. At the end of the day your greatest achievement would be that you became CMD. I doubt if that will be totally satisfying knowing life ,and then, you would make rules asking for medical students and the rest of other health sciences student to lumped in the same class and awarded same certificates.

  16. Bukola

    June 7, 2016 at 6:53 am

    Instead of hazard allowance, everybody in healthcare system especially those in direct contact with patients or hazardous substances should have insurance paid for by their employers.
    Doctors have been heading the health sector in Nigeria for a long time and the state of our healthcare system has a lot to say whether they are doing a good job or not.
    As long as doctors don’t humble themselves, respect other healthcare providers and collaborate with them, Nigeria healthcare system will continue to decline.

  17. Nammy

    June 7, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Dear Dr.Ife, I love your article but it has a but, while its true that you might go through all you just described, you just succeded in dissing other professions and I’ll pick the nurses “Nurses no longer respect the doctors” respect is reciprocal not automatic, do you respect the nurses?

    Most doctors order nurses around and I am glad you wrote this article because the same way you feel bad about the way your superiors treat you is the same way nurses and other medical staff feel about the way you treat them
    I am not contesting the fact that Doctors are the head of the medical chain, but bear in mind that other members of the body are needed for the body to properly function- even the feet. Also bear in mind that all other professionals face challenges too.
    Lastly, I am sending this link to my mum who is a nurse and I assure you, she’ll reply you so Watch out for her comment.

  18. Temie

    June 7, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Dear Ifeoluwapo,

    Thank you so much for such a nicely written article on a controversial subject. I am more concerned about the risks health care workers take including the cleaners who we all too quickly forget about. (Thanks for your apt comment, @memories)
    What are the members of the health sector doing about this? It is high time people put aside their pride and cultural beliefs, and work together on important issues like this. And the health sector needs to move on to patient-centered care with effective leaders. It might take some time but they sure are on their way there.
    One more thing: every single member of the team is important and I think the members themselves need to realize this, and not allow feelings of inferiority influence their choices and actions.

  19. Dr. Ngozi

    June 7, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    @Bowl and Dr. Ife ,you both couldnt have said it any better. I too have seen medicine in Nigeria for what it is, not encouraging at all. Not to talk of the Governments role in all of this, thousands of unemployed doctors both at house officer and medical officer level, then when you finally get a job after so many months you’ll be receiving chicken change. All doctors regardless the level should be treated with respect, we worked really hard to get here.

  20. Dr. Ngozi

    June 7, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    @Bowl and Dr. Ife ,you both couldnt have said it any better. I too have seen medicine in Nigeria for what it is, not encouraging at all. Not to talk of the Government’s role in all of this, thousands of unemployed doctors both at house officer and medical officer level, then when you finally get a job after so many months you’ll be receiving chicken change. All doctors regardless of the level should be treated with respect, we worked really hard to get here.

  21. Abegie

    June 7, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    All u feeling bitter bcos of ‘team leader’ have completely lost his point. Will u all like to be treated and discharged by a nurse when u ar ill? Will u be happy to be treated by a team headed by a doctor or a team headed by other allied healthcare folks?? U dont hv to answr loud. If u hv ever been ill and all u had was a nurse in d hospital wtout a doctor around u will tnk diffrnt. Some of us hv been there. If u hv evet been treated by a clueless doctor u will stop and tnk and see d danger in staying silent while trainee doctors running around learning nothing!

    As 4 dos creeps d call consultants damn most of dem!Most ar Disgraceful, shameless Silly bullies. Their counterparts are writing books and publishing meaningful papers contributing to devlpmt of medsn. By in naija what happens? Most of dem jus seat on dia silly arrogant behinds and harrass and bully and shame dia profession. See all d consultants in d country yet d rich still go abroad 4 treatment. Even for effing ear problems!

    In countries whr things ar done ryt a patient walks into a hospital and get treated respectfully by consultants who know what they’re doing. Ofcos u still hv silly bullies abroad as well bt certainly not as much as u hv in dat location named nigeria

  22. loli

    June 7, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    The issue is not who leads or not. Whether it’s the doctor or not, it’s about the well-being of the patient. If we look at it that way, we will all serve selflessly and not grumble, murmur or look for who to blame for what. The Nigerian health care system as a whole has so much problems which affects both Healthcare and non healthcare staff. Anyone working in this system should be aware of this and make a personal decision to do what is right and beneficial to the patient. We hope for a better healthcare system but until then let anyone who has decided to a part of the system work selflessly, without grumbling or murmuring. Everyone who leads should have the heart of a servant. This is my opinion

