At the MRC auditorium in Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Monday, 119 young doctors, dressed smartly in white and black suits, sat and waited for their turn.
After relieving about 1,000 doctors of their duties for refusal to return to their duty posts; recruitment of new doctors at the hospital is reaching fever pitch.
A panel of judges comprising of Professor David Oke, the Chief Medical Director, and eight others grilled the prospective employees who were called into the room in batches of 10.
Those who had already applied for locum employment were asked to indicate by raising up their hands – they would not be eligible for the interview.
Questions ranging from basic and more sophisticated medical practices and procedures to current affairs were asked.
Most of the doctors were at ease in providing answers, especially for questions relating to the profession.
But they did not perform well when it came to their knowledge of current affairs.
A doctor was asked the cause of Ectopic pregnancy and the medical term for sore throat.
Apparently, under the tensed atmosphere in the room; she could not provide the answers.
“I couldn’t remember a thing in there,” the female doctor later told colleagues.
Another doctor was asked the significance of the green and white colours in the Nigeria’s national flag.
“The white stands for peace while the green stands for greenness,” he replied.
Already, more than 300 fresh hands have been employed and more are still being screened.
For most of the new doctors, this was an opportunity to move from private practice to the “more lucrative” government employment.
However, a lot of the younger doctors say they are “scared” of what would happen if the strike is resolved or when the Nigeria Medical Association decides to make good their threat of “dealing with them.”
“I really don’t know what would happen to us,” one of the doctors said.
In the interview room, a doctor was asked to name a confluence state and then the nickname of her home state.
She failed both questions.