Can a medical laboratory scientist become a medical doctor or surgeon?

‘I wanted to study Medicine but my UTME score did not meet the cut-off mark for that year so i switched to Medical Laboratory science. Can I still study Medicine and become a doctor?’, ‘I have a Medical Laboratory Science degree can I still go back to the University to study Medicine and become a doctor or surgeon?’.

The answer to these questions is ‘Yes’. This is a common scenario faced today by most students; undergraduate and post-graduate not only in Medical Laboratory Science but in most Para-medical courses such as Biochemistry, and Microbiology. While studying Medicine as a MLS, you may find some areas of Medicine and Surgery easier as they have been studied previously. However, easier does not mean easy. You will still need to put in a huge amount of work and dedication to become a Doctor or Surgeon.

Can a medical laboratory scientist become a medical doctor or surgeon?
Can a medical laboratory scientist become a medical doctor or surgeon? Yes…

Medicine and surgery is the field of study where scientific principles are employed in order to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases and improve the standard and quality of life medically. Upon completion of study which takes about six (6) years in the university, you will be awarded the degree known as MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery). It is also the science and “art” of maintaining and/or restoring health through the study of, diagnosis and treatment of patients. It is the application of health science, biomedical research, and medical technology to diagnose treat and injury and disease typically through medication, surgery or some other forms of therapy.

A medical laboratory scientist can become a Medical doctor or surgeon in two ways. The first way of becoming a Medical Doctor or Surgeon is by writing the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination again along with the Post UTME of the school after which if you meet up to the cut-off marks for admission for that year (Usually 80 and above out of hundred), you will be offered admission to study Medicine in the Faculty of Clinical Sciences as a 100 level student. Although this method is not time and cost friendly because the MLS would spend SIX years in the university plus one year of housemanship.

Also being a Medical Laboratory Scientist makes it easier to get admission to study Medicine and cope with the academic load as part of it has been done before. If you can find an MBBS program that allows for ‘post graduate’ entry cutting two or three years off the normal timeline. Most times it is required to visit your proposed institution for more enquiries and to find out if the proposal (three years) favours you. Generally it is safer to say that the 200 level admissions are more certain.

Most universities accept post graduate admissions into Medicine with a minimum of a 2nd class upper in any relevant course. Some schools accept 2nd class lower but this reduces the chances of being admitted. These courses include; Medical Laboratory Science, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Dentistry, Nutrition and Dietetics, Physiology, Ophthalmology, Pharmacology, Zoology and Anatomy. Some of the universities that accept post graduate admissions include; University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Ilorin and the University of Lagos.

Olayinka Shyllon

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