Daddies in Medicine ~ Work-Family Balance, Working at the NHS Frontline.

By berrysmotivation - April 27, 2020


Dr Iyalla-Douglas Pepple is an NHS UK GP registrar with special interest in Adolescent Reproductive Health and Family Planning. He has a degree in Human Anatomy and a Medical degree from 2 Nigerian Universities. He also has a masters degree in Reproductive Medicine from the University of Kent, Canterbury. He is happily married to a medical doctor and they have a son. He says he loves watching football, playing the piano and creating medical YouTube videos to assist IMGs.
Out of his very busy schedule especially with the ongoing pandemic, he has taken out time to talk about life as medical doctor, a dad, creating work family balance and working at the NHS frontline.

When you first became a dad, was there a big change to your career, if yes how?
Becoming a first time dad in 2018 just at the start of my ‘residency’ training without family support here was quite daunting and challenging. I had to do extra Locum shifts, suffered sleep deprivation and even had some health challenges because of the transition.

How do/did you cope with shifts/night shifts with the little one?
I was fortunate to get good support from my work place with less night shifts and I had my 2 weeks paternity leave which gave me some time to stay at home and assist my wife prior to the arrival of family members from abroad. I also got the services of a live-in Nanny at the time which was quite expensive. 

What would you say are the upsides to being a doctor and a daddy?
Mixing the challenges of being a junior doctor here in the UK and being a first time Dad is unimaginable. It pushes you beyond limits and the only thing that can keep you sane is a generous dose of optimism and patience. 

How do you create work family balance?
I am involved in so many projects simultaneously. As a Junior doctor in training, I have enormous responsibilities ranging from work, attending seminars/conferences, meeting up with my training eportfolios and work based assessments, preparing for professional exams, running my home, social responsibilities as well as finding time to relax and have fun. In order to meet up with all these, I prioritise activities and work with deadlines whist ensuring that I maintain balance and my sanity.

Do you do anything else apart from your full time job? and how do you create time for it?
I am involved in religious activities in my local church. I also  involved in Transformational Leadership training for young people and an ardent social media influencer via my Instagram and Youtube channel called “DR PEPPLE’s HUB” which I use to assisting IMGS who are transitioning to the UK.

What impact has COVID-19 on your family and work? Obviously, Covid-19 has changed virtually every aspect of our human lives ranging from work, relationships and lifestyle. In my family, we have taken extra precautions such as adequate use of PPEs and compulsive hand washing to maintain extreme hygiene to limit exposure to the corona virus both at work and home so as to protect ourselves and our little boy.

What has your experience at the NHS front line been like?


Being an NHS frontliner during this period of  Covid19 pandemic is scary and tricky. Just like every other frontliner, the apprehension, fear and uncertainties are palpable. I try not to put myself unnecessarily in harm’s way and I ensure that I do not embark on any heroic stunts. So, I stick to familiar grounds and routines and ensure that I am well protected and follow all necessary rules of engagement stipulated by my hospital and professional bodies.  

What advice do you have for dads and dads to be who are worried about balancing their full time jobs and family life?
I think the human mind is expansile and our ability to adapt to situations is limitless. The challenges of being a young dad and doctor in a foreign land can only be surmounted if we take life easy and slowly, one day at a time. It’s important to be available for our spouses and help out with domestic chores, cut down on activities that are not essential and prioritise our mental wellbeing and spirituality. This phase is only temporary and if we handle it well, it will herald a blissful future.

I hope you enjoyed this.
Have a beautiful week and please stay safe.
Cheers
Dr Mute'

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