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What is the Next Step After Medical School in Nigeria?
Hurray! You are done with your final exams, and yes, induction has come and gone. Hippocrates oath is taken; everything set. Now, what’s next?
The thing is that there are only two compulsory things to do, and the rest is solely your decision. The two crucial things to do next are:
- Housemanship in Nigeria, and
- National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) Program.
Let’s start with Housemanship, shall we?
What is Housemanship? – Housemanship in Nigeria
After your MBBS degree, and induction, you’ll be required to apply for the Provisional Registration for the MDCN Medical license.
This license is only a temporary one and would last for the next 24 months.
Now here’s the deal; during these 24 months, you should find and partake in internship placement in Nigeria, which is also called Housemanship.
Housemanship in Nigeria, the first phase of life after medical school, is an internship program that trains new doctors in medicine and surgery specialties.
At this phase of life, after medical school, you’re a Medical Intern or House officer. And, you’ll get to learn the basis of diagnosis and management of common medical cases.
Senior registrar’s or Consultants are your bosses in this program. They govern you, train you, teach you how you should go, and sometimes, this might come with surprising methods.
Why is Housemanship Important?
Housemanship in Nigeria is crucial for every doctor. Whether you got your medical degree from Nigeria or a foreign institution, you’ll have to complete the compulsory internship program before obtaining the permanent MDCN license.
What does Housemanship Entail?
In your housemanship program, you’ll get to train in these four departments:
- Internal Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
Each department takes up to 12 weeks or three months of training. By the end of the one-year program, you’ll be through with training in those departments.
- Obstetrics and Gynecology: in this field, you’ll get training on childbirth, prenatal and post-natal care, etc.
- Pediatrics: during this clinical rotation, you’ll train more on treating and solving medical problems relating to infants, children, and adolescents.
- Internal Medicine: this department trains you to prevent, diagnose, and treat several kinds of diseases affecting adults.
- Surgery: this training is solely on techniques. You’ll get to know more about different operation methods to investigate or solve a clinical problem.
How long is Housemanship in Nigeria?
The housemanship program in Nigeria lasts up to One year. But life doesn’t end there. After housemanship, you’ll need to partake in the NYSC program serving your fatherland.
How much do Medical Interns Earn? – Housemanship Salary in Nigeria
The fantastic thing about this compulsory program is that you’ll get paid as you train! But how much do hospitals pay?
According to research, house officers Salary in Nigeria falls within the range of 100,000 to 200,000 Naira!
However, not every house officer will earn the same amount. Generally, Federal Medical Centres and University Teaching hospitals do pay higher than states or private ones.
Asides that, do know that housemanship in Nigeria is not so easy as you may think. The process is very competitive!
Now, this is not to scare you – it’s purely the reality. The number of medical doctors pushed out into the labor market is becoming more in number than the available housemanship slots.
This competition has led to hospitals conducting pre-employment tests to receive interns. And at some points, the selection is based on
Getting House job in Nigeria- Apply for Housemanship in Nigeria
Like we said earlier, the haunt for House-job is challenging- more reason you’ll need to be super ready by putting the right things to place.
You can start by preparing yourself for interviews and then keeping close these documents:
- Curriculum Vitae
- Birth Certificate
- First School Leaving Certificate/Testimonial
- West Africa Secondary School Certificate
- Statement of Results
- Certificate of Local Government Identification
- 2-4 Passport photographs
- Provisional License
- MDCN Annual Registration
- Recommendation letter
- Letter of Application
Applying for Housemanship- What Next After Medical School Nigeria
No one would come up to your house to give you a slot in the internship program. House job is more like an “on-your-own” kind of thing, all thanks to the Nigerian System.
Here are a few tips on applying for medical internship:
- Read the MDCN booklet thoroughly. The booklet contains essential information about approved hospitals for housemanship, and also many necessary notes.
- Apply to as many hospitals as you can. Don’t pull all your eggs into one basket.
- For better tracking, write down the hospitals that have your interest. Find out their application date, and keep them on record.
