ABUJA (Sundiata Post) Anthony Giwa is a graduate of Engineering and final year medical student of Akaki Tsereteli State University, Georgia. After his travel and return from Kazakhstan on a medical research trip, he shares part of his medical college experience, to encourage more youths into the career. In this interview, he spoke to our Middle East Managing Editor, Abraham Jonah on a range of issues, including the ‘doctors’ crises’ in Africa and the way out.
Who is Anthony Giwa and what were the propelling forces that motivated you along the medical career?
I was born and raised in Nigeria where I had my first Bachelor Degree. After my first degree, I worked for 6 months with an NGO responsible for health delivery systems. I later got a job as a school teacher in a private secondary school, during which I felt so in touch with reality and I felt like I needed to do more to help.
I will proudly say I discovered my greatest motivation would be real service to humanity. Hence, from six years ago, I decided to study medicine and currently, I am a final year medical student of Akaki Tsereteli State University, Georgia.
As Final year student, what would you say is the challenge in studying medicine as a course and how did you overcome them?
Getting admitted into medical school was not that easy. The first task in a medical school is getting used to the terminologies. Most medical terms were derived from Latin language. Yet everyone agrees that knowing the vocabulary of medicine is absolutely crucial to effectively practicing the craft. Medical terminology is about as complicated as a language.
Students should devote extra time for self-study. Studying with Flashcards could be of great help.
The next daunting task is the work load, especially in the first 2 years of study. Students are engaged in intensive study in anatomy, pathophysiology, microbiology and pharmacology coupled with presentations, clinical practices and written exams.
I would advice that student should get involved in study groups. Also seek advice from students in higher classes and study with the aid of online videos.
Another challenge is stress and motivation. This is as a result of the workload. Personally, I tried to motivate myself by watching some medical movies. I also go to the gym for physical/mental exercise to ease the stress.
What informed your recent travels from Georgia to Kazakhstan?
I have always believed that traveling is a form of education. My university had a partnership agreement with the best medical university in Kazakhstan (Karaganda state medical university).
In March 2017, I participated in an exchange research program organized by the international federation of medical student association.
I did the research in microbiology, Identifying and isolation of staphylococci among foreign and local student. I had a great experience in the research program.
Looking at the value and need for more Doctors, viz a viz wages. Would you say that Doctors should be paid higher in one country than the others?
According to the WHO’s (world health organization), 10 countries in Africa made the top 10 countries that are desperately in need for doctors in the world today. There has been a significant shortage of doctors in this region of the world. And this is as a result of the direct effect of the economy on the health sector. This results in doctors seeking better wages abroad.
The irony of this trend is, doctors are more needed in developing countries.
The wages of doctors are determined by the economic status of the country. But if the WHO could regulate the wages of doctors worldwide, this will reduce the massive movement of doctors away from those low income regions thereby improving health delivery worldwide.
What will you like to do differently if you graduate and placed to serve a hospital or any strategic position?
Having completed all task required by my university and my participation in various training courses like laboratory research work and emergency training organized by the international federation of medical student, business development project organized by the Estonian business school and other work experiences I have had over time.
Being a great team player, I believe I can contribute positively to any organization I find myself.
Would you advise more youths to go into medical studies? What is your key advice for the up-coming youths?
Based on the statistics rolled by the WHO (world health organization), due to population increase worldwide, there has been shortage of doctors in the world today.
So, I will urge more youths to go into medical studies. Youths should think about humanity and what positive change they can contribute to the world today.