HALFWAY THROUGH: A Review of The Office of the SDO Preclinicals

Mr Mubarak Gbolagade Alimi, the SDO Preclinicals 2022/2023 session

Mr Mubarak Gbolagade Alimi despite facing initial setbacks, was elected as the Special Duties Officer (Preclinicals) for the 2022/2023 tenure having achieved success in a second round of elections for the same post. (He assumed office with a significant legacy to hold, his predecessor setting a high bar for excellence and dedication.) As we’ve reached the midpoint of this tenure, it is an opportunity to reflect on the progress made, promises kept and the path ahead. This article aims to provide an objective assessment of the performance and contribution of Mubarak Alimi as the Special Duties Officer (Preclinicals) thus far.

Constitutional duties: He has fulfilled/ is fulfilling the following duties as stated in Chapter 3 Article IX of the UIMSA constitution:

He is currently serving as the secretary of the Academics Committee. 

Organization of the preclinical orientation: The preclinical orientation and mental health talk held on the 26th of August was themed Navigating Preclinical with Mental Health Resilience. The speakers included members of the association who had distinguished themselves in various capacities. The panel session addressed some of the questions that had been troubling the students. It was heartening to hear positive feedback from one of the attendees, who remarked that the event was undeniably enlightening. The turnout was quite surprising as the on-campus accommodation was still an issue for 200-level classes.

The Preclinical Orientation held for the 2K25 class

The mental health talk, hosted by the Asido Campus Network UI, was another pivotal aspect of the event. Themed Navigating the Challenges: Prioritizing Mental Health in Medical School, it addressed a pressing concern often overlooked in academic settings and urged everyone to protect their mental health. While the event was undoubtedly a success in terms of content, one glaring setback was the logistical aspect. It was disappointing to note that the sound system was faulty during the event.

The organisation of the fresher’s welcome: Themed New Horizon, included a football match and main event on the 6th and 7th of October respectively. On the day of the main event, there were a few unexpected hurdles. The event started later than scheduled due to the late arrival of many of the attendees. Also, the inclement weather in the form of rain made it necessary to momentarily pause the event and eventually change venues. Despite the initial delays and the interruptions caused by the rain, the fresher’s welcome turned out to be largely successful. The high turnout of 100-level students exceeded expectations. The programme featured talks and various activities including giveaways, a talent show, and games. While the day had its share of delays, it ultimately succeeded in bringing together and entertaining the attendees.

The Freshers’ Welcome and Orientation held for the 2K26 class

(He had also conducted an election to co-opt two students (a male and a female) of the 100-level constituency into the Senate and elect a majority leader.)

Having looked at the constitutional duties of the SDO-Preclinicals, let’s delve into a review of the goals and plans stated in his manifesto, and the progress so far.

Exam Motivation series, ‘Songs of Jackophytes’: During his campaign, Mr Alimi stated that he’d revive the songs of jackophytes, inspired by the welfare team of the 2k24 class, in the preclinical classes. Mr Alimi had started the exam motivation series during the 2k25 second semester examinations and 2k24 in-course tests. Members of both classes have attested that the motivational phrases have proven to be a valuable source of support, providing an additional surge of confidence and encouragement for the upcoming assessment.

One of the exam motivation series, an innovation from Mr Mubarak

Welfare: In an interview with the UIMSA Press, he expressed his dedication to attending to the well-being of the preclinical UIMSAites, stating that he has been in frequent contact with the majority leaders of the 100, 200 and 300-level constituencies as well as the welfare director of the 200 level class to check up on the welfare of members of the preclinical classes.

 Continuation of the mentorship program: Mr Alimi Mubarak stated that a lot of groundwork has already been laid for the mentorship program, with the mentors already in place and a call for interested mentees in the 100 and 200-level constituencies already sent out.

Ligature project: The ligature project as proposed by the previous SDO-Preclinical includes

  • An interview session with UIMSAites thriving in various fields and making copies of this available to UIMSAites;
  • A virtual interaction session connecting UIMSAites with these individuals; and
  • Monthly sharing of opportunities for personal and career development of UIMSAites.

A subcommittee for the Ligature Project, consisting of preclinical students, has been formed within the UIMSA Academics Committee. The subcommittee also includes four students of the 100-level constituency to ensure all preclinical classes are represented. While there has been some advancement, the workload and assessments faced by the 200 and 300-level students necessitated a temporary hold on the project.

Virtual LinkedIn and Social Media Optimization Program: This initiative aims at empowering UIMSAites with the knowledge of the significance of social media and how to effectively harness it as medical students. He stated that some plans have been made towards this program, noting that he has made contact with and secured some speakers for the program. He also added that one of the challenges he has encountered is the coordination of a convenient date and time that accommodates all the parties involved.

Organisation of MB1 talk and mock examination for the 2k24 class: He noted that the delay in scheduling the MB1 talk and mock examinations for the 300 level can be attributed to the uncertainty surrounding the scheduling of the MB1 exams.

Organisation of the Preclinical Hangout: The preclinical hangout is intended to foster social connections among preclinical students. He has stated that he is considering scheduling the hangout after the 300-level MB1 exams. He commented that this choice is to give the 300-level students a chance to relax after their exams and to accommodate all three preclinical classes.

Mr Alimi Mubarak remains optimistic that all the promises outlined in his manifesto will be fulfilled before the end of the tenure, although the timing of the MB1 exam may potentially impact some of the scheduled activities.

While the task of filling ‘filling shoes’ is not without its challenges, the dedication, adaptability and commitment of the current SDO-Preclinicals are evident. As his tenure continues, we hope that this review not only shows progress but serves as a constructive reflection for potential growth in the remaining duration of the tenure.

Chisom Peace Obah

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