- After filling up the internship application, connect with fellow doctors, and be at alert to know when the pre-employment interview will come up.
In most cases, you’ll likely take an oral examination or interview. Some Medical Specialists might ask you questions based on medical knowledge or non-medical subjects.
More frequently, questions on medical subjects assess your ability to respond to an emergency as a medical doctor.
In this scenario, you should be calm and convey confidence while giving your response. In your part, fidgeting gives a hint that you’re incompetent and incapable of working under pressure.
For the non-medical aspects, it might be about recent happenings(current affairs) in your country. Asides that, it may be random basic knowledge or even questions about the hospital.
Whichever it is, just make sure you keep in touch with doctors who have been there before. Prepare on your part, and everything will go fine!
National Youth Service Corps Program for Doctors in Nigeria
Once you’re done with the best mandatory one-year housemanship, the very next thing to step into is the NYSC.
NYSC is not just a medics’ stuff, but a mandatory program for every single graduate! Basically, the Doctors program entails you going to local hospitals or teaching hospitals in a state where you offer medical services.
Why is NYSC for Doctors Important?
You don’t have to feel alone here- NYSC is for every graduate. It’s a compulsory program that every graduate just pass through before getting employment in Nigeria.
You can liken the main idea of NYSC to this: you trained in Nigeria, now give something back for the country.
Here are some reasons the Nigerian Government wants NYSC for you:
- To build discipline in Nigerian youths by putting them in the tradition of industry at work, and loyal service to Nigeria despite unfavorable conditions.
- To inculcate into Nigerian youths, the spirit of self-discipline by encouraging skills development for employment.
- To nurture youths who will contribute to Nation building and development.
- To expose Nigerian youths to the style of life of people in different parts of Nigeria.
- To install the spirit of National unity, integration, and corporation among Nigerian Youths.
Now, you’ve known the benefit of NYSC, let’s head over to what you’ll be doing in NYSC.
What does NYSC for Doctors Entail?
The National Youth Service Corps Program for Medical Doctors in Nigeria usually entails going to a local hospital and providing quality medical devices back to the country.
You will be sent to a particular state along with other corners. There, you’ll practice Medicine in nearby hospitals.
What about money? Of course, yes, you’ll be paid for your work! But don’t get super excited. You’ll be appalled that even your housemanship salary is higher than that if your NYSC program.
How Much do NYSC Doctors Earn? – NYSC Doctors Salary
Presently, medical doctors earn around 50,000 to 150,000 Naira monthly during the National Youth Service Corps Program. And just like Housemanship, your salary depends on the hospital.
Federal Medical Centres and teaching hospitals usually pay higher than local government hospitals. However, you should note that not every NYSC Doctors work as a practitioner; some give medical service for free while collecting the Federal Government Monthly Salary.
Things to Know About NYSC For Doctors
- You can exempt the NYSC program only if you are above 30 years. This does mean that if your degree was gotten after thirty years, no NYSC. But if you got the degree before 30 years, you’ll have to do the program.
- You can’t apply for the NYSC Program without getting your Permanent Medical License. And like we said earlier, Permanent Medical license comes after housemanship.
Career Choices – What Next After Medical School Nigeria
You will be forgiven if you usually think medical doctors only confine to hospitals – there are so many opportunities!
Are you often displeased by the sight of blood? Or did you study Medicine because of your parents? Whichever your situation is, you can carve your medical career into something fulfilling and worthwhile.
You can live your dreams with MBBS because there’s a wide range of opportunities available, not only in the health sector but also in other areas such as research or education
1. Specialist Doctor
Becoming a specialized doctor is one of the general paths for medics. This implies getting into extra training programs called Residency to be a specialist.
Furthermore,The residency program takes up to 3 to 7 years, and the time spent in school depends on the specialty.
Will you get paid as a resident? Absolutely yes, there needs to be a reward for your hard work! You’ll be paid during the program, and after which you become a consultant earning a higher income. Good enough, right?
