Requirements To Study Medicine In Nigeria
Thinking about studying medicine in Nigeria? Take a look at my this article about the “Requirements to Study Medicine in Nigeria.” And when you’re prepared to discover the best choices, remember to go through my earlier post about the “Best Medical Schools in Nigeria.” Start your search for the perfect school today!
What medicine as a course is all about
Studying medicine is like taking a really thorough and focused program that teaches people how to become doctors. This program lasts for several years and covers everything about the human body, how it works, what can go wrong (diseases), and how to treat those problems. Students learn about different parts of the body, how medicines work, what causes diseases, and how tiny living things can affect us.
But it’s not just reading books – students also get to practice what they learn. They spend time in hospitals, working with real patients while being guided by experienced doctors. This helps them get good at figuring out what’s wrong with a person and how to take care of them. They also learn how to be respectful, talk well with patients, and act professionally.
Becoming a doctor is a big journey. It takes a lot of hard work, not giving up, and caring a lot about making people healthy and happy in neighborhoods and cities.
Overview of Medical Education in Nigeria
In Nigeria, people learn to become doctors by going to medical schools. The way they teach medicine in Nigeria is based on a system that was copied from British universities around sixty years ago. The first medical school in Nigeria was started in 1948 at a hospital in a city called Ibadan. After that, many new medical schools were built with similar ways of teaching, which are quite like how they teach in British universities.
From 1960 to 1972, many new medical schools were set up in Nigeria, which made medical education grow quickly. Right now, there are 42 medical schools in Nigeria. Some of them are owned by the government, some by the states, and some are private. There are two groups that make sure medical education is good in Nigeria: one is called the National Universities Commission (NUC), and the other is the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN).
People who want to study medicine in universities take exams before they can get in. There are two ways to get in: one is for people who just finished high school, and the other is for those who finished a year of university already. Universities also test these students again to make sure they are ready for the medical program.
Before taking the exams to get into medical school, students need to have done well in their high school exams. The main medical degree in Nigeria is called MBBS, and it takes 6 years to finish. In the first year, students learn basic science like physics, chemistry, and biology. Then, for a year and a half, they study more medical science topics. After that, they spend 3 and a half years learning about diseases, medicines, and how to take care of patients.
After finishing the 6-year program, new doctors have to work for a year as interns in a hospital. Then they have to serve in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for a year, which is like a year of community service. This is required by the law and it has to be done before they can continue their medical education.
How challenging is the Medicine and Surgery program in a Nigerian university?
Studying medicine in Nigeria is really tough. Not all students who start end up becoming doctors – only about 56% make it.
Just getting into a medical university is a big achievement, because they only accept a very small number of applicants. Out of all the people who apply, only about 1.6% get accepted.
But even after getting in, there are more challenges. In the first year, you have to do well in all your classes to move on to the second year. This is where many students struggle and don’t make it. For example, at UNILAG, only 40% of students passed this year.
Next comes the second part of the course, where you have to learn really hard subjects like anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry in a short time. It’s like squeezing all the biology, physics, and chemistry from high school into a short period. Passing all these courses is tough – you need at least 50% in each, and only about 5% of students get scores above 70% and do really well.
After that, there are more difficult exams covering advanced topics like drugs, diseases, and clinical work. If you pass all these stages, you move on to the hands-on training part and take more exams.
If you manage to succeed through all of this, you get your degree in medicine. But there’s still more to do – you have to work in a hospital for a year and do a mandatory service.
The key to making it through all of this is working hard and having good study habits. If you do that, you can become a doctor.
Requirements to study Medicine in Nigeria
1. You are likely a student of science.
To study Medicine in Nigeria, you need to have studied certain science subjects in high school. These subjects are Physics, Biology, English, Mathematics, and Chemistry.
If you were an art or commercial student in high school, you can’t apply for Medicine unless you also took science subjects in an exam called SSCE. If you don’t do this, you can’t study Medicine in Nigeria.
2. You are required to possess the necessary O’level/WAEC subject combination.
In Nigeria, if you want to study Medicine, you need to meet extra requirements along with regular school qualifications. To study Medicine, you must have completed certain important subjects in your high school. These subjects include English language, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. You need to get at least five good grades in these subjects, like getting five C’s.
