It is so common to hear kids say “I wanna become a Medical Doctor when am grown”… some students say to their parents “mom, dad… if not for the medical doctor, I don’t just want to settle for an alternative profession”. Have you ever taken the time to think of what is so special about this profession of medical doctor…? Still, this decision is more dynamic. How about the scene where parents insist on their child choose to become a medical doctor…? Otherwise, they may risk losing their sponsorship in education. Albeit, these simply delineate the degree of value the profession carries.
Therefore, this content is solely to make you understand how to become a medical doctor in Nigeria. In addition, It would review the processes you would have to undergo to become, with values, a licensed medical practitioner.
However, how to become a medical doctor in Nigeria starts with understanding the concept of a “Medical Doctor”. Hence, we shall first examine the vicinity of the profession of a medical doctor. So, let’s get on a tour of the “Basics” of the profession.
Ensure you stay tuned till the end!!!
We recommend you also see How to Become a Lawyer in Nigeria| Requirements, Cost, Salary, and Universities
Who is a medical Doctor?
In a layman’s understanding, a medical doctor treats patients. In another, a medical doctor is someone who owns a hospital where he administers medicine to his patients. All was well said.
Defining it professionally, a Medical Doctor is a graduate of a medical school who is licensed to practice medicine. From a view, for a person to be a medical Doctor by profession, he must have graduated from a medical school. From another, the person must be licensed to administer medical services. In other words, he must be approved by the issuance of a license to carry on his medical career. A medical doctor dedicates his effort and resources to treat people with health challenges. Particularly, he carries out the diagnosis (or even a prognosis) on patients and then, gives them adequate medical recommendations and treatments. Simply, he associates with patients on health issues. Thus, that is just who a medical doctor is.
The knowledge of the above is basic to understanding how to become a Medical Doctor. At this point one may ask the question; How then do I become a medical Doctor…? Quite well, this shall be fully discussed in this content. But, before we venture into that, let’s take a look at a brief history of Medicine.
Brief History of Medicine
In terms of origin, the use of medicine is ancient. It is almost as old as humans. Hence, it would almost be impossible to recount where and how it was first used. However, ancient traces of the use of medicine were identified in India, China, Babylonia, Egypt, and some other ancient cities.
Through radiocarbon dating, scientists found the earliest trace of medicine in cave sculptures. Particularly, such artworks portrayed the kind of sickness experienced by the ancient people. Equally, it gave a vivid account of medical approaches put up in that era.
Obviously, from study methods used in such an ancient era depicted methods of trial and error in the treatment of ailments. In a way, this endangered lots of lives. Consequently, people sought a more secure approach to the treatment of diseases. Thus, there was a kind of vast dive into the medical field.
Furthermore, people started importing different ways to treat ailments. One of these was the use of herbs which have been in use from the ancient. Equally, there was this method called trepanning. In this, the physicians would make a hole in the patient’s skull. Sometimes, they adopt the use of magic in treating patients. Often, these methods were based on trial and error.
However, by mid 20th there was a professional approach to medicine. Hence, Medical doctors started gaining roots in the field. Meanwhile, Physicians started engaging in professional medical training after 1970. And, nurse developed into a novel profession and allowed women to participate.
Till today, the profession of Medical Doctor experiences new developments. By the same token, there was deep research, new methods of diagnosis, treatments, etc… All of these were aided by advancements in technology. Therefore, there is now a clear path on how to become a medical doctor in Nigeria.
What Does It Mean To Study Medicine?
Simply, studying medicine starts with getting enrolled in an accredited medical school. However, the gate to Medicine is very tight and highly competitive. Hence, aspirants must understand the basics of how to become a medical doctor.
To qualify for this, the aspirant would have to undertake the O’level examination. From this, he must obtain at least 5 credit passes. Meanwhile, English Language, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Chemistry are compulsory. Also, the aspirant can obtain any other trade-related subject.
Furthermore, the aspirant must register and sit for JAMB. From this, he must obtain a very good score, at least up to the cur off.
Equally, candidates who seek to study medicine have to undertake the medical school exam. In this case, it is PUTME. Here, he must obtain a very good grade.
