In a sequel to his story on how fresh doctors in Nigeria beg for posting to do their one-year compulsory housemanship even when the medical personnel in the country remain grossly inadequate, TUNDE AJAJA in this second part reveals that perhaps the personnel crisis in the health sector is worse than it seems and far from being over as doctors who want to do residency training to become specialists also spend years, begging, to get placement, while the nation grapples with its few consultants
Notably, securing a placement for housemanship has become a sort of bottleneck for many fresh doctors in Nigeria, as many spend months at home, looking for placement. And in most cases, they are left frustrated, more so that some mates and juniors would have gone ahead of those who are unable to secure placement fast.
While that is pitiable and has already made some of them regret their choice to study medicine, it seems more worrisome that most of those who were lucky to scale the housemanship hurdle and are aiming to further their career by seeking to be specialists in their desired fields are stuck and stranded due to the scarcity of placement for the residency programme. Some spend years looking for placement.
The road to residency seems more turbulent and in some cases, some give up on the dream of becoming specialists to settle for general practice.
According to the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, the institution at the apex of Medical Education in Nigeria with the responsibility of conducting professional postgraduate examinations and producing specialists in all branches of Medicine and Dentistry, there should be one consultant to about four resident doctors.
In other words, where there is one specialist (consultant), four resident doctors should be under him or her, for training and these doctors can only undergo this training in the institutions accredited by the NPMCN.