Exclusive Interview with the Editor-in-Chief of MediVoice News and Literary Club- Eshemokhai Okhesomi

Here, we feature Eshemokhai OKhesomi, the current Editor in Chief of MediVoice News and Literary Club.

Medivoice: Can we meet you, please?

My name is Eshemokhai Okhesomi Rejoice. I’m a Part 4 student of Medicine and Surgery from Edo State. I am also the Editor in Chief of MediVoice News and Literary Club (formerly MediVoice News Agency) of Obafemi Awolowo University’s Medical Students’ Association (IFUMSA).

Can you briefly tell us about MediVoice and how you came to be a member?

MediVoice was founded in 2008 and is the News/Editorial arm of IFUMSA. As our name implies, we are a Voice to tell a Medical Student’s story, especially IFUMSAItes stories. We do this by covering and reporting events that happen within the association. We also actively project Medical students to the world as we showcase our creative skills and feature IFUMSAITES on our space. In addition, we publish the Association’s Magazine, the Caduceus.

I’ve always loved writing, and I felt plagued by the fact that ‘College’ had made me temporarily abandon that aspect of my life. I got interested when I read reports of events MediVoice covered in my Part one days, especially the live football reports. Although I didn’t pick up the form in my first year, I decided to join when the call for membership was released in 2019.  

It’s been an amazing ride till now, and I’m proud to be a member of this Club. 

What would you say you love most about MediVoice?

I love so many things about MediVoice. First, I love how we bring color to IFUMSA by highlighting various events that would otherwise go by without notice. I love the sense of belonging to a family of like minds:  Medics who are also passionate about writing. 

But most importantly, I love how dynamic we are with what we do. In my last Editors note, I talked about how the constant drive to do things better has brought the club this far. From expressing our creativity through pen and paper to the standard website, we have today. Even our content has never stayed the same. There’s no telling just how much we will evolve over the next couple of years. But one thing is sure, We will always get better!

How was the in-house election before your appointment by the President? And how has running the club been for you? Especially combining it with Medical school and your personal life?

It went the way most clubs run their elections, in-house nominations, voting, then the swearing-in. A representative of the IFUMSA Electoral Committee conducted the whole process. I was elected Editor-in-Chief on the 23rd of September, and shortly after, I received my appointment letter from the President.

Running the club has been quite interesting, I must say. As the immediate past General Secretary and a one-time Financial Secretary, I was used to receiving instructions from the then E.I.Cs. So my first sense of responsibility came from being the one who now has to call the shots, delegate duties, and ultimately decide what path the club takes. 

There’s also the part of coordinating my fellow executives and club members. And last but not least, serving as the representative of the club before the IFUMSA SRB and before the Association of Campus Journalists (ACJ OAU).   

Combining this with my personal life hasn’t been easy. But it’s getting better by the day as we strengthen and put new structures in place.   

  What are your plans for the club this year, and aside from your club members, are there plans for IFUMSAites?

Undoubtedly there are plans for IFUMSAites. As we have always done, we would continue to showcase IFUMSA and IFUMSAites. But beyond that, we plan to have a Writing Webinar in January to address Competitive Essays and Writing to win them.  Regarding our content, we pride ourselves on churning out a wide variety of content that serves as an escape from the pressures of Med school for many people. We will be upping our game this year by introducing a new and highly engaging column. So feel free to watch this space! And participate actively where needed!

For my club members, I am committed to helping them build themselves and polish their writing and extra-writing skills to the best they can be, thus painting the narrative: Medical students are brilliant, talented, and diverse.

While your predecessors have done a good job in bringing the club this far, what areas do you plan to build upon?

I sincerely give it to my predecessors any day and any time. MediVoice has been built as a house, with each tenure doing something new and better. For instance, in the last tenure, we got a permanent domain name and a professional site last year. So this year, this year, we will be living up to the standard of that domain in the quality of our articles by making all our posts SEO optimized. This spells a lot but basically means that MediVoice articles will always be available on Google, especially for posterity’s sake.

I also plan to increase our audience far beyond IFUMSAites. What a lot of people don’t know yet is that we currently have viewers visiting our blog in up to 10 countries, including the UK. US, Canada, France, Australia, and Malaysia, to mention a few. This year, building on what my predecessors have done, we will strategically target medical schools using NIMSA platforms. So while some medical students from other schools already follow what we do here in IFUMSA via our blog, more would see what we do here.

Did you at any time envision yourself leading the club?

Yes I did. Plenty of times actually. But it was always about service and what I wanted to bring to the table. 

Usually, most IFUMSA Organ Heads are in their final years or penultimates. How does it feel to Head a Club as early as Part 4?

Well, it’s not a big deal over here because that’s what seems to work for our ‘system.’ Also, that’s what I met in the club. But truthfully, carrying everyone along is a different ball game. Shout out to every past MediVoice EIC, Bolu Onifade, Teniola Tope-Ojo, Muteeat Salami, and those before them. Truly, ‘e no be beans.’

We all know that even though writing may be one’s passion, sometimes it gets tiring and exhausting. How do you keep up with producing consistent content?

Not to sound like a motivational speaker, but the only way to do this is to work with our goals for the year. We started the tenure by laying out our goals. Whenever it gets tiring, the plan is to return to our vision board. This way we would remind ourselves of why we are even running in the first place.

What has been your proudest moment so far as the EDITOR-IN-CHIEF of Medivoice?

It’s been three months since I came into the office, and we’ve had some beautiful moments, which I see as the beginning of much more. I’ve had people openly commend what we do. IFUMSAites, OAU students, and even Medical Students from other schools.

But I’d say my proudest moment was when the NIMSA Preclinical Forum featured the MediVoice Blog in their magazine. The circumstance that led to that was a testament that people recognize what we do, even if it seems like we don’t get enough accolades within our own ‘base.’

Can you also share some of your club’s biggest challenges? How can IFUMSAites support the club better?

Well, one of them has been getting IFUMSAITES to spread the energy by sharing our posts. The fact is that a win for MediVoice would always be a win for IFUMSAITES! If we are actively working to increase our audience, it’s because we want the association to benefit from it. So a little repost, a little retweet, or even engaging our posts more would go a long way to help us meet our goals faster and encourage the ‘writers’ in us.

It has been a long-standing culture that the recruitment process for Medivoice ends at  400L, but during the last recruitment exercise, all levels across IFUMSA were included. What changed? 

Well, ‘Change, Growth, and Life’ happened, and I believe it did for the best. 

What advice would you give to IFUMSAites who hope to one day join the club?

If you believe you’d settle in nicely in a community of writer-medics, MediVoice is the club for you. Don’t let false or preconceived notions hold you back. There’s so much to gain if you are in this circle.

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