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Vanessa Onyema: To Proud Doctors – It’s Not Always About You

Vanessa Onyema



I have always heard of this saying ‘Doctors are proud’, but I never completely understood what that meant.

Maybe doctors have a reason to be proud, because they save lives.

My first fictional meeting with a proud doctor was with Dr Stephen Strange, and as they say pride goes before downfall. He understood that it wasn’t always about him.

So to the Proud Doctors: it is not about you. It is not because you spent a greater part of your life in school, while others were steps ahead. You should not regard others as inferior because your course puts you at the top of the pyramid.

It takes a lot of things to make up a whole; so for one part to work, it must move with the other. Irrespective of what someone studied, or did not study, that person plays a vital role in evolution.

Don’t look at me and say I wasted my time in school studying a course. It is not right. No one wastes time to study and no knowledge is a waste.

The ability to save lives is a gift, and should not be joked with. It’s not what you get from tons of texts. It is what makes your hands not to shake in the theatre. It is what makes you give the accurate diagnosis. It is what makes you know that series of headaches is not directly proportional to MP and tidal test.

The Nigerian health care system is a mess because many are clueless about their profession. It is always the case of my parents told me to study medicine and surgery – hence the influx of people standing by with dissection kit to create chaos. Parents should as well learn not to dictate or pressure their kids into their choice of profession all because of the title.

The less people study medicine and actually study it, the better for us.

Should I blame it on the educational system and the use of conventional method? I will not; because a course as delicate as that, in an institution with substandard materials and a non-conducive learning environment should receive accreditation for the course to be studied.

Precious lives are lost daily to negligence and inaccuracy in diagnosis. How long will we fold our hands and watch ourselves crumble to quacks in lab coats? It can only be grace.

I can only accept the show of pride if there is something to show for it, because the gift of saving lives cannot be overemphasised. Take real pride in your work.


  1. A Real Nigerian

    March 29, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Wonderful piece.

  2. 009

    March 29, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Tons of text? Tidal abi widal?…I didn’t get the message of the write up.

  3. Bowl

    March 29, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    My dear , are you angry about something? Doctors being arrogant (you mean) is the way you perceive them !Besides , I can tell , you have never met the really, proud. ones. I can assure you, that the day you do ,you will jump into the lagoon. For, these ones , are even obnoxious to their fellow doctors. These ones are the gods of medicine: you don’t travel (you dare not) on the same path as them.Excuse me !

  4. naana

    March 29, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Hello BN Fam. I’m in a dilemma and I hope you can help me out. I plan on starting my masters next year and in my search , I came across a school in Spain which offers the course I want at a low cost. I’m however developing cold feet cos when I search for the best places to study in Europe, Spain doesn’t come up in almost all the sites that I’ve read and its making me think the place might not be good in terms of studying.
    please is there anyone here schooling in Spain? If yes, how’s the place for studies and living as a whole?
    Please help a sister out
    PS: my grades are not very strong

  5. AceOfSpades

    March 29, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    I don’t think pride has to do with profession tho. I have met Uber drivers who are proud as F. I have met actresses (who’ve only been in 2 movies as wakapass) and the way the pride is out of here. I have also met receptionists that are so proud it stinks.

    To cut long story short, pride doesn’t have to do with profession but that person itself. I met a lady thats less than 30 and a billionaire (Nigerian too) and she’s so humble. I asked for her number and she gave me and even called me one time she was around my hub.

    • Cindy

      March 29, 2017 at 5:17 pm

      So if someone doesn’t call you, it means they’re proud?? Okay

    • Sheri

      March 29, 2017 at 6:40 pm

      I see this thing happen so much on here. Someone takes one line out of a whole paragraph, trying to make the person look silly and ignores the rest of the write up.. And everyone runs to like it. So so childish.

    • Vera

      March 29, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      You are silly to be honest! Is that the point of the comment. Of all that was written thar was what your comprehension skills coulf rack up. Quite sad really!