In the long run, the student will learn a lot about the field. This ranges from simple to hard aspects. In other words, the school would dig deep into the field of teaching the students. There would be teachings on Ethics of Medicine, Fundamentals of Medicine, and the different fields embedded within Medicine. Then, and most importantly, the student would have to undergo wholesome training in Medicine. Practical and theoretical knowledge are both essential.
Medical Governing Bodies in Nigeria
To ensure orderliness and discipline, medical doctors and other medical practitioners operate under a code of conduct. In the same vein, there are governing bodies set up to ensure medical doctors submit to the rules guiding their profession. Failure to do this, however, would attract a penalty. Even, on more serious discredits, the physician in person may be deprived of his/her medical License.
It is, therefore, important to note that abuses and all sorts of ill manners are not allowed in Medical Practices…
Hence, part of what you must learn on How to become a medical doctor in Nigeria is excellence. Therefore, this is a call on dedication to duty.
Some of these Medical Governing Bodies are;
#1. Nigerian Medical Association (NMA):
This is the largest Medical Professional Body in Nigeria. It aims at improving public health by proffering solutions to health challenges.
#2. Nigerian Medical Students’ Association (NiMSA):
This is the student’s arm of the Nigeria Medical Association ( NMA). It is the professional body for medical students in the country and Diaspora.
#3. Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA):
This is a licensed professional body of Veterinary Surgeons.
#4. Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN):
This licensed professional body takes care of Children’s health.
#5. Pharmacists Council of Nigeria(PCN):
This is a professional body that ensures that Pharmacies operate to a very good standard.
#6. South Eastern Nigeria Zonal Post Abortion Care Network (SEPACNET):
This Professional body takes s made up of Lawyers, Nurses, doctors, media practitioners, and so on. The body helps to cater to the victims and future victims of Abortion. It equally looks into female reproductive health.
Other Medical/Health Associations in Nigeria are:
And so on …
Career Prospects of Studying Medicine
People conceive of medical students as “Future Doctors”. But, most students wouldn’t love to settle for the profession of Medical doctor. What, then, becomes their fate as Medical School graduates…? No worries…!!!
Interestingly, as a graduate of a Medical school, you are exposed to assortments of Job opportunities. Yes, of course, as a medical degree holder you can become a Doctor and own your hospital. However, besides being a Medical Doctor, there are many other careers any medical degree holder can settle for.
Some of the career opportunities include:
Others Career Prospects are:
And so on…
Types of Medical Doctor
The knowledge of the types of Medical Doctors is very basic when learning how to become a medical doctor in Nigeria.
Indeed, there are different ailments humans suffer from out there. Owing to this, the fields of Medicine are so diversified too, effectively, contain these diseases. To enhance effective treatment and analysis of diseases, there is a division of labor in the Medical terrain. One doctor takes care of this… and the other that…
Therefore, the knowledge of the different kinds of Medical doctors would help patients know the right Doctors to meet to tender a particular health challenge. We shall discuss them in this section.
Meanwhile, we shall explain them in two caps;
#1. The Primary Care Doctors
These ties treat simple ailments. Their basic features include:
Some of the Primary Care Doctors include:
Particularly, these physicians treat only adults. They, mainly, pay attention to sicknesses that affect adults.
Sometimes, they are called Family Medical Doctors. From a view, they are family-based Doctors. Normally, they treat patients of all ages.
Majorly, these Doctors treat children from the baby stage to the young adult stage.
They focus on “older” adults. Of course, they are under an Internal Medicine Physician. In addition, they mainly focus on the ailments common during the aging process. Equally, they prescribe treatments for older adults.
#2. Specialty Doctors
These Doctors have specific areas of specialization. Extensively, they dig very deep into their fields. Some of them include:
Simply, they are skin Doctors. They treat all kinds of skin-related conditions. Likely, they treat issues like eczema, skin cancer, acne, and psoriasis.
Mainly, they treat all sorts of diseases that are contagious. Some of the infections they treat include influenza, HIV, Bacteria infections, and so on.
Ophthalmologists specialize in conditions of the eye. They, also, perform eye surgery.
These doctors provide preventive care and disease management for female health conditions. They attend to female conditions like pregnancy, delivery, female reproductive health, and so on.
