IS PHYSIOLOGY A GOOD COURSE IN NIGERIA? IS PHYSIOLOGY A LUCRATIVE COURSE IN NIGERIA?
Experience, they say is the best teacher. However, personal experience may not always the best teacher especially if it doesn’t end well and/or if it leaves a scar behind. So, it is usually better to learn from other people’s experiences in order to make good decisions when faced with similar situations. One of such situations, especially facing a fresh secondary school graduate in Nigeria is determining the course of study in the university.
Physiology is the study of the normal function of the human body. It describes the chemistry and physics behind basic body functions, from how molecules behave in cells to how systems of organs work together. It also gives a clue about some abnormalities in those functions .
Physiology is generally regarded as the bedrock of medicine, little wonder why majority of the Nobel prize for medicine are mostly won by physiologists.
So, is physiology a good course in Nigeria? That question is best answered individually. Living in Nigeria is already very challenging irrespective of the course you studied. As at the last count, over 33% of Nigerians are unemployed and over 40% live below the poverty level.
Then, the career options for a physiology graduate in this country are so limited. In more developed countries, physiologists could choose to go into the clinical setting where they have specific roles in the hospitals, or could go into the industries and pharmaceutical companies where their roles are clearly defined. They could choose to work at the seaports or airports if they majored in sea or space physiology respectively.
They could thrive in public health or choose to go into the academic/research field where they have an avalanche of opportunities available to them.
But over here, the only exclusive opening for graduates of physiology is getting a job as a physiology lecturer and that will only happen after making the arduous effort of obtaining an MSc and a PhD. The other option that is beginning to open up is to be a sales representative for pharmaceutical companies if you know someone that knows someone that would link you up.
So, is it all doom and gloom for physiology in Nigeria? Let me share a personal experience at this juncture. I for one, studied human physiology as a BSc, did my one year of NYSC and came back to school via direct entry to study medicine and surgery. The depth of knowledge and understanding that I had gotten from physiology gave me an edge over my peers so much so that, despite the fact that I was always going to anchor events every other weekend, despite the fact that I had a wife and two children, I was still the best graduating doctor for my set. Yes! You read that right!
I doubt if there’s any other course that I would have done that would have given me such an unmatched advantage. Suddenly, my years in physiology didn’t seem like a waste anymore. It might have taken a little longer time for me to become a doctor but it has made me a better, more grounded doctor.
So, I ask again, is physiology a good course in Nigeria? You surely have your answer by now!
Written by Dr Akinyemi Olamide