  23. Ifedapo

    June 7, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    To the nurse that talked about nurses leading the medical team in more developed countries, can you give us examples please??? Movies like grey anatomy portrays what happens in the developed world.
    Someone talking about a midwife heading a delivery process, when an obstetrician is there, your midwife performs CS when the need be? We’re you taught that in your school of midwifery??? Nurses would always make the loudest noise. I am not a doctor but I have worked in the health system to know that nurses just say a lot of rubbish. More talks less actions that’s what we know nurses for . Just continue and be giving your injections and dressing wounds

  24. Laurel

    June 7, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    Nice write up, the Nigeria health system still has a long way to go, so much ignorance, each health worker do not know Their job description, or their responsibilities, DOCTORS are the head of the health team, when patients are I’ll, who do they claim they want to see In the hospital, DOCTORS, pls let’s stop all these envies, and focus on ur responsibilities, nurses are to assist the doctors, and doctors should be open to suggestions from other health workers, and we would all be an happy team

  25. bernice

    June 8, 2016 at 10:23 am

    A quick question, you are really sick and the head of the team comes in and say she’s the matron in charge and would be treating you or am the hospital administrator I would be treating you,you look around and can’t find a doctor, would you leave the hospital or you would hand your life over to the head of team which is a matron not a doctor?…let’s be real not just anybody is the head of the team. there’s a reason a doctor is put as the head of the team,lets just respect that and respect each other profession not dragging with the doctors.

  26. Brown

    June 8, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Interesting article. For the misinformed, all health professionals are important but when it comes to patient management, the doctor leads the team.

  27. Pat

    June 8, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Dr Ife, well written article about your experience. It is sadly true in Nigeria about the house officers experience. However, I understand y ppl may think there is bias in your write up. For clarity, the health team works better when there is unity and understanding of purpose. Respect indeed is reciprocal, doctors should respect nurses, lab techs and other health workers and vice versa. However, ppl saying anyone can lead d medical team are talking out of ignorance. This is not administration or politics, its life and death!. U cant tell someone with lesser knowledge about d field to lead a team. If u enter a hospital and u see a nurse dishing out work orders to d doctor, I bet u will run for your life. If every health worker in Nigeria has a sense of purpose to their duty rather than fight each other for leadership, healthcare will be better. No where, I repeat, no where does anyone other than d doctor lead d medical team. Our problem in Nigeria is greed!. All I see in d comments as usual is a sense of throwing blame at d wrong ppl!, same thing medical superiors do. Rather than see, at d heart of the write up that supplies and hands are not sufficient and blame d government and try to figure where things are going wrong, all I see is hate at d doctor’s “ego”. Pls if I were all d doctors in Nigeria, I will work towards running away to practise in another country!, even Ghana is good enough. The work for doctors in Nigeria is like death sentence and d profession is gradually dying….kudos to doctors going abroad, go and make your money and come back if u wish. All this misplaced hate typical of Nigerians is not needed!…. No equipments, no standard trainings, no support, hate, constant battle with other healthworkers buh when its time to take d blame everyone barks at d doctor and forget others exist. Its all gibberish!…

  28. Wizee

    June 8, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Dear writer.
    I will refer yout to academics…. How many of your professors possess PhD?
    Go back to your school where you were schooled wrongly to think other healthcare team members are expendable and ask them. Same healthcare members are bosses to your consultants in the University setting.
    Back to the hospital setting. Imagine if the cleaners go on strike and no one to clean the pretty humanitarian mess you constantly make in the name of working. Some interns don’t even know concept of safety in workplace as they constantly put other unimportant healthcare memebers at risk of occupational hazards. We can go on but note that healthcare is a team. A team function with parts. Read about past surgeon generals in the USA…. You will be well exposed alongside your half-baked killers called doctors.
    Finally, your degree is equivalent to first degree and sensible countries don’t make first degree holders professors in academia without MSC and PhD.

    • boloxine

      June 8, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      Doctor’s don’t get professorship by just their degree certificate. Find out what residency is and be guided

  29. Pat

    June 8, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    OP. What’s this one saying? @Wizee. Is this an avenue for bashing doctors?. Next time ure sick, when u go visit ur doctor, pls express ur disgust to him/her. Thank you

  30. omotee

    June 8, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    This article is so truthful. Everyone in the health care team is important and effective if everyone follows their job description. if you prefer someone else’s job description please go back to school, don’t just demand for it. if you are not respected, keep doing your best, very soon they will present at your office with their family, no need to demand for the respect. and by the way, don’t miss the point of the article, it’s just calling our attention the senior doctors attention to the fact that they are part of the cause of the problems we see around. Dr Ife, well done. I hope these seniors see your article.

