Anatomist Vs Surgeon: Can an anatomist become a surgeon in Nigeria? Are anatomists doctors?

There is a saying that “surgery performed without the knowledge of anatomy is quackery”.

Now this shows that a good surgeon should have a broad and excellent knowledge about human anatomy but this does not equate to an anatomist becoming a surgeon or performing surgery …In other words a surgeon is an lowkey anatomist but an anatomist is not a surgeon.

Legally, an anatomist is not permitted to carry out surgical operations no matter his or her knowledge of human anatomy…moreover, knowledge of anatomy does not equate to knowledge of surgery….Surgery as a branch of medicine is also an act that requires some hand skills and a knowledge of the human physiology, and biochemistry….A certified surgeon does not depend solely on her knowledge of anatomy alone to perform operations. Don’t get is twisted.

Can an anatomist become a surgeon in Nigeria?
Can an anatomist become a surgeon in Nigeria?

To become a surgeon in Nigeria, you need to first new a qualified medical doctors after spending six years in medical school, you will do the mandatory one year internship program in any of the teaching hospital, general hospital, and federal medical centres, thereafter you will start residency training programme in surgery for 4 -6 years after which you be a board certified surgeon now legally backed to carry out operation on the human body.

For an anatomist, she spends 4 years in the University after which she is given a BSc in Anatomy science…an anatomist is not a medical doctor let alone a surgeon….

However, an anatomist can become a surgeon if he is ready to go through the following processes.

1. Get jamb form and go back to the University

Here a graduate of anatomy will get UTME form, write the exams, write post-UME after which, if successful, will be admitted into the department of Medicine and Surgery where he will spend 6 years before he will be awarded MBBS degree. He is starting afresh from 100 level.

2. Direct Entry

Yes, an anatomist can use his or her BSc certificate to get admitted into 200level medicine.

In summary, a surgeon is a trained anatomist that can perform surgeon, she or he also have broad knowledge about surgery science, internal medicine , biochemistry and physiology…while, an anatomist is an anatomy major that though have a broad knowledge of anatomy, but she or he is not qualified or trained to perform Surgeries. An anatomist that want to become a surgeon MUST first go to medical school, become a doctor and thereafter specialise in surgery.

Not only in Nigeria, an anatomist cannot become a surgeon anywhere without going through the laid down process of becoming a surgeon.

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  1. Huh i want to become a forensic scientist but I dunno how, someone advised I start from anatomy? And why is anatomy frowned upon


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