Cardiologists specialize in the cardiovascular system, which includes the heart and blood vessels. Especially, they attend to issues of heart attacks, high blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Endocrinologist treats conditions related to the endocrine system – various glands that create and releases hormones in the body. As an example, they treat diabetic conditions, adrenal gland, poor growth, and so on…
Majorly, Gastroenterologists focus on conditions relating to the digestive system – esophagus, pancreas, stomach, liver, small intestine, colon, and gallbladder.
Nephrologists specialize in kidney conditions. Some of them are kidney stones, renal (kidney) failure, hypertension, etc…
Urologists, specifically, specialize in the condition relating to the urinary tract – both males and females. Sometimes, they focus mainly on male infertility or female urology.
Pulmonologists treat conditions that pertain to organs that help in breathing – lungs, and heart. They treat sicknesses like breathing disorders, allergies, and so on…
Otolaryngologists are, sometimes, called “ear, nose, and throat” (ENT) doctors. They treat ailments relating to these organs.
Majorly, Neurologists treat conditions affecting the nerves, brain, and spines. Sometimes, people meet them for conditions such as strokes, migraine, epilepsy, and so on…
Specifically, Psychiatrists take care of mental health challenges.
Oncologists are responsible for treating cancers and their symptoms.
They treat health conditions by the method of medical imaging tests. Radiologists read and interpret results from X-rays, MRIs, mammograms, ultrasounds, and CT scans.
Fundamentally, Rheumatologists treat rheumatic diseases – autoimmune conditions relating to bones, muscles, and joints.
Specifically, Anesthesiologists care for the health condition of patients before, during, and after surgery.
You’d also like to see the Top 10 Cheap and Safe Universities in England for Animation
Things To Set Your Mind On Before Considering To Study Medicine
by the profession, Medical Doctor demands someone who is emotionally stable. To be precise, medical doctors encounter shocking scenarios in their daily activities. Due to this, it is relevant that you consider certain things as you seek how to become a medical doctor in Nigeria.
#1 Know You Are Going to Relate Closely and Directly to Patients:
Commonly, people don’t love to behold scenes where there are serious health issues. In such cases, the Doctors occupy the fore. Hence, they would have to relate directly with patients by rendering medical treatments to them.
So, if you are allergic to staying around sick people, then, probably, this profession is not your calling.
#2 Availability of Employment:
Some fields of Medicine avail better job opportunities than others. Some are not practiced in a particular country. This may be due to a lack of necessary facilities essential to carry out the work.
Therefore, it is good to put this into consideration while trying to know how to become a medical doctor.
#3 You Would Behold Lots of Blood Scenes
When it comes to detecting illness that runs within the body, “Blood” plays a great role. Therefore, a medical doctor would come to work with the Patient’s Blood to properly give treatments.
Also, if you detest blood, then you should just forget it – try an alternative profession.
About life and death, mistakes always make a big difference. Though some things are just unavoidable, carelessness can cost something avoidable.
In Medicine, the trial and error method of treating patients is often discouraged. Hence, Doctors should put in their best when attending to patients.
#5 Flexibility – Cases of Emergency
Indeed, Doctors are agile and quite dynamic. Usually, they welcome emergencies as the nature of their profession. Anything happens at any time. Hence, this is a disposition medical students should put on.
Hence, in the course of medical education, the Doctor learns the importance of putting up a caring attitude toward patients. Essentially, this is something that should Neva be taken for granted.
#7 You Are Going to Be Needing Other’s Help
As a doctor, you will work in hand with other doctors in other fields of medicine. Hence, you should be humble enough to seek advice always.
#8 Constant Research
If a doctor wants to grow, then he must devote time to personal development. Hence, this is a call for constant research.
Most importantly, Medical Doctors should have the virtue of discipline. Especially, there should be cautious when it comes to sexual urges. By profession, doctors tend to be more exposed when it comes to different parts of the human body.
Therefore, discipline is of Paramount importance, especially when attending to the opposite sex. However, any form of abuse attracts a serious penalty.
Some Qualities of a Good Medical Doctors
Below are some essential attributes Doctors should uphold.
How Many Years Does It Take To Study Medicine?
All things being equal, it takes 6 years to complete an undergraduate study in Medicine. In the course, students get to know and understand different aspects of their fields. Meanwhile, the 6- years of experience is divided into three stages. They are;
Indeed, going through these stages successfully demands the students be fully dedicated and exposed to learning. Carry-over is considered a “crime” for medical students. Nevertheless, there is a second chance for those willing to adapt. Two carry-overs attract serious warning… On having a third one, the student will have to withdraw.
