When my passion drove me to apply for medicine for my university, I did not foresee few things: 1) the decline of my social life to become almost an ideal medical student, 2) the love I really had for medical knowledge and doing application.
I was one of the three 2012 pioneer group of Makomborero Zimbabwe students that got enrolled into medical school at University Of Zimbabwe College Of Health Sciences in 2013. It was a dream come true as all my aspiration was to become doctor eventually. Having encountered the pressure of A-Level at Makomborero, medical school felt even tougher. Because I did physics at A-level, I had to put in extra work to master up with the biological terms. Everything was new to me. I had to discover myself and to introduce a new method of studying. I managed to pull through on my 1st and 2nd year. There were moments when I used to feel guilty for sleeping. When it gets real tough, I would tell Laura and she played a key role by giving words of strength and prayers too. I couldn’t manage to tell my granny, as she gets really worried. She believes no schoolwork can beat her grandchild, and for real.
At UZ, the medical school goes on for 5years. 1st and 2nd years are pre-clinical studies and 3rd to 5th are the clinical years. Pre-clinical is done at UZ. Courses taken include gross anatomy (the study of the human body structures and relations), physiology (the processes within a human), histology (all cell types and associated structures), embryology (the prenatal development of a human), and biochemistry (chemistry processes within the body).
At St Lukes Hospital in Lupane
My first lecture is one of my schooling’s unforgettable moments. I was sited aside to the other two of my Makomborero family. All smiles and overexcitement before the lecturer covered forty pages in a one hour lecture. So this was it, a tough loving welcome. A one-time mount up of pressure since day one. What then did I do?
Next day we went to the lab after gross anatomy lecture. That’s how it is done for every anatomy lecture at UZ. In these past two years, it is weird that I became friends with the cadavers (human dead bodies to study anatomy). We had to learn all the bones, vessels, nerves and approximately 320 pairs of muscles of the whole body. I could not believe it seeing my hands dissecting on the cadavers, it felt unrealistic but happening, and I enjoyed.
We then organised some group discussions with others who had campus accommodation and after weeks we wrote an anatomy mock exam. At our faculty, results get displayed on the notice board as soon as they finish marking that everyone can see them. It was all laughs and sadness. Almost everyone ranged between 20-30%, a memorable one. It then went on to be better as I got used to the work harder, play less system.
After my first year, I went for a monthly rural attachment in Lupane. It was so incredible. I had my other seven classmates. The attachment was for an overview study of Lupane. We touched on the education, health, agriculture, religious, business sectors and home visits to see how people live. The area was semi-urban of mainly rural infrastructure, no water system, poor health, few clinics and doctors available, water sources were boreholes, poverty and prostitution dominated and poor diet. We had opportunities to teach people about health, including in schools. We met the chief and to discuss his job, policies and impact for the good of the people.
We also had chance to enter the theatre to watch an operation and sometimes the delivery of babies. This woman came for surgical removal of her ovary. It was interesting to watch, busy two hour procedure which went all successful. Second year came with intense. It covered 2nd and 1st year information to be coming in the professional exams. The night before my anatomy professional exam can only be explained in picture. I only afforded to sleep 30 minutes before the exam. I had to revise everything in one go.
I’m ready to start on my 3rd year and work hard again till I finish. I plan to specialise but am not yet sure of the exact field of specialty. I plan to grow in business, create employment in my beloved Zimbabwe in the health system, to become a speaker, and transform lives in various ways. I thank God for the Makomborero family and all how it has changed me to where I am right here.
I have enjoyed to speak to my younger Makomborero brothers and sisters about how it is like. I’m privileged to be part of Makomborero, a home for transformations, a family itself in the growing.
Written by: Munya