Becoming a Plastic Surgeon: All you should know about Plastic Surgery Residency Training in Nigeria

Plastic Surgery is a postgraduate specialty in Surgery; it isn’t child’s play. It’s not for nothing that doctors undergo an additional 7-8 years of rigorous training in a Residency program under supervision in an Accredited Hospital. Being awarded a certificate from an institution for attending and completing a course that lasted a few days, hours or weeks at most does not make a doctor or anyone else for that matter a plastic surgeon.

All you should know about Plastic Surgery Residency Training in Nigeria


You have to be a medical doctor first. No short cuts,it is a long, tedious and tortuous process. This you will start by passing your WAEC or NECO with credit passes in Mathematics, English Language, Physics, Biology,and Chemistry.


Make a decision to be become a doctor. Enrol for JAMB now called UTME and choose Medicine as your course of study in any of the accredited universities in Nigeria. Prepare hard for the UTME exams because competition for medicine is very high. Score at least 260 in JAMB to put you at a better chance to write POST-UTME and gain admission.


Yes you have passed your JAMB and POST-UTME in flying colours and you have gained admission in the university of your choice to study medicine. Congratulations. You should study hard to pass all your examinations in medical school and in 6-7 years (if ASUU, NMA, JOHESU permits), you are a medical doctor and you will be awarded your MBBS degree. Nice but this is not the end.

All you should know about Plastic Surgery Residency Training in Nigeria
Dr Stanley Okoro is a Nigerian trained plastic surgeon


You will be inducted into medical practice by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and given a provisional licence to practice medicine under close supervison by your more experienced seniors and superiors but you are now their junior collegue.


To make it a full licence to practice as a doctor, you will be required to use that provisonal licence to apply for placements in teaching hospitals (state or federal) for your compulsory but paid one year internship training programme called housemanship (housejob). As at now, you are still a medical graduate.


You will be given a full practicing licence (which will be renewed yearly) after your housemanship. Now is the time to go for the compulsory one year programme of the NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE CORPS (NYSC). If you have past that age, get an exemption.


Since you have made up your mind to become a plastic surgeon, you apply for a medical extrance exams for residency training called primaries (NATIONAL OR WEST AFRICA COLLEGE OF SURGEONS OR BOTH). If you pass your surgery primaries, you will get placement in any of the accredited teaching hospitals for plastic surgery and commence your rigorous journey of plastic surgery residency. It takes close to 7 years (if you are passing your step exams).


By now you are a full grown man or woman married with children (if you want to). With perserverance and hardwork, you will become a board certified plastic surgeon after another 6-7 years of specialist training. Then you will be awarded a Fellow in Plastic Surgery by the West African College of Surgeons or the National Postgraduate College of Surgeons.

Hope you understand? That is all for now about plastic surgery residency training in Nigeria.

The end

Dr Udomoh

Featured Image: Medcontour


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