  31. Sensei

    June 8, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    You could simply write “I’m a NIGERIAN” in an article and people will bash you. We mostly need to learn to read and seek to understand articles not jut read for the sake of replying!
    This article is 100% true and it’s not meant to bash anybody but simply states someone’s experience!
    If you’re in the system, you would know!

  32. Molly

    June 8, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Awesome article! I’m sure you didn’t do your housejob where i did mine and this feels like a Déjà vu. From the contents of the H.O bag, to stocking up on cannula and syringes with my money to running upandan from blood bank and calling them to ask if blood is ready for a patient whose sample you sent to the lab ages ago and the lab scientists saying 5ml of blood is not enough for grouping and cross matching blood for a PCV of 14%, patient you should have finished transfusing in a better setting. Even when you muste all humility to approach some of these people, because they feel threatened by this “DR” title, there’s a ready response for you before you open your mouth to speak.
    The government has failed everyone. Our “elders” in the profession have failed us and we are following in their footsteps because its a vicious cycle (it takes GRACE not to take out your anger on your junior colleagues after you have been dealt the same measure by your senior colleagues).
    If everybody in the hospital had clearly defined and well spelt out job descriptions and disciplinary measures taken against offenders, people will do their jobs well, the nurse won’t be doing the doctor’s job and vice versa, lab scientists will face their jobs and stop locking pathologists out of the labs and nobody will be playing god.
    Finally, if you have no self-respect, there’s no way in the world you can respect others, you end up with self-aggrandizement. That’s how everybody will not have peace because you’re the one on duty and we must know that you went to the university too. Abeg practising medicine in Nigeria is not for the faint-hearted ???

  33. Bowl

    June 8, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    @wizee, your PhD is less than mbbs !

  34. Laurel

    June 8, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    @Wizze, u know u have not said anything, not logical at Hall, do your research well and lay down u facts, next time u want to comment

  35. Papacy

    June 8, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    The part I don’t get is when a senior colleague shouts at the junior in front of the patient or other health workers. Say what you will about nurses, they settle their issues internally and have each other’s backs most times. Whereas most doctors are into bullying and taunting. How then do you expect the young ones to develop the ability to take charge when all you do is put him down at the slightest opportunity? I suffered as a house officer o! I’ve promised myself not to treat anyone the same way. About the nurses and respect, omo forget, just have a cordial relationship with everyone, from nurse down to cleaner. It makes the work easier. If you work with a professional nurse, lab scientist or pharmacist who is more concerned about the care of the patient than petty ego you’ll love this job. It’s not common o, but they’re in this country.

  36. Wizee

    June 8, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    I got required response. Since Nigerian med grads are of opinion that PhD is less than MBBS or MbChB….. Lol, I rest. Come to USA and appreciate even dogs that might be all you need to get saved sometimes. I dont have to bash, I felt its a blog to get opinions for intellectual write ups…. Dear writer, you are doing well

  37. Ifeforpresident

    June 8, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Ife darling *permit me, I’m in love with your well written article…Ok and you too*. I know you weren’t disrespecting anyone and can totally relate. Don’t mind what them haters are saying. It’s not their fault they lack understanding and totally missed the point. That’s what happens when you go to work for six hours, sit on you bottom, gossip an then get 5 days off. You get very fat and you brain cells begin to die. Clapping for those who tried to be polite in their misunderstanding. For those that have seen this as an opportunity to show their loathsome selves especially @wizee, I see you telling your child “you must go to doctor school” in Falz’s voice. That said, I have worked with some awesome nurses and have met only one good an honest lab guy. The others sell the blood your patient’s relative has donated and try to hustle old blood for you or stall, hoping you won’t need it. Even in emergencies!!! It’s just as if the newer generation of nurses and lab scientists are taught to insult doctors as part of their curriculum. When will you people understand? We’re supposed to work together!!! As one body!!! We’re the head, you’re the tail!! We give instructions, you carry them out!! Not sitting on your behinds all day copying our round notes and gossiping. Do your jobs!!!Mind your business!!! Okbye

  38. Oyedele Adebusola

    June 8, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Dr Ife, U r doing well. Beautiful piece. Simply true. SOS

  39. Ifeoluwapo Odedere

    June 9, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Hi to all aggravating commentators.

