In this interview, Alabi Saheed, who graduated with a perfect grade in Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye to emerge as the Nigerian best Medical graduating student this year, shares his experience.
Tell us about yourself
I am Dr. Alabi Olugbenga Saheed, a medical graduate of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye. I attended Ritlad Nursery and Primary School, Meiran, Lagos as well as Salawu Abiola Comprehensive High School, Osiele Abeokuta, for my secondary education. I was born in Lagos to parents who are traders. My mum sells herbs and dad, a butcher. I hail from the gateway state (Ogun State). What made you choose medicine? I chose medicine because it has always been my passion to be a doctor of repute right from the early days.
What was the experience like in secondary school and what was your result in WAEC?
Secondary school was fun. From having good teachers who mentored me both spiritually and academically to going for competition… I enjoyed those days. I wrote my WAEC in Salaat Abiola Comprehensive High School and passed with eight distinctions and a credit.
Who asked you to go for medicine?
I chose medicine myself. Most of my teachers thought I will be better with engineering but for me, medicine is what I want.
What informed the choice of OOU? Wow, it’s a long story. My secondary school principal then said I should choose OOU but I declined. After attending about two higher institutions, though leaving with good grades, I wrote another JAMB and chose OOU, a choice I’m glad I made. The name of that principal is Mr. Adegboyega Adepegba. Experience of your admission Of course, I chose OAU for my first JAMB, but I think I was offered Biochemistry, 2nd JAMB, UI gave me Zoology (I started, but left after 100 level) and the third, I chose the best state university, OOU.
What was your experience at OOUTH? My experience at the teaching hospital has been awesome. From the teaching and the non-teaching staff. Our consultants do not only teach medicine, they teach morals and discipline which are attributes of the noble profession.
How did you fund the course?
Funding is a major hindrance to success especially a course like medicine. Textbooks and online presence are important in the academic journey. My parents are a major foundation when it comes to funding. Also, in 200 level, I got MTN foundation scholarships once. I also got the Federal Government Scholarship as a scholar for five years, an award I got after passing my Part 1 MBChB professional exams.
How often do you read?
Your reading culture Strike iron when it is hottest. It’s best to read when you assimilate best. So one has to devise own timetable. I don’t read at night, after I have observed that I assimilate and read faster during the day.
Do you socialize?
Socialize? Yes. No holds barred except in haram (unlawful act).
What was your ambition?
Ambition. It is to be at the peak in both academic and clinical speciality I choose.
In how many courses did you score distinction?
I graduated with MBChB with Honours. That is the first in the history of the university’s medical school. I made distinctions in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology and surgery.
How do you handle female fans?
I am a Muslim and there are guidelines when it comes to relating with the opposite sex. All I need is just to adhere to it. But it’s been Allah’s grace.
Your expectation from government? The government can assist me most importantly in my postgraduate studies and research.
What is your next step?
House job is next and then post graduate studies both academic and clinical speciality. I wish for the favour of God. It is all for His RAMAH (grace).
If you did not study medicine what would you have studied?
If not medicine, I would have studied law or mass communication/journalism. I love the men of the Press.
NB: This interview was first published in Vanguard Newspaper