Editor's Focus

Top Destinations for Emigrating Nigerian Doctors

Emigration of Nigerian doctors has undeniably become a matter of public health concern and in recent times, has made the headlines on many occasions. With a lot of questions being asked, we have decided to put in a little work to come up with this “Top destinations for emigrating Nigerian Doctors”.

The major reasons fuelling the exodus of medical doctors out of the country have been researched and highlighted HERE. 

In summary, the following factors are determinants as to whether the emigration happens sooner or later and when to ultimately leave the country. They include:

  1. Funds required for emigration;
  2. Remuneration/current salary;
  3. Career progress in Nigeria/job satisfaction vs getting choice speciality abroad;
  4. Quality of life in the destination country.

A). United Kingdom:

The UK has recently become the top destination for emigrating Nigerian doctors. It involves three examination stages: IELTS, PLAB part 1 and 2.

For most people, the rate-limiting step is the IELTS. The entire process costs about 1.5 million Naira and voila! You can get better remuneration and a better quality of life overall.

There is certainty of getting a job after passing PLAB 2.

But getting your choice training speciality is not guaranteed; you will, however, get a training role if you want one. I suppose that is much better than waiting for placement till your Nigerian primaries expire.

Hack: – Write IELTS and PLAB 1 during house-manship. Take PLAB 2 during NYSC and use your house-manship savings to fund it. Your NYSC savings should be used to purchase a flight ticket and settle down in the UK.

B). United States:

The USA undoubtedly offers the biggest stage of play for most fields of human endeavour, boasts of the best facilities with a merit-based system and great remuneration.

If you want to become the most famous neurosurgeon in your generation, just pack your bags and head there.

The process is much more expensive and requires a two-stage exam: USMLE steps 1 and 2. You can make your career dreams a reality with the vast opportunities at your feet if you work hard.

Hack: During NYSC, apply to a funded master’s program in the USA (Scholarships, graduate and teaching assistantships); then plan to write USMLE while you are on the master’s program.

C). UAE/Qatar:

If you have challenges passing the IELTS required for UK exams, you can take a shot at the UAE/Qatar route. The pay is lesser than what the UK offers but you earn much more than the average Nigerian salary and of course, a better quality of life is guaranteed.

The common drawback of this route would be the unavailability of training positions to foreign medical graduates.

D). Canada:

You rarely hear much about Canadian opportunities because training roles for foreign medical graduates are very limited compared to the US and UK. However, you will get your citizenship much quicker than other top countries. If you do not mind doing other jobs while you wait, you could try.

Hack: Most guys work/stay a couple of years in the UK and then move to Canada; as the UK work experience counts towards clinching a training role after passing the Canadian exams.

E). Grenada:

George’s University in Grenada offers young foreign graduates employment opportunities to work as clinical tutors while they prepare for their USMLE and PLAB exams.

This move will cost you nothing!!!

Just teach in Grenada and earn $3,900 monthly.

It is however keenly contested with applicants from all over the world; so you need to put your application in good shape and apply to several departments.

F). Germany/Belgium:

These non-English speaking European countries offer great opportunities to doctors, irrespective of your nationality. The catch, however, is that you have to learn a new language; which can be a daunting task, considering you are a little aged.

Otherwise, it is a fantastic opportunity to become that neurosurgeon you read about in the book your dad bought you in primary six.

G). Australia:

Australia offers fantastic opportunities with a great weather.

Most of the other destinations listed above experience weather conditions at sub-Nigerian levels, making you think of running back to your sufferings.

You may not get training positions easily, but your source of survival would not be driving cabs/taxis as the case may be if you relocate to Canada.

H). British Virgin Island: 

Weird right? Just google the doctors’ register in this remote place and the number of Nigerians on that list will shock you.

Great place if you do not want your peeps back at home tracking you on the map.

I). Ireland:

Conditions are synonymous with the UK and you can get a job with PLAB 1 results in some parts.

Great pay and friendly people.

You would not miss home too much, as your plumber might be that proud bank manager neighbour who relocated when you were in primary school.

J). Nigeria:

A lot of Nigerian doctors still make good money in Nigeria and would only go abroad to spend the money they have saved up.

Sadly, 80% of the consultants who told you to study hard would not be on this list. Spaces in public health, occupational health (Oil and gas, construction, and manufacturing industries), pay doctors enough to make them stay back home.

You could start a premium service private hospital, venture into aeromedical transport, sell cement/distribute for Dangote or export charcoal.

Likewise, you can venture into politics and become the Senate president or Minister of Labor and Productivity. Nobody will ever need to ask you the course of facial nerve because they will never have the nerve.


Shocking right?!!

Following a recent poll conducted by DoctorsQuarters.com, it remains clear that Nigeria will keep losing Doctors to developed countries, who gladly accept them and make life so good for doctors.

Here is why we know so;

The poll showed that a little over 80% of respondents are currently taking a foreign professional exam in the hopes that they will relocate out of the country.

Approximately 20% do not feel the need to relocate for varying reasons, even though it is tied to financial constraints.

We can now boldly say that every year foreign medical examination fees (like PLAB, USMLE etc), keeps increasing. While the local variant will be reduced due to low patronage. You can read more about the cost implications of foreign medical exams and why Nigerian may keep paying it despite its period increase.

The costliest foreign medical examination is the USMLE… the infographic spells it out correctly.

Contributor is a Twitter user @TheTundeAjayi MD, MPH who works at Medevac, Aeromedical Escort

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Dr E
The Admin is a Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria Certified Medical Doctor, with profound expertise in Medical Content Creation and Medical Citizen Journalism. He is popular for being a fast-rising online voice in Nigeria, with a flair for animated writing. He is a professional health content writer. He loves to swim, read and play board games. He sees himself as one who is destined to play a role in the way health services are rendered to the human race.