3 Reasons Why Nigerians Choose To Study Medicine Abroad

There are 3 reasons why Nigerians choose to study Medicine outside Nigeria
1. To be exposed to global standards in training and practice

2. Because they couldn’t secure admission into a Nigerian medical school


3. Because they think they can harass the rest of us with their tag of “abroad doctor”

Reason 1 is ok. Reasons 2 and 3 are shameful and desperate. Reason 1 will take them to countries like the US, Canada, and UK while reasons 2 & 3 will get them to Ukraine, Hungary, India, Bulgaria, UAE, Egypt, and even Sudan. I know about these destinations because I’ve personally interacted with medical graduates from there. We call them foreign medical graduates (FMG).

Any doctor that will treat patients in Nigeria must be licenced by the regulatory body called the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN). That you’re licenced anywhere else (even UK or US) doesn’t mean you can treat patients in Nigeria. You have to apply to MDCN to be licenced to practise here.

The only difference that comes with where you were trained comes in the modality of licensing. If you’re from the US, UK, etc, your licensing is a little straightforward. If you’re from those other countries I listed above, you will need to do a 3-month training in a Nigerian hospital and then write an exam. Both training and exam are organised by MDCN. If you pass, you receive your licence. Otherwise, you’re flung out.

For those of you who think Nigeria is the lowest country in the world, now you know. We don’t get intimidated by everybody from just any “abroad” and the MDCN won’t just let anybody toy with the lives of Nigerians.

Last month, such an exam took place. FMG’s failed woefully. Pass rate 35%. They gave them an exam that’s the same standard as the one our own final year students here write and so many of them couldn’t pass. And these are people who have supposedly graduated from Ukraine, etc.

Then they protested and petitioned the MDCN to the national assembly which summoned MDCN. Unknown to them, that they are highly influential and can bulldoze their way anywhere doesn’t mean they can tamper with medical qualification that has to do with human lives. They may have money to send their kids abroad but they don’t have what it takes to rig a regulatory process.

Let me tell you why they didn’t pass the exam. This is from my personal interaction with so many of them over the years.

They are children of rich people who want their children to be doctors by fire by force. There are medical schools in those countries that take students from all over the world but rather than train everybody the same way, they train blacks differently from their own students. Medical training is about directly interacting with patients. Touching patients. Participate in treating patients. Joining theatre sessions and ward rounds. It’s apprenticeship like they do in mecho village. Unfortunately, they don’t allow black students to have direct interaction with the patients.

Some of them confessed to me that their first time of examining a patient was during that 3-month posting in Nigeria. Throughout their medical training abroad, they were only allowed to read through case notes and look at the pictures of patients. Instead of letting them enter the theatre, they show them videos. And so on and so forth. Then they set their exams differently from the normal one. They are trained in such a way that when they finish, they will not be qualified to practise in those countries like their own citizens. They can’t even be allowed to do the 1-year internship. Meanwhile they’ve collected large sums of money from them.

That’s why they troop back to Nigeria in large numbers. Nigeria, their home country, is their only hope of ever being able to practise. The reason why they can’t pass is because they were trained on case notes, pictures, and videos, not on real patients.

Moral of the story

1. It’s not compulsory that you read medicine. It’s not compulsory that your kids read medicine.

2. If you must make your child read medicine, Nigeria is your best bet. Here your kid will be properly trained within the available means. She will be allowed to touch patients. She will even assist surgeries. But if she must travel abroad, let her go to a place where she will receive the same training, not where she will be trained with only case notes and pictures because of racism.

3. That you’ve studied abroad means nothing. We’re not dissuaded by that.

Special mention

Rauf Aregbesola should take note. His justification for not paying salaries is projects and one of such projects is how he sent Osun State University medical students to Ukraine because the school didn’t have accreditation. He boasts about it at almost every opportunity. He needs to be told that he has simply wasted our resources (forex) as most of them didn’t pass oooo.

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