I decided to write this article to clear the erroneous mindset that some Nigerian Universities offer degree programmes in Neurosurgery. It is simply a reaction to a query I saw on Google captioned: “best university to study neurosurgery in nigeria”. The truth is there is NO university that offer degree programmes in Neurosurgery in Nigeria or in any part of the world. Neurosurgery is a post graduate training programme and you must be certified a medical doctor first by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN). Thereafter your will be required to write a type of medical exam called Primaries, and pass the exam before you can apply for residency training in Neurosurgery. It takes another 6 to 7 years to be certified a specialist or consultant or a professional in Neurosurgery. Becoming a neurosurgeon is a long and tedious journey and not how it most people describe it out there.
Moreso, Neurosurgery as a specialty in Nigeria is under the West African College of Surgeons (WACS) and NOT under the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC). To become a neurosurgeon in Nigeria, it takes a total of 15 years: 6 years in medical school, 1 year mandatory housmanship, 1 year for the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and 7 years of residency training in any of the accredited teaching hospitals or federal medical centres.
What is Neurosurgery?
According to Wikipedia, Neurosurgery, or neurological surgery, is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, surgical treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders which affect any portion of the nervous system including the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and extra-cranial cerebrovascular system. Doctors trained in this field are called neurosurgeons. They do brain surgeries, spinal cord surgeries like laminectomy, Ventriculoperitoneal shunts for hydrocephalus and many more.
Hospitals that offers residency training in Neurosurgery in Nigeria
As we have already ascertained that neurosurgery is not a university degree programme, I have decided to list out the hospitals that have full accreditation to offer residency training for neurological surgery in Nigeria. They are about 10 in number as at now, 9 of which are teaching hospitals and just one private hospital in Enugu called Memphys. Right now, there is no federal medical centre in Nigeria that train resident doctors on Neurosurgery.
The accredited teaching hospitals that trains doctors to become specialists in Neurosurgery are:
1. University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) , Benin City, Edo State
2. University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Oyo state
3. Uthman Danfodiyyo Teaching Hospital (UDTH), Symptoms, Symptoms State.
4. Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Lagos State
5. Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Kano
6. University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu
7. Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital (OAUTH) , Ife, Osun State
8. Ahmadu Bello Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, Kaduna
9. Memfys Hospital for Neurosurgery, Enugu. The only privately owned hospital with full accreditation by the West African College of Surgeons (WACS) for residency training for Neurosurgeons in Nigeria.
10. University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Port Harcourt, Rivers state. (Have partial accreditation for Neurological Surgery)
I hope I have been able to educate you about Neurosurgery training and becoming a neurosurgeon in Nigeria? Any questions?
As more universities get accredited, this page will be updated. Stay tuned for the next article where I will discuss the salary of a neurosurgeon in Nigeria.
Image credit: Heritage Valley Health System