⏩ Doctors In Nigeria: Career Options And Job Opportunities For A Doctor In Nigeria!

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Being a medical doctor and practicing in Nigeria is not as easy as portrayed. Life will be so much easier for you if you know the career options and job opportunities for a doctor in Nigeria.

Every year thousands of medical graduates are churned out into the labour market by the different medical schools in Nigeria. Many of these graduates don't have a good knowledge of the job opportunities available to them. The aim of this post is to educate you so that you can gain a sense of direction.

The career path you choose should be one that interests you. I mean if you are going to do this for the rest of your life you should enjoy what you do. It's also great to be motivated by "money" too but always place your happiness above every other thing in life.

Medicine is a calling 😉 . As much as possible choose a path that fits into your vision of yourself. Some people see themselves as surgeons cutting and suturing body structures. Some see themselves as Physicians racking brain, speaking in "strange terms" and healing by medications. Some see themselves with kids. I think the job of a pediatrician is closer to that of a "native doctor" because they use their "cowries" to decipher the meaning of a baby's cries. Some even see themselves as "men of the people". These are our highly political doctors. I could go on and on about specialties to get into but that's for another post.

Whatever path you choose, do it well. Infact, get to the very top of that career. If you go into research, be the very best in it. Back in school I had a lecturer and Professor of Pharmacology who went into research/public health. He's an ambassador for WHO right now and gets called by Aso Rock for any new healthcare assignment.

If you go into general practice, please proliferate and heal the world. Nigeria needs healthcare practitioners with a vision. The other day in Lagos, I met a consultant Orthopedic surgeon who now owns 4 mega-hospitals in choice locations all over lagos. He's just 43 years old but he has achieved alot. He has set a standard for others to follow.

I also know doctors that didn't step into residency programs for a single day but are doing very well in their individual private practices. Some people don't want to go through the stress of "medical school number 2" because that's what residency really is. Well except for the paycheck!😂

These days, getting into the programme in the first place can be a daunting task. You have to pass your Primaries Exam first in your chosen area. I know​ doctors that wrote the exam countless times . At some point they even wondered whether their "village people" were taking calls on their cases. Eventually, some of them even had to change specialties just to pass.

I also know some persons that even after passing had their certificate expired while they still hadn't gotten a spot. Some even take non-paying residency positions just to belong. Some Teaching Hospitals really milk this to its fullest and eventually kick them out of the hospital. Many doctors become frustrated when they don't know exactly what to do next.

CAREER OPTIONS AND JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR A DOCTOR IN NIGERIA!


Suffice it to say that your career options are also your job opportunities. For example, the training that you went through makes you eligible for certain job positions and the salary also varies with your capabilities.

For example, after residency programs you become a fellow in your specialty of choice. This makes you eligible to apply for consultant positions in Teaching Hospitals, Federal Medical Centers, Private establishments, even companies and HMOs.

Let's get right into the matter!

✅ HOUSE Job

        • House Job is the colloquial term for medical internship of doctors in Nigeria. Once you pass your final MB,BS professional exam and you receive your certificate, you become eligible for housemanship!
        • As the name implies, you are required to "man the house/hospital" in the same way a "house boy" does😂. It's funny but it's true. We all did it!
        • As a house officer you are at the lowest cader of the medical graduates ladder. However, you will not be fairing badly financially. Infact you may be earning better than many medical officers (Senior colleagues). This is when you will count your first million. Many doctors buy a car after this.
        • However, it's for 1 year only! If you are not careful with your finances, you end up dropping your standard of living afterwards. You may even sell the car you bought 😂. Smh!
        • Anyway, getting this job in Nigeria now is not as easy as ABC. If you have Abuja connections, this is probably a good time to put it to use. You can still get it on merit though depending on the institution you applied in. Also Northern Nigerian Teaching Hospitals are somewhat easier to get. So last last that may be your option.
        • I will write more stories on my house job experience later.

✅ NATIONAL Youth Service Corps

        • Ha! Corpers Sure! At this point you get prepared to enter the paramilitary 1 year compulsory service of your motherland (except you are above 30years).
        • Generally for doctors, NYSC is a pleasant experience. In the camp, you enjoy many benefits including escaping parades and helping other corp members escape parades. For this you get paid in cash and kind!😉
        • After the camping you get sent to your PPA (Place of Primary Assignment). Most times it's a remote community where you are the only doctor in the whole town. Somehow, you are in charge of everyone's health. Some also make money from this opportunity. Some other doctors are sent to cities with enjoyment avenues. You may not even save a Kobo at the end.
        • Just take youth service as a "service". You may come back richer or poorer or same depending on your fortunes. I still know people that didn't leave it to chance. Everything in Nigeria is amenable to your connect. So that your Aunt working in NYSC office can be of help now!

