Eunice Tolulope – student profile

Published on 8 February 2024

With a passion to bridge the gap in palliative care delivery in Nigeria, Eunice has been on a transformative journey studying the Masters in Public Health (Palliative Care Research) at the University of Dundee.

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Elective posting in Palliative Medicine as a medical student in Nigeria

“Getting a master’s degree in palliative care has been a lifelong dream since my final year in medical school, inspired by a defining moment during a clinical elective at the Department of Hospice and Palliative Care, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria. Observing the holistic approach to managing patients with pain and those suffering from cancer and sickle cell disease ignited a passion that set me on a quest to bridge the gap in palliative care delivery in Nigeria. However, the absence of a formalized postgraduate training in both academic and clinical aspects within Nigeria, where palliative care is still in its evolutionary stages and faces a significant delivery gap—an issue of public health importance—prompted my decision to pursue this degree abroad.

“I chose to enroll at the University of Dundee for its unique MPH (Palliative Care Research) program, perfectly aligned with my career aspirations. This distinctive program focused on palliative care research, providing an opportunity to gain expertise in a specialized field and address the pressing palliative care delivery gap in Nigeria from a public health perspective.

“The master's program at the University of Dundee offered a holistic learning experience on palliative care research and public health, equipping me to be a proficient palliative care researcher. Modules such as ‘Palliative Care: Foundation of Research Module,’ ‘Introduction to Clinical Statistics’, ‘Epidemiology’, ‘Research Methods’, and ‘Ethnography’ endowed me with essential research skills and a profound understanding of research intricacies in palliative care, knowledge that I applied in completing my dissertation.

“Being in the School of Medicine at Ninewells Hospital provided a comfortable learning environment for me, and participating in palliative care classes at Roxburghe House with Tayside Palliative and End of Life Care (TAYPEOLC) Network Team was a highlight, allowing me to learn from a multidisciplinary team involved in providing palliative care. Additionally, the opportunity of a 3-week observership at Palliative Medicine Department, Ninewells Hospital, and Royal Victoria Hospital of NHS Tayside gave me valuable insights into top-notch palliative care and hospice services, motivating me to aspire to replicate similar practices in my home country.

“Throughout my journey, I received unwavering support, both in terms of resources and mentorship. Access to the 24/7 services at the Ninewells Library facilitated seamless coursework completion, and the dedication of my supervisor, Dr. Deans Buchanan, and co- director, Jennifer Watson, was instrumental in conducting original palliative care research in Nigeria. I took enriching clinical research courses with Tayside Medical Science Centre (TASC) based on my supervisor's recommendations which broadened my knowledge on ethics and principles of clinical based research. I also presented a poster of an abstract of my dissertation at the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care (SPPC) Conference 2023 at Edinburgh, which provided networking opportunities.  

“The exceptional learning environment, abundant resources, and holistic support were strong motivators, leading me to graduate with distinction. The master's program, coupled with the dissertation writing journey, transformed me into a skilled and dedicated palliative care researcher, with proficiency in research tools, critical thinking skills, and refined academic writing prowess as tangible outcomes.

“Looking ahead, I plan to embark on future research pursuits through a Ph.D. within the field of palliative care before fully returning to clinical practice. The experiences gained during this journey will undoubtedly serve as a robust foundation for my academic and professional development.”

Find out more about our Master of Public Health (Palliative Care Research) course