“You want some advice?”
“Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.”
Welcome to another super exciting episode of #Spotlight, if you’re reading this blog for the first time, you have just hit a mental jackpot. Today’s guest is one of the most interesting human beings I know and I can’t wait till she becomes everything she is meant to be. It has been a joy to follow her journey.
#Spotlight is an interview series on the blog, you can read my very first interview, here. The goal of the series is to showcase the beautiful and intelligent minds of people from all walks of life who I find extremely amazing. And Rachael is one of the most amazing people I know. I went to high school with Rachael so I know what I’m talking about. Her interview is so interesting to read so I don’t want to give too much away.
Introducing awesome surgeon-in-training, clapback princess, curious mind, dodo & egg champion and all-round awesome human, here is Rachael Idowu…
What’s your story? Why medicine?
Medicine is a calling. Becoming a doctor is acquiring the ability to help a sick person get better. How amazing is that? Up until I was 8yo, I wanted to become a chartered accountant, mostly because I thought it sounded cool. But when I turned 10, during one of my numerous holiday lessons, my teacher wrote a list of occupations on the board and asked me to pick the ones I liked. I crossed everything out except ‘medical doctor’. Doctors had always fascinated me, and whenever I was around them, I felt empowered and confident.
Oh, in high school, business studies and accounting was like learning a new language with no translator. So, I knew I made the right choice. My journey to medicine had one detour, Pharmacology. This was a decision I made after high school. I wanted a degree before medicine and I also wanted to study medicine outside Nigeria, so after extensive research, I picked pharmacology. I love biological science and chemistry, so figuring out how drugs worked was the way to go. Pharmacology was the bridge that helped me connect basic sciences to clinical practice.
I love surgery. I want to become a surgeon, God willing. Truth is there is something unique about surgery that is hard to describe. I love the Operating Room, the ritual of scrubbing in, gowning, and the instant gratification you get when things go right. I think it’s a privilege to be able to reach inside someone and fix them. Imagine holding a beating human heart in your hands; taking out a life-threatening brain tumor or removing a tumor from an unborn fetus. Surgery is amazing. Also, the pay is also not bad.
What is the biggest difference between your expectations of practicing medicine and the actual reality?
I knew what I was getting into so nothing surprised me. One thing that I now fully understand, that I didn’t before is that you can’t save everyone even when you do everything right.
Can you name three of the most challenging aspects of your role?
As a med student: Lack of sleep, endless studying, difficult patients and trying to live up to the expectations that I know everything.
I imagine as a doctor; it will be the same.
What is the most interesting part of the job?
Hmm, I would say it’s taking a patient’s history. You never know what to expect when you ask a patient the question ‘’what brings you in today?’’
What is the most important piece of advice you can give to people so that they don’t get sick much?
Eat healthy, exercise, and do everything in moderation; Except smoking cigarettes, stay away from cigarettes!
What would you change about your life if you knew you would never die?
I would slow down. I feel like I am always in a rush to get things done, I am so focused on the big picture that I sometimes forget to enjoy the little things, so yeah, I would slow down, worry less and enjoy the little things.
What makes you smile?
You know when your head hits the pillow and the sleep that was lingering in the corner of your mind jumps out and makes itself known? Yeah! That’s one of the best moments in life. I basically ‘smile myself to sleep’ every day.
If you had to choose to live without one of your five senses, which one will you give up (and why?)
Smell, because I wouldn’t miss it much and it would be a relief to enjoy a crowded train ride without having to hold my breath from all the cropdusting.
If you could live inside a book, tv show or movie, what would it be?
Passengers, just so I could give the movie a better ending.
Or maybe titanic so I could yell at those two mumu lovers from the comfort of my speed boat that the floating plank has space enough for two people.
What animal best represents you, and why?
Phoenix (I know it is not a real animal). It is relentless, resilient, and unique. And it never dies!!! That is so cool!
What do you do for fun?
I mostly sleep. I also love watching movies.
If you were stuck eating only one meal for a year, what would it be?
I can never get tired of Dodo and Eggs with a cup of banana peanut smoothie.
If you could change one law (anywhere in the world) what would it be?
I would make a new one: anyone caught smoking cigarettes will be locked up, forever.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
Do not litter!
What book has influenced you the most?
Ben Carson’s Gifted hands.
What’s your spirit animal?
Turtle (I previously had no idea–I took two tests that said the same thing, so I think this is accurate).
Would rather a clone of yourself that you can boss around or have a pet dog who can talk?
A clone of myself.
Fictional character you would love to spend the day with?
Iron man. I love his sarcasm.
Would you rather eat a dead rat or a live worm?
Arrgggghhh……Dead rat. With a dash of suya spice.
If you were a biscuit, which would you be?
Is there anything you would like to add?
Yeah, these questions were hard.
You can follow Rachael on Twitter, @Hotstuff_bea
I hope you found the post interesting. Let’s connect more on social media.
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