  6. debbie

    March 29, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    interesting piece…and yes, the writer is not far from the truth.
    Even as undergraduates, most medical students see themselves as “Lord” and have this obnoxious attitude.
    they feel medicine is the king of all courses.
    perhaps its because they spend more years in school than others or they buy/read the most textbook…i no know o

  7. miini

    March 29, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    I don’t even know how to describe this article…jeez. Been ages I read something this “deptless”.
    1st of all there is no concrete basis for which you wrote this article, not any experience of a proud doctor really, no experience of how you were misdiagnosed by one really but here you are with a baseless admonition. It all just looks like a “let me write something sha ” article. Anyways this is what i think

    1. I doubt any doctor looks at everyone who studied a different course like a nonentity. To think that is just petty.
    2. We don’t actually think medicine is that great anymore really. I think you people outside the field overhype it more than us coz here i am wondering why i spent the greater part of my youth in med School and it absolutely amuses me when my parents think I’ve achieved something great in life. Point is it’s really not as serious as you guys take it
    3. Most of the rot in the sector ehn, we are helpless and frustrated. That’s why most pple are exing. So the next time you see that guy in the white coat, just know he is doing that job against all odds, probably even spending his own money to get some things done.
    4. Every time I think nurses are a rude bunch, I remember my mum and how the doctors loved her and I realise it’s a personal character thing, not a profession thing. So quit the hasty and baseless generalizations, it’s not very intelligent.
    5. Every profession will always have that person whose parents forced into it. Its not the general narrative of medicine, in fact that is the minority. So there goes another baseless generalization.
    Lastly, I think if you take the moment one day to stand in the emergency room, ward or theatre of our under or un eqquipped hospitals and clinics and see these proud doctors working against all odds, trying, helping and investing in their patients, sometimes suturing with torch lights, and buying drugs for patients with their own money or even donating blood sometimes, u’d realise that this pride if it does exist is absolutely inconsequential in the face of the stark reality of what we all face in this country.

  8. Someone

    March 29, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    We have proud beggars too. I know many doctors who are not proud and I know some who are, that isnt enough for me to generalize. There are proud people in all professions and walks of life.

  9. Not a proud doc

    March 29, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    I find this article annoying, do you know what doctors go through everyday in so called govt hospitals trying to save lives with little pay and being owed excess months, do you know how much of their time they sacrifice, do you even know how many years and efforts it took to become a doctor. This article is over generalized, some doctors may be proud but give others a chance, these people go through a lot and this is exactly why most Nigerian doctors are migrating, y’all just think why are the so called doctors even shouting, what do and can they do,that no one can. That’s why we go to places we are appreciated not talked and looked down on saying we are proud.

    • xizbee

      March 30, 2017 at 9:12 am

      Please read the article again, don’t just rush into words like that.

  10. Mp

    March 29, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    I rarely comment on BN but I just had to write. The writer of this article is so narrow minded. You can’t just jump into conclusion. Please!!!

    • Louda

      March 29, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      IS she narrow minded for saying what we all know? You must be a doctor or a wannabe. Unfortunately for doctors, they are no longer in vogue as they used to be back in the days.So all their pride na inside their pocket these days o.

    • Cocolette

      March 30, 2017 at 12:45 am

      Looool… Doctors are no longer in vogue?!?! Na body go tell you last last

    • the real ibinabo

      March 30, 2017 at 1:17 am

      “vogue” like it is some fashion trend. I pray you don’t fall sick

    • Spunky

      March 29, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      Just comment!!! Rarely nor often, it don matter…

    • xizbee

      March 30, 2017 at 9:14 am

      How is she narrow mind? Na una no d like person progress.

  11. CurvesAndEdges

    March 29, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Sounds like you have a chip on your shoulder. Pride and arrogance aren’t restricted to doctors. I wonder why they got singled out for an article. Did you try to get into medical school and couldn’t? Don’t give up, your miracle is on the way.

  12. Manny

    March 29, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Hiss BN is it everything they send to you that you must publish?
    This garbage you published made no sense.

    “The less people study medicine and actually study it, the better for us.”

    • Nonamespls

      March 29, 2017 at 10:00 pm

      I wondered what that meant too

  13. Diamond

    March 29, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    The writer addressed this post to proud doctors… like that one that wrote gibberish on how another doctor’s suicide had to do with the profession.

    I know doctor turned business man, banker etc, if you think the career is killing you or you are not gifted for the profession. Switch! No need to force it. But no, I must be a doctor! We wouldn’t have had the renowned Chimamanda Adichie of today, if she stuck to studying medicine.

    Truth be told, a good number of doctors are proud. You can imagine my brother telling me that Chimamanda fled medicine because she couldn’t study the course. Of course, I told him he is so wrong that they don’t use double heads to study medicine. That I believe she abandoned medical studies because she discovered her path. And what she has achieved is a great feat.

