The declaration was made by the Executive Secretary of the commission, Prof. Julius Okojie, in a lecture delivered at the maiden matriculation and inauguration of the University of Medical Science, Ondo State.
The lecture was entitled Development or Medical Education: Prospects and Challenges.
Prof. Julius Okojie, who was represented by the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Commission, Prof. Chiedu Mafiana, said the declaration was mandated in order to enable the students to be fit psychologically for the academic session.
“The 2015 document for the training of medical students made provision for students to spend the first four years in studying basic science in university and after which they would proceed to the medical school to spend another seven years.”
The Ondo State governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, in his speech, said the university was expected to leverage on the benefits of the medical complex and the institution to advance efforts in medical research and training.
He affirmed, “It is our hope and belief that it will provide sound scientific, technology and professional training to address and identify health needs and problems, solve them within the context of community and national needs and sustenance development.”
ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with doctors and medical students concerning the new development. We got to know their views about the 11 years of study to become a doctor. Some see the development as a good way students to mature psychologically, while others lambasted the development saying it’s a waste of time.
DOCTOR AND STUDENT SPEAK
Dr. Curtis Oguamallom (Gynecologist)
I don’t really see 11 years in studying medicine as a waste of time. I think the development will help build and strengthen them psychologically. It also helps them to be more practical in their field and diagnonising. Initially it was seven years, but I feel we are not producing great medical doctors in seven years.
Although the government should also be blamed to some extent. Imagine a country like Nigeria having just two breast cancer detecting devices and those devices were purchased about 17 years ago. Now just one is working effectively, the other one is faulty. Also many students don’t even have access to a device called Defibrillator. It is used to resuscitate a dying person.
All of this and other problems like that need to be tackled before the 11 years of study can be effective because if we decide to make it 11 years without improvement in the sector, I think we are still beating around the same bush. We will keep producing more in-experienced doctors in 11 years.
I don’t agree with such idea. Initially, they spend seven years in school, why adding more years. It is ridiculous, I must say. The government need to invest more on medical field before raising the issue of 11 years. For me, the idea is not welcome.
Tosin Ajayi (Medical student)
I think it will only work if we have more sophisticated equipment in the medical field. After university, going into seven years of study at the medical school is not the problem, but what will be the provision by the government?
Medical field needs more of practical with latest medical equipment, not just adding more years of study with the same old system.
Dr Martins (physician)
It’s not the number of years you spend in school that matters. It is the quality of education you acquired. Instead of bringing extension into the system, they should improve upon the quality of education in every field of study not just medicine.
Do you know how long it takes to specialize? This is dangerous. It will totally discourage people from medicine and will further create imbalance in the doctor to patient ratio.
Dr Jaiye (Physician)
Let us ask ourselves, how many doctors are specialists? Professional development, equipment, quality assurance…All of these are monitored by who? Nigerian government needs to spend more on the sector before the 11 years can be effective.
Miss Remilekun Ayoola (Medical student)
Many Nigerian seem to be very oblivious at what really matters and what it takes to be a medical doctor. I have been a medical student for a while and I have got to realize many Nigerians don’t really know what it takes to be a medical doctor.
In the UK, it is actually 5-6 years. As it is most countries following the MBCHB/MBBS degree programme(in the US, they give it out as MD). Saying that Nigerian medical students should spend 11 years in school won’t solve the problem of poor medical facility in this country.
Even if it is increased to 25 years, the question is ‘will there be a change in the medical sector?’. The change I mean is the provision of medical facilities that will meet the latest standard.
Odion Bright (Laboratory expert)
Making the duration of study 11 years is really not the solution to the problem. The truth remains that many of these so called doctors have very little knowledge about basic science which is very important. For instance, I developed a bad headache once and went to see a doctor. I was foolishly advised to drink more caffeine and take alcohol occasionally.
Psychologically, if this doctor had any knowledge on basic science, she would have known it was a rainy season and it is a season when headaches are common. The reason is this. Rain water usually dissolves sulphur and nitrogen compounds from the atmosphere during rainy season and this causes the fall of acid rain that leads to headache. So, personally I think doctors need more basic science education.
-SHUURAT ALIMI and OLUFEMI SOEWU