You can also use your results from other exams like NECO or GCE instead of WAEC. But in any of these exams, you still need to get at least five good grades. Different medical schools might have different rules. Some might want all your good grades to be from one time you took the exam, while others might accept grades from different times.
Medicine and Surgery is a very competitive course in Nigeria. So, it’s important to do really well in the subjects they ask for. Some medical schools, like Lagos State University, use your grades to decide if you can join their program. So, just getting the minimum passing grade might not be enough. Try to do really, really well in all the subjects they care about to have a better chance.
Remember, if you have a low grade like D7 in the subjects they ask for, you won’t be allowed to study Medicine and Surgery in Nigeria. Even if you’re great in other subjects, a low grade in one of the important subjects like Chemistry will stop you from getting into the Medicine program.
3. It is essential to possess the prescribed JAMB/UTME subject combination.
As mentioned before, the JAMB is in charge of checking and allowing students into colleges in Nigeria. If you want to go to a Nigerian university, you have to go through their process. This means signing up for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and making sure you take the right subjects for the course you want to study.
For people who want to study Medicine and Surgery in Nigeria, the JAMB requires you to take four subjects: English Language, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. So, the important subjects you need for Medicine in Nigeria are:
- English Language
4. Obtaining the necessary A-level results is a must.
If you want to study Medicine in Nigeria and you’re using your WAEC results, this rule isn’t very important. But you can still apply without giving your WAEC results if you’ve finished A’Level courses in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, or Zoology.
5. Successful completion of a degree in relevant fields is a prerequisite
If you plan to study Medicine through Direct Entry, you can get into the University without doing UTME. To qualify, you need a Bachelor of Science degree in something related to Medicine, like Anatomy, Biology, Physiology, Nursing, or Medical Laboratory Science.
But make sure you look at the Direct Entry conditions of the university you want. They might be different. Once you meet what they want, you can study Medicine in Nigeria. Now, let’s move on to the steps for studying Medicine and Surgery in Nigeria.
Steps for studying medicine in Nigeria
1. Fulfill Entry Requirements
Make sure you have the right things before you start studying medicine in Nigeria. Usually, this means finishing high school with science classes like Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, and getting certain grades or scores in these classes.
2. Take the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME)
Sign up and take the UTME test, which is a common test you need to take to get into college. This test is given by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). When you sign up, pick the right subjects that match the medicine-related course you want to study.
3. Aim for a High UTME Score
Since getting into medical school is tough because many people want to do it, having a higher UTME score makes it more likely you’ll get in. Look up the minimum score the university requires and try to get a score higher than that.
4. Apply to Medical Schools
After you get your UTME results, apply to the medical schools or universities that teach medicine in Nigeria. Some well-known ones are the University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, Ahmadu Bello University, and Obafemi Awolowo University, among others.
5. Take the Post-UTME Examination
Certain universities have their own extra tests after the UTME. If the university you want to go to asks for this, get ready for it and take their special test.
6. Attend an Interview (if required)
A few medical schools might have interviews to see if applicants are a good fit for their medical program.
7. Check Admission List and Acceptance
Once you finish the required tests and interviews, look at the list the university publishes to see if you got in. If they say yes, make sure to say yes back within the given time by paying the acceptance fee.
8. Complete Medical Registration
If they say you can join, go ahead and do the stuff they tell you to do to officially join the university or medical school. Usually, this means giving them the papers they need and paying the fees for signing up.
9. Commence Medical Studies
Start your medical education following the school’s schedule. In Nigeria, medical training usually takes six years, which includes a year of hands-on experience called an internship.
10. Finish Rotational Internship
After you finish the medical program, you’ll spend a year working in different areas of a recognized hospital. This step is necessary to get a medical license in Nigeria.
11. Take the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) Examination
Once the internship is done, those aiming to become doctors must take and pass the MDCN exam. This test is important to get a medical license in Nigeria.
12. Register with MDCN
After you pass the MDCN exam, you can sign up with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to get your license to practice.
University Admission Process
Getting into medical schools in Nigeria is really tough and competitive. First, people who want to become doctors need to have good grades in important subjects like Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. They usually need a Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSCE) or something similar.
Then, they also have to do well on a big test called the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). This test is given by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and is used to pick students for all Nigerian universities.
