The news was a pleasant one. It came as a surprise, more of a pleasant shock!!! The bearer of this piece of news came prepared, knowing him as an astute intellectual. He timing was perfect and precise; since he delivered his lecture at a time and place that everybody considers appropriate. Enough of this description, don’t you agree?
Professor Joshua Ogbonnaya, Renowned surgeon and currently the Provost, College of Medicine and Surgery, Gregory University Uturu, was the bearer of the good news. It was at the medical induction ceremony of students in the College of Medicine And Surgery Madonna University, Elele Rivers State. The medical induction happened on the 20th, October 2015. Recall that Prof Ogbonnaya was at a time the Dean, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Madonna University.
He announced that from March 2016, there would be major changes to the curriculum and activities with respect to the award of MBBS in all medical schools in Nigeria. He stressed that this was the latest development coming from the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN).
Most Nigerian universities offering Medicine and surgery, as an undergraduate course, peg the course duration between 6 – 9 years. However this is to be made uniform as below…
The 3 major changes expected to be in effect from next year are;
- The era of moving directly from secondary school into medical school will be a thing of the past, because from next year, it becomes compulsory for students to first acquire a Bachelors degree from any Basic Medical course, Bsc Anatomy or Bsc Physiology, for 4 years.
- After which you can proceed to a College of Medicine for a 3-year clinical exposure, before the award of the MBBS degree. This would add up to be 7 years of training, with the result that candidates graduates with two degrees added to their portfolio.
- This privilege have also been extended to other para-medical/health science courses, like Nursing Science, Optometry, Public Health, Medical Laboratory Science and others. Rather than staying 3 years as described in the 2nd point, these groups of persons will stay 4 years, for clinical exposure, before they would be awarded of the MBBS degree.
Prof Joshua Ogbonnaya also stressed that this development is coming at this time considering that the Doctor-to-patient ratio, in Nigeria, is still a far cry from the standard, as prescribed by UNESCO.
What is your take on this? Do you see any good in this new policy shift? Or would you rather we continued and maintained the status quo?