I figured I'd pen something to let you know how things have been going for a while. To tell you the truth, I had a pretty tumultous latter part of 2015. What should have ended in celebration with an end to my medical internship, instead became a momentous disappointment with an extra punitive 18 weeks added to my internship; that's basically one-and-a-half rotations.
Most of my workmates were surprised at the stiff penalty handed out, which led them to question whether I had been implicated in the death of a patient that mandated such a stiff penalty. And the answer to that is a plain No! This just happened to be one of those situations where some Consultants just wanted to make an example of someone.
I admit, punitive weeks have their place in training interns, particular where lessons needs to be taught; however, they lose their efficacy when obvious bias exists in how different interns are treated; when egregious mishaps are just swept under the rug for some people, and others are treated with heavy-handedness for no reason.
There is an appeal system available at the hospital, but every intern learns very quickly that the same board that sat down to hand out punitive measures is the same one that'll listen to your appeal. An appeal to their previous decision thus constitutes an extreme act of belligerence, and will be followed with a steeper reprimand. So the unspoken rule remains:
"Do your time without incident, and leave when you're done."
As one of my colleagues has reminded me on many occasions, "Life isn't fair!" especially out here in the medical field. I was bitter about the whole experience for holding me back, and for the further manner in which they went out of their way to humiliate me further. Eventually, they commuted about 3 weeks from that stiff sentence, and I finished in late October. By that time I was thoroughly demoralized and just took my time finalizing my documents, during which time I gave myself a generous November and December as a holiday. January finally found me finishing off and handing my documents in for licensure.
Despite what I went through during the internship, I figured I would have an easier time as a qualified medical officer; plus, I had already settld down in Kisii, having already lived there for 1.5 years. Figuring that I had a better chance of being placed in a department of my choice if I started working before my posting was definite - basically volunteering - I made plans to return to the hospital's duty roster. However, my Grandmother passed away late in January, so I had to delay that venture till early February.
So I spent my initial stint working in the Internal Medicine department, but got trucked off unceremoniously to Surgical Casualty because of a Departmental crisis. Needless to say, I was waiting for the county to confirm my posting, but that just turned out to be futile. As March rolled in, things just seemed more hopeless.
Therefore, when I couldn't take it any more, I just packed up and moved back home. Some folks at Surgical Casualty wanted me to be reprimanded for the manner in which I left, but then again, how do you reprimand an unpaid volunteer?
That was basically rockbottom. Worst of all, this dillydallying meant that I've had to go 10 months without a pay cheque, so now I'm flat broke. However, some positive things began to happen: I had my interview for a Medical Officer position at PCEA Kikuyu Hospital on Holy Thursday, and shortly afterwards got the position. Once that hurdle was gone, it basically took me a span of 3 days (Friday - Sunday) to travel to Kisii, pack up my whole life of 21 months, and bring it all back home; and, yeah, rest for 1 day, and be ready for work on Tuesday.
I was surprised how things worked out so well. Makes me wish I'd made the decision to leave Kisii much earlier; I stuck by that place when my family tried to convince me to seek things out here in Nairobi. I'm guessing it became my 'comfort zone', caustic and fear-inducing as it may have been. In any case, I can't change what's happened, but I can learn from it, and grow.
With the ghosts of 2015 behind me, I'm now looking forward to brighter days and new beginnings...and infinite possibilities.