Requirements To Study Medicine And Surgery In Nigeria: Medicine qualifies as the most selected intended course of study across all universities in Nigeria. Of course, amidst the wide prospects, only few are selected. In Nigeria, not all universities offer medicine. In essence, there is need to obtain due accreditation from the appropriate body before any university can offer any course, medicine inclusive.
This is the responsibility of the school or faculty management. The Nigerian University Commission (NUC), and the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria play a vital role as it concerns the study of medicine in Nigerian Universities. To obtain due accreditation, a certain standard must be made which includes infrastructural and other necessary standards.
The essence of this is to ensure quality education and output. Any institution which fails to meet or surpass the given standard at any point in time stands a risk of losing accreditation. Thus, the expectation is a continuing one. In essence, and in order to avoid futile effort, it is necessary to find out whether one’s school of choice has due accreditation for the study of medicine. Where there is no accreditation, students who graduate from the institution during the time when accreditation is lost, cannot be recognized as qualified doctors, and they cannot be inducted into the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.
The journey to excellence through academics is on a step by step basis. And in following the steps, the right pathway must be followed, depending on the targeted end point. Going to school is one thing; and following the right pathway for your career choice is another. Nigerian education system is not structured as per free verse. There are eligibility requirements for one to study various courses. Therefore, to study medicine in Nigeria, the following requirements must be met.
Requirements To Study Medicine And Surgery In Any Nigerian University
1. O’ Level Certificate: To qualify to study medicine requires that one must have obtained his O’ level certificate from a recognized and approved secondary school, otherwise known as Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSCE). The system is not very interested in whether the candidate actually passed through the secondary school from where the result was obtained.
O’ level examinations are set from the secondary school syllabus, and that is what matters. O’ level results can be obtained from approved secondary schools by sitting for the examination issued by the relevant bodies. Primarily, O’ level examinations recognized and issued in Nigeria are the West African Secondary Certificate Examination (WASCE), National Examination Council (NECO), and the General Certificate Examination (GCE). WAEC examinations are usually scheduled first, followed by NECO; whilst GCE comes later, usually by the end of every year. The three examinations are equivalent to each other. So, sitting for the either of them covers for the same purpose.
It is not enough to merely sit for the examinations to fulfill all righteousness. There is a minimum standard of credit that must be met in order to be able to study medicine with the certificate. Generally, 5 credits must be obtained out of a minimum of 8 subjects and a maximum of 9, which must include English Language and Mathematics. For medicine aspirants, it is specifically required that the applicant obtained credit in 5 subjects which must include English Language, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology and Physics.
2. Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination: Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) is an examination conducted by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) in Nigeria. Sitting for and passing of this examination is a prerequisite for admission into most tertiary institution in Nigeria. This remains the case, regardless of the intended course of study. Whilst it is possible not to sit for UTME to gain admission in some specialized higher institutions, such chances do not exist in pursuit of studying medicine in Nigeria.
Medicine is offered only in universities, whether private, state or federal. JAMB usually maps out cut-off mark for every year after UTME has been conducted. Such general cut-off mark must be met by candidates in order to qualify for further screening by the institution. Courses to be sat for in JAMB are also of utmost essence here. Candidates who applied for or intend to apply for medicine are required to fill in and write English Language, Biology, Physics and Chemistry. The subjects to be written are only four.
The subject combination may sometimes vary according to school. Thus, some schools may require mathematics for medicine. English is an all-time compulsory subject for UTME. It is important to aim very high in UTME. It is a Computer-based Test which can be quite competitive, but questions are certainly not outside of the given syllabus. Number of applicants is numerous. So, it reasonably follows that the higher your score the better your chances.
3. POST- Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination: Shortly called Post- Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination is a further specific test conducted by various universities as a prerequisite for being offered admission. The examination takes a similar form with UTME. It is just a further UTME. The difference is that at this stage, it is conducted by the school.
The outcome is that both scores from UTME and Post-UTME are summed up and divided by two to produce an aggregate score which becomes your final score. This score determine your chances of admission. Aiming to gain admission into medicine makes it more competitive. It is noteworthy that inasmuch as most schools write this post-UTME, it is not compulsory that they conduct it.
Institutions are at liberty to offer admission based on the UTME scores only. They also have the autonomy to combine WAEC and UTME scores to produce final scores for the purpose of admission. The courses to be written or considered in Post-UTME are the same with those of UTME for students that applied for medicine.
4. The requirement of age: Age is one requirement that people usually neglect until they are faced directly with the issue. It is not known to many that there is age threshold to be qualified for an admission in Nigerian universities. In Nigeria, the age threshold is 16 years. Candidates less than 16 years are not qualified to write UTME. Even when they do, they are not qualified for an admission. This requirement is most significant in medical school. The reasons for this age limitation are not farfetched.
There is need for independence in the university. Universities are not like secondary schools where there are close monitoring and regulations. University environments afford one that risky independence which should not be availed to feeble minds or juveniles.
Having met all the stated requirements which have been unbundled, one becomes eligible to gain admission to study medicine in any Nigerian university. This is, however, subject to the chances available to the applicant. Chances here imply that, by its very nature, medicine tend to have too many applicants, thereby rendering the slots very competitive. The capacities of the institutions are also limited, owing to infrastructure and quota system.
Therefore, it follows that the better score an applicant makes in both UTME and Post-UTME, the greater his chances of gaining admission to study medicine. Capacity also varies from school to school because the number of applicants in one school may be greater than that of another, thereby varying the chances. There are other factors such the degree of transparency in the process. Whichever be the case, and in all cases, meeting the eligibility requirements is the first realistic step.