Nonetheless, dedicated students would always rise above the wave.
What Does It Cost To study Medicine?
First of all, the cost of studying medicine depends on the type of Medical School – Private, State or Federal. For instance, those who study in Federal schools tend to pay less than those their counterparts in State Schools. In the same vein, those who study in private institutions pay the most.
However, the cost covers both the Acceptance Fees payable in different medical schools and many others. Also, this varies with the type of institution.
Furthermore, the record shows that the school fees for medical school had always changed with time. The school fees payable by different institutions differ.
Nevertheless, for this content, we will give you the cost on an average scale.
On Average, Federal Medical Schools cost the least. Meanwhile, the school fees, per year, ranging from N40,000 to N100,000. Note that this is just the school fees of 1 year of the 6 years of medical experience. Therefore, taking into account all the 6 years of experience, the School fees for Federal Universities would be scaled from N240,000 to N600,000.
Besides, the fees above exclude Acceptance fees and other miscellaneous expenses. Altogether, these would amount to greater cost.
On a lower scale, State University ranks next, after Federal Schools, in terms of the cheapest type of institutions. Like Federal Universities, the cost of studying in State Universities varies among institutions.
However, the cost fall within N70,000 -N200,000 per year. So, for your 6 years of study experience, you will get to spend about N420,000 – N1,200,000. Indeed, you see the difference.
However, there are some other fees you will get to pay in the course of your medical training.
Generally, Private universities are the most expensive. However, they seem to offer the best choice of education to students. Just like in other universities, the cost of study in Private universities varies.
Averagely, the tuition fees for private universities fall within the range of N800,000 – N2,500,000 per year. Therefore, for the full 6 years, you will get to pay N4,800,000 – N15,000,000.
Worthy to note, that these fees are just for undergraduate training. In other words, it does not include the cost of postgraduate training.
Therefore, it is important that you also prepare financially when thinking of how to become a medical doctor in Nigeria.
Medical Doctors’ Salary Scale in Nigeria – How Much Do They Earn?
As the fields of medicine are diverse, so are the salaries paid. In order words, the type of salary to be paid depends on the type of Doctor.
Furthermore, owing to the increased number of qualified medical Doctors, very few find their way to work under the government. Others settle for a private hospital or even schools. Hence, their Salaries differ accordingly.
This is the first phase after graduating from medical school. Here, the graduates get to work on a professional level with other Doctors. Equally, they start earning from this stage. However, the salary differs. But, they receive an average salary from N140,000 – N200,000.
NYSC Doctors’ Salary:
Generally, this varies from one hospital to another. However, the salary varies from N50,000 – N150,000
Post-NYSC Doctors’ Salary:
The Salary paid to Post NYSC varies accordingly.
Salaries of Doctors in Government Hospital/Teaching Hospitals
Salaries of Doctors in Private Hospitals
How to Become A Medical Doctor in Nigeria
First and foremost, the journey to becoming a medical doctor starts right from the moment you make up your mind. That is to say that it is important you identify your interest in Medicine earlier. In this way, you will get to streamline your vision and properly channel your efforts. No worries!!!… For this purpose, we have prepared this section of the content. So, you will get to know everything you need.
Let’s get down the knowledge lane.
#1 Your Decision Starts in the Secondary School/High School
…You Must Choose to Be in Science Class…
Anything medical is Science-based. That is to say, this is where the rubber meets the road. While in Secondary School, you must choose to offer Science related courses. Don’t ever miss the Science Class if you want to be a medical doctor.
O’LEVEL SUBJECT REQUIREMENTS:
Another crucial moment is when you are registering for your O’Level Examination. WAEC subject combinations for various courses differ. The subject requirement to study, say, Physics differs from that for BioChemistry. In the same vein, Medical Doctor Study has its subject requirement.
For Medical Doctor, you will need English, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and any other trade-based subject. So, you must take note of them. In addition, your result must reflect at least 5 Credit passes in these subjects
To read more on this, visit WAEC
Furthermore, you must undertake the UTME organized by JAMB. Meanwhile, in the course of the Registration; you must consider the right subjects.
