How many years will it take to study Medicine in Nigeria?, how many years does it take to become a doctor in Nigeria?
Officially, it takes 6 years to study medicine and become a doctor with MBBS in Nigeria. Medicine and surgery program in Nigerian medical schools is 6 years all things being equal and if you studied medicine in private university. Same with dentistry. Underline the word officially.
However, it is not uncommon to hear young medical doctors say spent close to 10years or even 12 years in medical school.
Here are the reasons medical students and even dental students spend greater than 6 years in medical school.
1. No accreditation
Some medical schools are not accredited by the National University Commission (NUC) and Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria for medical programs like medicine and surgery. Medical students in these schools without accreditation end up spending close to 10 years in medical school before finally graduating as doctors. The spend many years in one class before they can move to the next level of their training. Many medical students in DELSU and IMSU can relate to this. In IMSU, I have seen a medical doctor that spent 12 years in medical school because his school lost accreditation for Medicine.
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2. ASUU STRIKE
Yes. The incessant strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASSU) affect medical students gravely and prolong their stay in government owned medical schools. From my personal experience, as a medical student, I suffered an ASUU strike that lasted a year. I lost a year due to the strike. Right now also, many medical students are stuck at home because of ASUU strike that started February 2020. They have automatically lost one year too. ASUU strike is the greatest enemy of medical students in Nigeria and many of them end up spending longer duration in medical school. Be informed that ASUU strike does not affect medical students in private universities offering medicine.
3. NMA strike
Every medical doctor is a member of the Nigerian Medical Association. Don’t forget that it is this same doctors that are classroom lectures and hospital consultants. They are the ones that will impart both the theoretical and practical (clinical) aspect of medicine on the medical students. When they go on strike, the hospital where med students learn clinical skills is shut down and their program is distorted… I know a set of final year medical students that could not graduate until after 6 months due a protracted NMA and ARD strike in 2014.
4. Nurses strike – JOHESU strike
When nurses and the joint health workers consisting of pharmacists, medical records staff, cleaners etc are on strike, the teaching hospital is shut and medical students also bear the brunt of their industrial actions. Johesu strike is very much frequent and it prolongs medical students stay in school.
5. Are your failing and repeating class?
Yes. Some medical students fail their professional exams and ends up repeating the class and extending their duration of studying medicine and surgery. A session in medical schools is about 18 months (close to 2 years). Many medical students sometimes repeat 300 level class and 400 level class, the combined duration of these levels is 4 years. That means the student will be spending an extra 4 years in medical school. Imagine that!
The problems of a medical student in Nigeria and even in Africa are many.
This article is an intellectual property of www.nimedhealth.com.ng