Getting into medical school is not easy. They look at a lot of things like the UTME score, how well you did in science classes, and other things each university wants. Sometimes, students might even have to do interviews or special tests.
Since there are only a few spots in medical programs and a lot of people want them, only the best students get in. So, if you want to study medicine in Nigeria, you have to be really smart and do really well on the tests to get a chance.
JAMB (Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board) Examination
The JAMB exam is really important for Nigerian students who want to study medicine at a university. This big test helps figure out if students are ready for higher education and if they’re a good fit for certain courses. If you want to go to medical school in Nigeria, you have to sign up for the JAMB UTME (Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination) and pick medicine or a related program.
The JAMB exam covers subjects like English Language, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. The scores you get on this test really matter because they decide if you can get into medical school or not. Since a lot of students want to study medicine, having a high score on the JAMB exam is really important to get a spot in medical school.
That’s why students who want to be doctors work really hard to prepare for this test. They use study materials, practice tests, and sometimes even get extra help from coaching classes. All of this is to try and make their dream of becoming a doctor in Nigeria come true.
Prerequisites for Clinical Training
Before medical students in Nigeria can start working with patients, they have to meet specific requirements to make sure they’re ready for the practical parts of being a doctor. Even though different medical schools might have a few differences, there are some common things that all future doctors have to do.
One really important thing is finishing certain classes before they start working with patients. These classes cover subjects like Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, and Pathology. Learning about these things gives them the basic knowledge to understand how the human body works, which they need when they start treating patients.
Also, students often have to go through health check-ups and get specific vaccinations. This is to make sure they’re healthy and won’t make patients sick. It’s really important to keep everyone safe in hospitals and clinics.
Doing all these things is a crucial step on the way to becoming a real doctor in Nigeria. It helps students learn the important stuff and get the skills they need to move from studying in books to taking care of real patients.
Clinical Rotations and Clerkships
In Nigeria’s medical education, there’s an important part where students learn by doing. This happens after they’ve learned the basics of medical science. They work in real healthcare places, like hospitals, and learn from experienced doctors.
The main goal of this training is to connect what students learn in books with what they do in real life. They learn to help sick people, understand test results, and practice important medical skills. They do this in hospitals and clinics that are connected to their medical school.
During this time, students spend time in different areas of medicine, like taking care of adults, children, and pregnant women. This helps them decide which part of medicine they want to focus on in the future. It also gives them a full picture of how medicine works.
Beyond just learning, these experiences teach students how to act professionally, understand others’ feelings, and communicate well. These qualities are really important for being a good doctor. So, these hands-on experiences make students better learners and more caring healthcare providers.
Internship and Certification
After finishing their medical studies in Nigeria, graduates have to do an important training program before they can work as doctors on their own. This training is called an internship or Housemanship. It usually lasts for about a year and gives new doctors practical experience while learning from experienced professionals.
During this time, these new doctors work in different parts of the hospital, trying out different medical fields. This helps them use what they learned in school in real-life situations, get better at medical skills, and understand how to take care of patients.
Once they successfully finish the internship, these doctors need a special permission from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) to start practicing medicine. This involves meeting certain requirements, like passing a test given by the MDCN and meeting other rules set by the council.
With this special permission, doctors can work on their own and treat patients. They have to follow the rules and guidelines set by the MDCN. This whole internship and licensing process makes sure that doctors in Nigeria are ready, skilled, and committed to doing a good job, which helps keep people healthy and safe.
Accreditation and Recognition
In Nigeria, it’s really important for medical students to pick the right school. The school needs to be approved by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN). This approval shows that the school meets certain quality standards and offers good education, training, and facilities.
If you want to be a doctor in Nigeria, your medical degree must also be accepted by the MDCN. This is crucial for being allowed to work as a doctor in the country. It also matters if you want to use your degree in other countries or study more abroad.
So, for students who want to be doctors, it’s super important to choose a school that’s approved. This makes sure their degree is real and recognized, both in Nigeria and around the world.
You can check out for Accredited Private Universities in Nigeria.
Recognition in Other Countries
If students in Nigeria want to be doctors in other countries or study more abroad, the way those countries see their degrees is really important. Some countries might accept Nigerian medical degrees easily because of agreements with Nigeria. But in other places, students might need to do more tests or meet certain rules before they can work as doctors there.