There are numerous specialties to dive in when you want to specialize. Amongst many of them are; Cardiology, Obstetrics, and Gynecology, Gastroenterology, Orthopaedics, Neurosurgery, etc.
As a Nigerian, start planning on Residency in Nigeria. But if your eyes are on schools abroad, start preparations. There are numerous means; the USMLE, PLAB, etc.
2. Public Health Worker
If your goal is to apply your medical knowledge to promote a population’s health, then public health is for you.
Your ideal work-life entails preventing the spread of infectious diseases or pandemics such as the Covid-19 and Ebola Virus.
Asides that, you could engage in strategic planning towards effectiveness and health efficiency in your country.
If this is a field you want, then you should start preparing for masters. There are plenty of areas to specialize in Medicine. Examples include Epidemiology in Public health practice, Biostatistics in public health, Foundations of Global health, etc.
With this further training, you stand a great chance to work in the World Health Organization, Centre for Disease Control, etc.
3. Medical Lecturing
Lecturing medical students is another career choice for Doctors. Doctors taught you. In the same vein, you train to be knowledgeable in medical courses and train other students.
If this is your path, you’ll need to undergo further medical education; going for masters and sometimes Ph. D.
4. Medical Researcher- What Next After Medical School Nigeria
Medical Researchers are in high demand at this time than never before. And you can become one too!
New viruses like the Covid-19 sometimes spring up, and the world will depend on your ability to make quality research and come with useful solutions to problems.
Asides that, your research ability can be useful in the pharmaceutical industry. Since you’re going to conduct experiments and provide results on the human body, you could develop better drugs to help mankind.
In this field, you can be regarded as a medical scientist. You’ll get to conduct experiments, analyze results, and conduct quality research to provide potential treatments to significant problems.
5. Health Journalist- What Next After Medical School Nigeria
Oh, do you love writing? Great! You can put up your excellent writing skills and proper research into producing super quality journals and articles.
You can use your medical knowledge to become an authority in Health journalism. Your articles will be a source of help to many who read them.
6. Sports and Exercise Medicine
If you watch football, you’ll know that there are stationed medical experts who pay attention to injured players.
This field doesn’t confine to football alone; it spreads to almost every sport exercise. You could train up to become one of these medical specialists attending to wounded players during sports.
Factors to Consider before Taking a Step into Life After Medical School
“Love what you do,” “follow your heart,” you’ve probably heard these saying a couple of times. That’s the same scenario here!
There are plenty of opportunities for medical doctors in Nigeria. Some fields may lure you because, at the moment, folks there do earn cool cash, but that’s not always what it is.
Before going forth with your career, relax, take a little time to think about what you truly want.
- What do you want to accomplish in the medical sphere?
- How can you bring change to the health sector?
- What do you like about being a doctor?
These are typical questions to ask your self before planning. Remember, each career option has a different path, so, ideally, you get it right from the “why”.
Don’t just take a step into public health or any other medical field because your colleagues are doing it. Instead, take perspective into what your final goal is.
As Benjamin Carson would say, “think big”, look into the big picture. Ask yourself, what’s your final destination?
By doing these, you can see clear steps you need to take and map out a fantastic career for your self.
3. Money for Further Training
Before deciding that “yes, I want to do my Residency in the United States,” or any other thing, you should consider the expenses for that path.
For almost every medical career option, there will be some financial expenses to be made. The USMLE, for example, costs over 1.5 million naira – other fees aside.
Hence, take your time to figure out how much you’ll need to spend for you further training to not get stranded by the way.
4. Mentor- What Next After Medical School Nigeria
You possibly can’t do every single thing on your own. You’ll need information, news, guides, and tips concerning where you want to go. Hence, you’ll need a good mentor in your journey.
Connect with people, doctors who’ve achieved what you want to do. Get their contacts, reach out to them, ask questions, and form a good relationship.
That’s the much we can take on the topic “What Do I do Next After Medical School ”.
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