Could EdMedicare Be a Leverageable Advantage For Enlightening Medical Students?
One of the major challenges faced by Medical students in the course of their training is finding enough time to engage in other societally relevant activities. Meanwhile, cross-sectorial collaboration has proven to be a sure way to make Nigeria better.
This is because it fosters unity, and creativity among divergent professions to achieve a common goal. EdMedicare SOR (School of Relevance) is something that has been trending for a while now amongst medical students and young doctors. Could this be the long-awaited solution to reviving the health sector in Nigeria?
Let’s find out in this Interview with Dr. Ibeleme Okezie; one of the founders and figure-heads of EdMedicare SOR.
Meet Dr. Ibeleme Okezie: Founder of Edmedicare
- Please can we Meet You?
Dr. Ibeleme Okezie: I am Ibeleme Okezie. You could go on to add doctor. Lol! I have a little preference for hiding my identity most times. I am a practicing Medical doctor, and a Christian (This has formed the basis for every action), a lover of tech, and a keen follower of gist in the startup world, I also love developmental economics and finance (Wouldn’t be surprised to see myself there).
- What were your expectations of health practice on graduation as a Medical student?
Dr. Ibeleme Okezie: I expected something a little challenging. Yes! Challenging. This is because I have within me a kind of inbuilt self-assessor. I can estimate how much I know and don’t know. So fresh from school, I knew getting to practice fairly well was going to require some work. This isn’t because I was a bad student, far from it. It was majorly because classwork and clinical work are quite different, though on the larger scale, they have a meeting point. I also expected strong emotional times with my patient. But overall, I had a positive outlook to practice, knowing fairly well the challenges in the health sector of the country.
Medical Students Should Be More Outward Facing
- So far, do you think you have met these expectations? Why?
Dr. Ibeleme Okezie: I have encountered the expected challenge of starting out, and now a lot more comfortable handling patients. I have had the times of crying and worrying about my patients, and haven’t gotten used to that…lol. I have also seen the failings in the health system and doing my best to help out where I can. The expectations have been largely met and are still being met. The larger picture can’t really be captured in this interview I believe.
- If given a chance, what would you have done better as a Medical Student?
Dr. Okezie: hahaha (laughs)… I think about this sometimes truly. I would truly have been a lot more outward-facing than I was. By this I mean, get involved with training, leadership, mentorships, and of course more reading. Also, would have explored to understand the things that lie outside being a doctor. It sounds like a whole lot but looking closely you would see the synergy in all I have said.
Introducing EdMedicare SOR.
- I have heard about EdMedicare SOR (School of Relevance). How is it connected to you?
Dr. Okezie: EdMedicare! Yes, it’s connected to me physically and emotionally. Not saying it was borne out of the rush of emotions, but that the things it represents are dear to my heart. So it’s a brainchild of my interaction with a few friends. Summary: I am one of the key developers of the program.
- Please What is EdMedicare SOR all about?
Dr. Okezie: EdMedicare is primarily a telehealth focused platform still in the ideation stage and seeking meaningful partnership with mobile telecommunication providers (MTN and the other big three) to provide easy access, low-cost and readily available primary healthcare services. The School of Relevance is a “Social Responsibility Arm” you could say. Invariably, I am beginning to see where the two most likely meet.
More on EdMedicare
- Why do you think that Medical Students and Young Doctors should be part of this school of relevance?
Dr. Okezie: I think we are overall the least knowledgeable in other areas outside Medicine. I don’t mean that to be derogatory. We are very intelligent people but the enormity of Medical school keep us very engaged or too engaged to think of the global proportion the world is taking. I want to play on a stage larger than just hospital, and I want to see other doctors too.
- What are those relevant skills you think Medical Students and Doctors are lacking in?
Dr. Okezie: Financial literacy (I have learnt some hard lessons here), Intersectoral collaboration, Leadership/Management, ICT, Corporate world operations, and a lot more.
- How do you plan to help them fill these gaps through EdMedicare SOR?
Dr. Okezie: We are designing a course work. Our first curriculum is quite impressive I must say, and still subject to improvements after we access impact. This course work will come in bits as newsletters delivered to the email addresses of interested participants. We are reaching out to amazing resource persons for live webinars where you get to ask questions, and working towards having a mentorship program as well as an active online community. We hope to keep tweaking the model but remain focused on the desired results.
- Are these trainings time-bound or continuous?
Dr. Okezie: Time-bound. Without a timeframe, it doesn’t make much impact and doesn’t translate to a goal. Nonetheless, we hope to maintain a continuous interaction with our cohorts.
- Will beneficiaries be certified after completing the relevant courses?
Dr. Okezie: We are working towards that. For now, a certificate of participation will be issued, and as the program grows and we get more credible within mainstream educational institutions, we could upgrade whatever we give as appropriate.
EdMedicare SOR and the Future of Health Practice in Nigeria
- What do you think is the future of health practice with the changing trends and digitization of the world?
Dr. Okezie: Medicine looks really fixed in it’s ways but I don’t see this continuing indefinitely. We are going to witness at least adoption of telehealth with it’s nuances. We are going to see a little more in robotics, artificial intelligence (I have my reservations here) and diagnostics. Genomics is fast evolving. So the outlook seems digital but human centered at it’s core.
- Is EdMedicare SOR linked with Telemedicine? What is the link?
Dr. Okezie: Yes. We are still in the ideation phase like I mentioned.
- How do you plan to run your programs when school resumes, bearing in mind that Medical Students are busy types at such periods?
Dr. Okezie: That is the challenge we hope to get around as we get going in our engagements.
- Is this School of Relevance available for all classes is Medical School?
Dr. Okezie: Definitely, yes.
- Is EdMedicare SOR an organization one can join? How should interested persons join the organization?
Dr. Okezie: We are soon going to call for volunteers. If you have skills or knowledge in any area, we would love to have you. If you feel passionate about what we have going, then we would love to hear from you.
- What is your motivation for creating this school, bearing in mind its non-profit?
Dr. Okezie: It’s largely non-profit. The motivation remains to have a testimony of the improved understanding that people will get to enjoy by being part of us, and that translating to actions. We don’t have any other motivations now.
Advice For Medical Students
- Any General advice for Medical Students?
Dr. Okezie: I am not that old yet…lol. But I would say, that your passions are still very legitimate. You might not have all the time now to pursue them, but don’t drop them. Keep thinking of doing things across sectors outside Medicine. That preoccupation will help you to start coming up with innovative solutions.
- Wow! This is a whole lot. Thank you so much for your time.
Dr. Okezie: Thank you for having me. I truly appreciate the time.
I hope you gained a lot to help your journey as a medical student. Thank you for your attention. Don’t forget to follow EdMedicare SOR on Twitter.