    First of all let me establish that the post was not a comparison of doctors and other healthcare workers as many commentators on Bella Naija have made it out to be. It is also not a debate about who leads the health team. The article, as clearly stated at the beginning and ending paragraphs, address the treatment of Houseofficers by their superiors (consultants and residents). The statement about Houseofficers doing the work of nurses and porters was to put there to clearly highlight the misuse and abuse of the Houseofficer’s role as opposed to your interpretations of demeaning other health workers.

    Are doctors meant to collect blood from blood banks? In the countries that many nurses on this post have touted as ‘respecting’ other health workers, do doctors carry papers and syringes in their pockets? Do nurses sit by their desks and watch while the doctors are performing a bedside procedure? Answer these questions and you can perhaps see the intent of the article.

    The article also clearly states that the lack of the items (papers, syringes) is the fault of the Hospital. Why comments here are carrying that piece of information on their heads is beyond me. I thought I was pointing fingers at the hospital here?

    And there is no way my article would have addressed the issues faced by porters, maids and nurses. For one, I didn’t train in any of these disciplines. And secondly, that was not the purpose of my article. My article addresses outright the training the Houseofficer is meant to receive versus what actually takes place. To buttress my point, I had to include instances where doctors have to make up for lapses in the health system, either by nurses or other health workers. Does that mean doctors don’t have gaps? Not by any means. But like I said, that is not the focus of my article. And no, this is not a defense of my article. It is simply helping you to understand what it is so you don’t spread unnecessary ‘hate’ around.

    • True Talk

      June 12, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      what you are saying now is that when a doctor is performing a bedside procedure the nurse should stand by him and leave her on job.I here you sebi una go soon privatise the hospitals, good then Nurses will even clean your shoes. Ode nie.There are procedures that cant be handled by just a person e.g lumber puncture in such instance a Nurse will assist. But if you think Nurses should be standing by you just because you are carrying out a procedure I tell you go abroad and check how it is done.However young man I wish you success in your chosen profession, but to succeed very well try to understand that every one has his job description. Its unfortunate that your chiefs( as you csll them) sometimes make life difficult for you young ones.The fact is that the whole medical system in Nigeria HAS COLLAPSED..I wish Nigeria the best.

  40. Bowl

    June 9, 2016 at 7:48 am

    @Wizee , even when you get to become the egg head professor / professor emeritus you will still feel intimidated by the Dr.

  41. cupcakes

    June 9, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    I agree with you Bowl @Wizee if you don’t take care of whatever is bothering your self esteem,you will honestly still feel intimidated not only by the Dr, you will feel intimidated by who ever you feel is threatening to you.Being a professor is not the end all be all,and BTW we are not talking about the academia here. Please look up the word terminal degrees,an MBBS or an MD is a terminal degree and not a first degree as you stated and that puts it in the same class as a PhD. It would probably do you some good is you are fully educated about such things.

  42. Dolapo

    June 9, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    We don’t move forward because of unnecessary sentiments and prejudice.
    There’s problem in our healthcare system, let’s face it, address the issues n make it work.
    It’s really bad that the president will leave for an ear infection since our country’s healthcare doesn’t work

    When everyone knows their job description and do the best they can, things become better.

    There’s always need for a head and it doesn’t mean it’s always the best, but that’s the reason for teamplayers. The doc is the head but has strong supportive team players, not of him but of the px n the care they’re all delivering. The sooner we get this right, the sooner we can forge ahead, cos there has never been two ways about it.

    All in all, a lovely article that addresses the crux of the matter calling for creative thinking and a challenge to the appropriate authorities.

    Let’s all take off the chips from our shoulders and learn.

    Thanks

  43. Dr Oluwayemisi

    June 11, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I enjoyed the article… to the fullest!
    It actually described our very own hospital.
    I don’t think Ife was trying to demean the other health care professionals, in my opinion he was saying the bland truth about how things are run in THAT hospital….I have my own share of the story (on the dental side of course) I’m quarter to being a House officer yeah and i can relate very well….cos some of these things happen to us as students too.
    He wasn’t trying to paint the Nurses or the porters “black”… It’s a mere statement (if you call it one) OF TRUTH!
    Our health sector in Nigeria needs a big hand o, plenty turnaround!!!

  44. Medobi

    June 11, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Great Job Ifeoluwa Odedere

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