Editor's Focus

MEDICAL DRAMA SERIES: HOW PREPARED IS NIGERIA’S NOLLYWOOD?

Chicago med, Code Black, New Amsterdam, Dr. House, Grey’s Anatomy and The Good Doctor, my personal medical drama favorite.

These are some popular medical series being viewed by medics and especially by med students.

The question however, remains; why has there not been a Nigerian medical drama series?. I went out to search for the answers to this question.

Nollywood has improved so much that it has gained international recognition, although personally, I believe there is a lot that has to be done in the industry for it to reach the industrial promised land.

I once had a conversation with someone with the African Film Festival. I told him of that besides medicine, I could write and could also act. He replied me saying hopefully, one day, I’d be able to write about medics and the situation here in Nigeria. That gave me hope and I decided I’d start writing stories.

 I then spoke to my friend Nnamdi, telling him my intentions and how cool our series will be, but then he asked me, “what fascinating thing is there about Nigerian medical system?”.

It was then that I realized that the things that fascinated me in those foreign dramas are lacking in our hospitals; easy access to a patient’s files from your smart device, code systems- these were my favorites, I mean, those cool scenes where the nurse pages a doctor and says “it’s a code black, I repeat, its a code black”.

Good Doctor Series.

It was then that I realized that if we are ever to begin a medical drama, we’d take 2 major things to consideration:

1). The Equipment:

Foreign based series have a full hospital set with available equipment for their acting, they have beds, hospital desks , MRIs and My goodness, I was about to forget, a building!!!.

If we were to act, we would not want to borrow these from real hospitals because these hospitals probably don’t even have enough to spare and even if they did, the question of infection and aseptic measures in sharing equipment between hospital and the set will arise.

2). The Story:

Initially, I wanted to tell a really cool story about the health system in Nigeria, but I realized that it would mean telling a fake story.

So I decided that if we were to tell the story of our health system, it will be a honest story; no defibrillators, make-shift theaters, jumbled up patient’s files, poor insurance system, not caring whether the foreign community will laugh at us.

And hopefully, those in charge will notice and something will be done about it.

The set of a medical drama
The 2005 series- Doctor’s Quarters

My journey also led me to a medical drama shot around 2005 called Doctor’s Quarter, which starred actors like Kate Henshaw, but I’ve been unable to have a glimpse of it, not even on YouTube. Hopefully, we will be able to create medical dramas that can compete with the world!

My journey has only began…

Donald Aniekwe

A 500l medical student in Nigeria

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