OPINION: WHY I THINK MEDICINE AND SURGERY IS HIGLY OVERRATED IN NIGERIA
Medicine and Surgery; Is It Truly Worth The Attention It Gets?
I woke up at about 6am, said my prayers and exited the room only to find a flock of birds flying past the roof. Amazingly, the hens and cocks were stretching their feathers and feeling awesome not minding nor even noticing the height of their counterparts.
I logged on to facebook to see if she replied the chats I sent her last night but NO, she didn’t. It’s obvious she is sad. It’s her third year of applying for Medicine and Surgery and this time, she was offered provisional admission to study Food Science and Technology. I could guess, she felt her dreams has been shattered again.
I care for her a lot but I just couldn’t find a means to pacify her so I kept my cool.
I’ve had the privilege of meeting prospective undergraduates on various occasions and their clamour for Medicine and Surgery is alarming. Sometimes it’s very difficult to ascertain what fuels their desire.
Why do you want to Study Medicine? Most of them don’t seem to have any answer.
They either grew up in an Igbo family where the parents so much believe that the way out of poverty and lack is for their ward to become a medical doctor or while in secondary school, they belonged to a class where 90% of the brilliant ones kept singing Medicine and because they didn’t want to feel less than equal, they joined the bandwagon.
Every year, thousands of students apply for Medicine, yet, very few get admitted.
11,130 candidates applied for Medicine and Surgery in UNN alone and not more than 200 will be admitted. It’s is already clear that more than 10,000 will be denied admission.
Same with other 24 FULLY accredited Medical schools in Nigeria.
Only about 1.6% of people who apply for Medicine in Nigeria get admitted yearly.
And only 56% of the admitted students end up becoming doctors.
If you successfully scale through the 6years spent in school, getting a placement for housemanship within the stipulated 2years becomes another bridge to cross. If you eventually end up not getting a place, you will have to resit your final exams this time conducted by the Medical body not your school and you will have to pay plus the high failure rate involved.
Looking at the stress in the journey to becoming a doctor, one should be able to vow that these guys should be the most successful set of people in the society but unfortunately, the reality is different.
Failure in Marriage: Whatever business, ministry or profession that takes a toll on your family life has made you a failure and that is the predicament of most Doctors. I read an article where an American Medical Body reacted to a medical divorce research by saying only 23% of Doctors have a failed marriage as against the 27% earlier proven, what difference does it make?
I don’t have a problem with the statistics because in Nigeria, you will rarely find any divorce case but I’ve been to Doctors’ houses and to be sincere, their wives suffer lack of attention and so do their kids. But the Nigerian culture has taught ladies to tolerate till Jesus comes. In the book ‘for men only’, 80% of the women interviewed said they would rather suffer financial insufficiency in their homes than lack of attention from their spouse.
He goes to work even on Sundays, he never thinks of taking his family on a vacation, he comes home by 9pm and is so exhausted to chat with his wife and as he lays to sleep, two hours later, the nurse is on the phone ‘Doctor there is an emergency’ and he rushes out by 11pm and that is the profession that thousands of deceived Nigerian students wants.
Financially: Doctors are not poor but very few of them are rich. 300k per month, you have a wife and children, you have house rent to settle and have other family members who has a perception that you are rich so they make demands on you. I’ve never seen a Doctor riding a Range Rover, you only see them on Toyota Camry, Corolla, Honda and other 1-2million naira cars.
Business: If they invest in other businesses, maybe things will be better. I was with a Doctor in the Medical Centre here and he began lamenting that even if he wants to do anything like business, he won’t have time for it and people will end up taking advantage of him. Moreso, if at the workplace, they realize that you have investments, you will be denied certain financial privileges.
I am not despising the medical profession, as I can’t deny the fact that the society can’t survive without them. I am only worried that an individual spends 7years resitting Jamb simply because he wants to study Medicine.
Come to a gathering and introduce yourself as a medical doctor, nobody will bow to you, outside the school setting what speaks is your Success in life not your A in Pathology.
How many less privileged kids have you given a reason to smile by sending them to school? How many homes have your existence deleted poverty from their lineage. Therein lies fulfilment.
We need doctors, don’t get me wrong but our quest for the medical profession is not worth it. It has crippled rich minds, buried companies that would have been providing 10,000 jobs today and hidden business potentials and leadership models in the chocking atmosphere of the hospital.
So guys, don’t feel bad if you not admitted to study Medicine, settle for anything. It’s your imagination in life that counts not your IQ. Make the best out your life wherever you find yourself.