    My brother thinks what Chimamanda read and her career is nothing to his medicine. You see, that’s the problem with doctors like my brother. And that’s how doctors look down on pharmacists. Or is it their relationship with nurses? To them, those ones are beneath them. If you ever worked hospitals you will understand better.

    I laugh at their insistence to exact superiority over pharmacists because who is a doctor compared to a manufacturing or entrepreneur (Importer) pharmacist? Okay, you save lives. But it’s not something to proud over/about. God is the great ultimate healer, that’s why even medicine can’t explain some solved issues/crises; God gifted those hands of yours. Glory him, not yourself.

    • Ng Babe

      March 30, 2017 at 10:55 am

      I think the whole idea that doctors are proud is incorrect. There are proud people in all works of life. I have met very proud Cleaners, gatemen, nannies, librarians, receptionists, drivers, teachers, lawyers, nurses, pharmacists, lecturers, pastors, priests, Professors, Tailors, Carpenters, Doctors, and the list goes on.
      I have also met very humble professionals across all sphere of life. And so to single out Doctors and brand them as proud is incorrect. I am a Doctor and work with a highly dedicated team comprising of fellow Doctors, pharmacists, nurses, health care assistants, phlebotomists, Chef, Catering Assistants, cleaners etc. We work in a very busy Cancer Centre and together we work as a team in bringing back smile, hope, faith and trust to our patients. There have been times when we shared a few tears together over the worsening of a patient’s condition and also many times when we’ve rejoiced at seeing a patient get better and cured.
      And so to say we look down on Pharmacists or nurses is incorrect. We are all a team working towards achieving a common goal…..the cure of all our patients.

  14. Alias

    March 29, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    I love BellaNaija. However, this article is actually one of the post poorly written articles I have read on this website. The logic of the article is poorly constructed. The reasons for pride are poorly explained. In addition, the conclusion did not make sense. We also do not know the writer’s background and as a result, we are unable to understands if she has enough knowledge to make this argument. I am a doctor. I know doctors can be proud. But just like any other human being or profession, doctors are not unique in this respect. Please BellaNaija, review your editorial process. I love this website and this article is not worth the the honor of being published here.

  15. Diamond

    March 29, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    BN where is my comment? I think the best thing on this blog is to read your interest, and waka go with no comment.

    I observe BN delay comment if it will halt traffic, and publish them when traffic is over. They also quickly publish comments they know will garner traffic, especially if its controversial. Well done. Continue.

  16. Vee

    March 29, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    BN didn’t publish my earlier comment. The article is poorly written in my opinion. It is widal test not tidal. Tests not texts. Poor proofreading. And to think someone thinks fewer people should study medicine. Haa!

  17. Jennifurbond

    March 29, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Some people don’t read to understand rather they read to Reply. If you noticed in the 4th paragraph, she said “so to the proud doctors”.. She didn’t say all doctors are Proud.. In other words, the write up was talking about proud doctors.. I don’t know why some people are being angry and irritated by the post. . . You feel it shouldn’t come on BN because you can’t handle the truth.. Well mister/Mrs/miss… Maybe you should submit your own article so we can read and know what great writer you are..
    Besides, who in Nigeria hasn’t gotten a poor reception from a doctor? We all know this is not far from the truth…

  18. Dr. Craig

    March 29, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    It saddens me to read this.

    • Uberhaute looks

      March 29, 2017 at 11:13 pm

      Dr. Craig, where have you been? I’ve met extremely proud doctors in my life and I’ve also met humble and gentle ones.

    • CurvesAndEdges

      March 29, 2017 at 11:48 pm

      Dr Craig, you’re not proud. You’re just hawt.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      March 30, 2017 at 5:56 am

      Just dreamy and hot in his humility.

      (Don’t look at me oh, I didn’t say anything oh ?…. I was “jes” adding small context to @CurvesAndEdge’s comment ??)

  19. xizbee

    March 30, 2017 at 9:34 am

    In this article she never said all doctors are proud, please you people should not jump into conclusion like that . And for those people blaming BN for publishing this article, write yours let us read so we can comment too. Cause it’s not easy, you people should try and appreciate and stop criticizing.

  20. Ss

    March 30, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Our Dr N and Dr Craig are not proud doctors

  21. miini

    March 30, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    So bellanaija didn’t bother to post the comment I took the pain of writing

  22. trisha

    March 30, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    whoever wrote this is such a smh, no words, it’s just a dumb title to begin with, dumb intro too, and the tie between the paragraphs is lazy work

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