Friday, 30 March 2018

An exclusive interview with Dr Chris

An exclusive Interview with Dr Chris

Please Sir, could you introduce yourself?

Dr. Chris: My name is Dr. Christian Chimaobi OBIJIAKU.
I am a Medical Doctor currently working with University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH).

Please tell us more about yourself.

Dr. Chris: Like I said earlier, I am Christian Chimaobi Obijiaku, a graduate of Unique UNIPORT, studied Medicine and Surgery between 2008 and 2016.  I am the third in a family of four ( two males and two females).
I am a Christian of the Catholic denomination.
My hobbies are travelling, playing table tennis, educational research.

It is advisable that as medical students, we should not just be confined to the book. We are encouraged to participate in other extracurricular (social and political) activities. Sir, what other things did you take part in besides studying as a medical student?

Dr. Chris: I was a member of INVITTI Fund raising committee, October 2015 - October 2016. I was also a member of INVITTI Sports Committee, October 2015 - October 2016. Then, I became the Chairman of INVITTI Project Committee, October 2015 - October 2016. From June 2015 - JULY 2015, I was the Chairman, Logistics sub-committee,      PUMSA Health Week .
I became the President, Federation of Catholic Medical and Dental Students          (FECAMDS), UNIPORT Chapter May 2015 - August 2016.
I was also the President of St. Jerome Guild of Lay Readers, Chapel of Annunciation Catholic Chaplaincy, University of Port Harcourt from April 2015 - January 2016.
From August 2012 – January 2014, I was the Chairman of Claude Ake Hall B, Medical Hostel, University of Port Harcourt.

(NB: INVITTI is our final year medical student class activities 2016).

As most people know, the journey to becoming a medical doctor is not an easy one. Along the way, some fall out, others are delayed and there are those who go through medical school smoothly and graduate at the expected time. Our focus now is on those who were delayed. The students who have lost one, two or more years due to poor academic performance or failure to pay the previous session's school fees. We understand that some of such students may end up feeling depressed, despondent or feeling that they have failed.
Sir, some years back, you had a similar experience. Do you mind sharing your story with us? 

Dr Chris: Indeed the journey through medical school is a tough one. Failing to admit this will make one unaware of the prevailing storm. It typically begins with attempts to secure admission: sitting for UTME and POST UTME exams, and/or doing some remedial courses (which in UNIPORT is called Basic program), and then passing from 100 level to the next, then comes the first MB with some of your classmates been withdrawn from the medical training, to Part 2 MB where those who are repeating the class and fail to pass the exam are shown the exit door. Then one gets to year 5 (pseudo-immunity class) where we were told that 1 second in a child’s life is more valuable than a whole year spent in the class. Little wonder why some people spend over five years in year 5 (this is very real). In all these, getting to final year opens the door to this glimpse of palpable hope of finally becoming a medical doctor.
These events can be ‘crazy’, frightening, depressing and can leave one suicidal. However there is light at the end of the tunnel for many.

Back to my experience. I canvas for academic excellence always. I began teaching younger colleagues from my year two. I learned from a lot of sources: lectures, classmates, study groups and tutorials. I did pass all my exams at first sitting, until I had my first resit in paediatrics. I felt my goals has been shattered. "I am supposed to exude excellence." I thought to myself. "Will I still be the Surgeon I desire to be? Could this be a sign that I should have probably done an Engineering course?" (I did far better in Physics and Chemistry than in Biology). I withdrew to myself and then discovered I could have prepared for the exam better. Albeit, I still failed the resit and then had to repeat the class. There was no type of prayer I didn’t say.
Surprisingly, during the repeat I was vigorously serious and didn’t take a chance. I was shining academically and was among the best in my new class.
How was I able to cope? I prayed about it, talked to my senior colleagues who were already doctors (their story inspired me), talked to my spiritual director (a Rev. Father) who said to me “Do this class like you have never done it before”. I also had support from family and friends (FECAMDS) who were amazingly contributory to my “recovery”).

Sir, what advice do you have for us as medical students?

Dr. Chris: Medical school is all encompassing: medical education, socials, spiritual life, sports, politics, entrepreneurial skills and business education, human relationships, and a whole lot.
Please allow the university pass through you. Be the best in all of those. But always remember that academic excellence is next to nothing.
To the Year one students, study your basic sciences and get into year two in flying colours.
To the Year two and three students, it’s a new playground, learn the anatomy, physiology and biochemistry with all keenness and pass into year 4.
To the Year four, this class is the the only chance you have to correct the ills of preclinicals, know the ‘stuff’ it is a lifelong knowledge.
To the Year five and six, you want to be a responsible and skilled Doctor? Now is the time. There is no better teacher than your patients.

I do not need to remind us all to shun cultism, violence, and cut down on social media. Eat healthy, sleep well, exercise adequately, pray without ceasing, apply and secure for yourself at least two scholarships. Just be a complete human being.
I wish you all success as you climb the ladder of medical school.

Thank you very much for your time, your honest responses and especially for sharing your story. It's really inspiring and I must say I've learnt a lot. Hopefully, others can say the same. Once again, many thanks Sir!


  1. Always awesome drawing inspiration from successful people


Feel free to comment!
Mimie Walks