Note that you have to score at least the cut-off mark your choice of the institution may set out. Averagely, the university JAMB cut-off Mark for Medicine and Surgery fall between 270 and 300. Worthy to note, that the higher you score the better chance you have to study medicine.
But wait, sitting for WAEC and JAMB alone is not enough to guarantee admission into Medicine. Still, PUTME is essential. This exam is organized by institutions. So, you have to register for PUTME on the school website. Afterward, the score you obtain here would be used in line with your JAMB score to determine you’re cumulative percentage. Usually, Universities set out a departmental cut-off between 70% and above for Medicine.
To read more on this, visit PUTME.
#2 Medical School Experience
When you are granted admission into your dream university, you begin your journey properly. This is the pivot of your Medical Training.
In your first year, you will be taught on a general basis. Then, your second year would feature most of your major works. By the time you get to your third year, you must have been soaked in your area. From this point, you are fully on your lane in knowing how to become a Medical Doctor in Nigeria. Your thinking would change to the likes of Medical Doctors.
Furthermore, medical students pass through stages of training. Specifically, each stage carries turns up new spheres of the field. These include:
In the process, students would get accustomed to the status quo of Medicine. Such training would involve both theoretical and practical ones. As part of their training, the students must go for one-year work experience. All these make them grounded and versatile.
Indeed, many don’t make it to the final stage.
In the end, the successful ones would receive the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS/MBChB) as their medical school degree. However, at this stage, the graduates are not fully licensed to practice Medicine.
They still have a few other stages left to be full-fledged Medical Doctors.
#3 The Housemanship (Internship) Experience
Thus, after medical school, all graduates must proceed for a one-year Housemanship. At this stage, they will get to work with professional Medical Doctors in the hospitals. The good news here is “they start earning from this stage”. Still, they are not yet licensed at this stage. Hence, they would have to proceed to the next stage.
#4 Community Service Experience
Here, the to-be licensed Medical Doctors to go for one-year community service. Here, they get to acquire more knowledge in their field.
#5 The Grand Finale – Licensed Medical Doctor
Having gone through all the rigorous process, this is where the Doctors heave a sigh of relief. At this point, they are fully licensed to practice on their own as Medical Doctors. Hence, they can own their hospital and practice Medicine on their own.
Indeed, they would now be able to tell more about how to become a Medical Doctor in Nigeria.
Universities That Offer Medicine In Nigeria
Indeed, there are many Nigerian Universities where students can study medicine. So, we have prepared the full list of schools where one can enroll to study Medicine. They include;
Ensure you also see the List of Best Engineering Universities in Nigeria 2023| Acceptance Rates and Rankings
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on How to Become A Medical Doctor In Nigeria
Can a pharmacist become a medical doctor in Nigeria?
Pharmacists work hand in hand with doctors, while they also cover some similar courses to medical doctors. However, a Pharmacist can only become a doctor if he/she takes extra medical courses and training.
Can a dentist become a medical doctor in Nigeria?
Yes, a dentist can become a medical doctor if he enrolls in courses in the medical doctor profession and undergo training.
How many years does it takes to become a medical doctor in Nigeria?
The typical year to study Medicine and surgery in Nigeria is a 6-year degree program. Over the 6 years, students will take various courses that are relevant to the medical field. While you can only obtain the degree when you pass all your courses successfully before you’ll be awarded your degree and operational license.
How hard is medicine in Nigeria?
According to statistics, only 56% of all admitted medical students in Nigeria end up being a doctor. So, medicine is the toughest course to study in Nigeria. First of all, admission into a university to study medicine is a Big throw.
How much does a medical doctor earns in Nigeria?
We carefully highlighted how many medical practitioners earn in Nigeria above. Carefully go through the topic to learn more.
What is the cut off mark for Medicine in Jamb?
The Joint Admission And Matriculation Board (JAMB) cut-off mark for Medicine and Surgery is 270. While, the post-UTME screening process is open to any UTME applicant with 270 and 200 for medical school. However, individual school cut-offs may be higher.
Finally, a Medical doctor is a profession that is directly related to human life. In the same vein, the pay is handsome. It is a prestigious profession. However, it is a career that involves sacrifice.
So far, we have led you through everything you need to know on how to become a medical doctor. Hence, you should be able to say more than a few about that.