An account of Ms Adefunke Bolatito’s Tenure as the Special Duties Officer (Clinicals)

The University of Ibadan Medical Student Association is a vibrant and active association that advocates for the interests of medical students on campus. This association is tasked with representing the interests of medical students, promoting their academic excellence, and supporting their personal and professional development. With these objectives, there are often students who hold specific responsibilities to help achieve these goals. One such role is that of the Special Duties Officer, who is responsible for organizing monthly quizzes for the medical students amongst many other things.

 That said, there’s a need to thoroughly evaluate and review occasions where, how, in what ways and means Ms Bolatito who served in this position for the recently concluded tenure has been able to achieve all of these said goals.

According to the UIMSA constitution, the duties of the Special Duties Officer (Clinicals) are to :

■ liaise with the SDO Preclinicals to spearhead and direct the running of the Academic committee.

■ head the Project committee in liaison with the Finacial secretary as secretary of the committee
■ execute other duties deemed fit by the executives.

Also, the customary duties are

  • to ensure the welfare of the members of the Royal Quiz Club
  • Organization Of The IMSG-QUIZ
  • Clinical Orientation for the 2k22 Class
  • MB talks and mock exams for the 2k17, 2k18, 2k21, and 2k22 classes.

 With this in mind, Ms Bolatito presented a manifesto before UIMSA and UIMSAites which was as follows:

  1.  Ensure an active and effective Uimsa class academic committee by ensuring each class has an academic committee whose representative be added to the main UIMSA academic committee.

This was to be done by:

  •   Ensuring that the representatives of each class’ academic committees cater to the needs of their class and relay concerns and challenges with a  monthly report from each to be tendered from each class. She also stated in her manifesto that in classes where there were no academic committees, she would –
  • Having meetings with the class to highlight the merits and benefits of having an academic committee
  • Liaising with the Class representatives to create one
  •  Monthly check-ins for feedback on the state of the newly created Academic committee and invariably, the class.

   In an interview with Ms. Bolatito, She was asked if she was able to achieve all of the goals and asked what things she did  differently, to which she mentioned:

I. She was the head of the Quiz Committee for the just concluded Health Week

II. She organized the MB Talk and mock for the 300 level, 600 level, and recently graduated classes.

III. She organized a webinar; not in the field of medicine but in other fields such as Tech, Finance, Insurance, and Data analysis- a program tagged ‘Inside and Outside Medicine ‘.

IV. She updated the study drive with the inclusion of audiovisuals.

V. Increased the book inventory from 40 to 47. She stated that Project Luminaire is a progressive project and that she hopes her successor continues with providing more resources for UIMSAites

Vi. Sent email messages to classes preparing for their professional exams.

Vi. Organized monthly quizzes.

Of the six listed above, she was able to ensure that four were done differently from the last tenure.

When asked how she handled disputes on her team, she said ” We ensured to put opinions on the table and weighed which of the opinions were of the betterment to the association”.  She also stated that they had compromises at some point and that delegation of duties helped them in achieving each task in time; ”I had several programs which had to be done in multiple successions. There was even a time in the tenure that I was sick and still trying to make plans for an event that was to be held but delegation helped”.

Ms. Bolatito mentioned her predecessor, Mr. Ogah, who was always rendering assistance in his best capacity and helped her through some processes such as organizing mock exams for higher classes. She also stated that Mr. Ogah and seniors helped in putting up ideas on what to do to ensure that questions were set and the exams were conducted.

However, with all of these great mentions came different challenges. Interviews were conducted with members of the audience of the IMSG-Quiz competition to gather their input and recommendations on how things could have been handled better.

One recommended creating room for more transparency in all of the quizzes and getting a good venue for the quizzes. He said, ”They should work on a good venue as the venue we used in one of the quizzes was not spacious and comfortable. They should also make plans to rotate the venues between UI and UCH to allow for more engagements and participation – as was done for the Press and Manifesto nights; the former held in UI, the latter in UCH.”

 The other interviewee also mentioned lateness. She said the Quiz Master came late for the Quiz held during the Health Week and that the Quiz Master lacked enough knowledge on how things were supposed to be done. She stated that there should be a balance in creating equal opportunity for the contestants i.e. the solutions provided should have broader answers.  Lastly, she commended them for the accuracy of results and for organizing the event excellently.

Hopefully, with the feedback solicited and corrections taken, things get better from here and UIMSAites are able to fully benefit from all that’s planned for them; especially in the area of academics.

Oyesade Esther Praise

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