To make sure everything goes smoothly, students should look into what the other countries need. They might have to do more research or talk to people who know about the rules in those places.
It’s a good idea for students to check how other countries see Nigerian medical degrees before they make decisions. This helps them choose the right path for their careers and get ready for any extra things they might need to do in other countries.
Tips and Advice for Aspiring Medical Students
If you’re a student in Nigeria who wants to become a doctor, you need to work really hard, stay determined, and plan things out. Here are some important tips to help you go through the tough journey of becoming a doctor:
1. Focus on Academic Excellence
Getting into medical schools in Nigeria is tough because many people want to get in, and they pick students based on how well they do in school. If you want to be a doctor, you should focus a lot on your studies, especially in science subjects like Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Doing really well in these subjects will make it more likely for you to get into a good medical school.
2. Prepare Thoroughly for Entrance Exams
The JAMB exam is really important if you want to get into medical school. You need to spend a lot of time studying and practicing for it to get the scores they’re looking for. Also, some medical schools might have their own tests or interviews, so you need to be ready for those too.
3. Cultivate Good Study Habits and Time Management
Going to medical school means you’ll have to study really hard and be good at managing your time. If you want to be a doctor, you should learn how to study well and manage your time so you can handle your classes, practical training, and personal life. Setting achievable goals for your studies and staying organized will help you do well in school without getting too stressed out.
4. Seek Mentorship and Guidance
Talking to students who are already in medical school, people who finished it, or doctors who are working can give you really important information about being a doctor and the difficulties you might face. Having someone older and experienced to give you advice and help you can make it easier for you to figure out how to become a doctor and what to do in your career.
5. Develop Empathy and Communication Skills
Being a doctor isn’t only about what you learn in books. It’s also about being kind to patients and taking care of them. If you want to be a doctor, you should learn how to understand how patients feel and talk to them well. This way, you can make patients feel better and give them good care.
6. Take Care of Physical and Mental Well-being
Medical school can be really tiring for your body and emotions. It’s important to take care of yourself, eat well, exercise, and ask for help when you need it. This will help you stay healthy and feel good while you’re learning to be a doctor.
Read Also: 10 Best courses to study in Nigeria.
Best universities to study medicine in Nigeria
1. University of Ibadan (UI)
2. Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)
3. Ahmadu Bello University (ABU)
4. University of Lagos (UNILAG)
5. Lagos State University (LASU)
6. University of Ilorin (UNILORIN)
7. University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN)
8. Bayero University Kano (BUK)
9. University of Benin (UNIBEN)
10. University of Jos (UNIJOS)
11. University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT)
12. Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK)
13. Delta State University (DELSU)
14. University of Calabar (UNICAL)
15. Ambrose Alli University (AAU)
16. Ondo State University of Medical Sciences (UNIMED)
17. Ekiti State University (EKSU)
18. University of Uyo (UNIUYO)
19. Usmanu Danfodio University (UDUSOK)
20. Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU)
What JAMB score is required for Medicine?
If you get a JAMB score of 280 or more, you have a much better chance of getting into a Nigerian university to study Medicine and Surgery. Having a score of 280 or higher means you’re more likely to be accepted into the university you want, with around a 70% chance.
What is the duration of Medicine studies in Nigeria?
In Nigeria, medical education takes six years for undergraduates. The program usually begins with the first year in the Faculty of Science. During this year, students learn about subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, and other general courses.
Which subjects are required for Medicine in the WAEC examination?
To study Medicine and Surgery, you need to take these important WAEC subjects:
- English Language
Which university offers the most lenient admission requirements for the Medicine and Surgery program?
Here’s a list of private colleges you can get admitted into easily for Medcine and Surgery:
List of private universities with their respective cut off marks for Medicine:
1. Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli Anambra State
3. Kaduna State University, Kaduna Sate
4. Abia State University Uturu, Abia State
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Hi, my name is Chikezie Faithfulness Odinakachukwu and I am a student at Federal University Of Technology Owerri, where I study Industrial Chemistry.
As a student, I have always been interested in exploring educational opportunities abroad, and this interest led me to start my own blog, Lofty Scholars, where I share information about schools and universities abroad that are accessible and affordable for African students and global students.
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