✅GENERAL Private Practice

        • At the end of the race, you estimate the distance covered ~Igbo Proverb
        • Now you are (almost) done with NYSC , what's the way forward? You may have even started applying for jobs in different areas. By this time some have written or are writing their Primaries Exam. Some have started preparing documents to leave the country. Amongs many there are those who already have a "special" place prepared for them by Uncles and Aunties or even Daddy and Mummy. These are the silver spooned doctors. 😃
        • At this point you realize that this is just the beginning of the journey for you. What to do now? What to do now? You may get your first job during which you get paid below what your junior colloeagues doing housemanship are earning.
        • General Private Practice is not easy at all. Some MDs will use you for their personal business gain and still pay you peanuts. Also you notice that payment amount varies with location. Hence if you are somewhere in Umuahia or Asaba or Zamfara, don't​ expect to be paid as much as someone doing private practice in Lagos!
        • The good offers in the private sector are usually very competitive. You go for interviews with 10 other medics for a single job position. Well, except you are "competitively tight" this method doesn't work oh.
        • You can use medical job agencies to get a job quickly. There are great offers which you can only get via this method. You don't have to be in the batch of competition. They look out for you alone. I have links to some of these. Kindly contact us for more queries.
        • Do you know you can start your own hospital in Nigeria? I have seen a doctor that went straight from NYSC to owning a private facility for general practice. 5-10 years later he has established so well that he even has a street named after his hospital. All cases in and around that area is always referred to him. So starting your own hospital requires patience and capital. Though you can always start small and build up.

✅ RESIDENCY Programme/Jobs

        • Residency is a training program for doctors helping them gain the necessary skills and knowledge to specialize. Being a specialist immediately puts you at the top of the food chain. You may not earn the highest money but you will always get the highest accolades.
        • I met a doctor at one time while I was in medical school. He had been in private practice for years and has done well for himself financially. However, he quickly observed that his boss (who was younger than him) is a consultant.
        • All the contributions he makes towards the hospital he works are all credited to the consultant. His prescriptions are screened by the consultant. Infact, he didn't have a say in the state of affairs of the hospital. His views were not regarded just because he wasn't a "fellow". These things have a way of telling on your ego no matter the amount you are being paid. So right now, the man is doing his residency in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
        • You decide for yourself whether you want to do residency, which area to specialize in, what gives you joy, how much free time you need and how much money you want to make.
        • The earlier you make the decision the better. It helps to focus your mind on the task at hand so that you can direct your energy towards it. If you do that, you succeed gloriously.
        • Subsequently, I will take you by the hand and guide you on how to choose your specialty. I have my own stories to tell you too.👌

✅ EDUCATION and Research

        • The medical field is littered with Professors and lecturers who imparted on us while we were in medical school. Being a medical doctor and a professor in a certain field does feel good😂.
        • One of my lecturers in physiology has never laid hands on a stethoscope since after his NYSC. Immediately after service he got a scholarship (more on that below) to get his master's degree in physiology abroad. After that he came back and landed a job straight. I'm sure by now he has forgotten his clerkmanship😂.
        • So everything is possible! If you love research too, you can go for it. Start here in Nigeria. You can also go abroad and get more training then come back to the country and shine.
        • One erudite Professor in my pharmacology department was the one that discovered ivermectin which is now the gold standard for the treatment of onchocerciasis. He's a mega mega millionaire now!
        • Also there's this pride too that comes from being a scholar. When they wear those glorious gown and cap on grey hairs you understand that they have read more books than Wole Soyinka.(if you know you know 😉)

✅ MILITARY and Paramilitary Medical Jobs

        • Doctors are thriving very well in the military and Paramilitary areas. It's so easy to become somebody of note in the society if you decide to go through this pathway.
        • One thing I love about the military is the swagga that comes with it!
        • 6-9 months of their short course training is all you need to escape this civilian life. As far as Nigeria is concerned, military men (especially their top officials) are always given their due respect. Noone jokes with the military.
        • Whether it's Army, Airforce, Navy, Civil Defense, Customs, Police etcz, they all get alot of accolades. It's an opportunity to gain influence. That power can even graduate into politics later if you have the ambition.
        • A classmate of mine entered the police after NYSC via his dad who was also an officer of the law. They promoted him to ASP position immediately with private cars, house and other luxuries. "👮 Police dey suffer" is not for someone who entered after obtaining a medical certificate.
        • If you do this though, you have to be ready for anything and everything. These areas have their own unique challenges especially when you don't have a military background. Example, you will be transferred from one place to another for duties. Another thing is that you must always "obey commands" regardless of your Glasgow Coma Scale😂. So if they send you to Sambisa forest, just say goodbye to your village people in case you don't come back!😁

✅ MINISTRY Medical Jobs

        • There are many ministries in Nigeria. All of them need medical doctors who will be working as civil servants . Ministry of Health for example will employ you.
        • The beautiful thing about this type of job is that it's an office career. You get your own space and you get promoted just like other civil servants of the government though your entry point will be higher.
        • This gives you alot of free time for other side projects and even to study. You get lots and lots of opportunities to further your career and the government will pay for it.👌
        • But before you get this ehn, you will sweat from pores you never knew you had in certain places 😁. Remember those connections I mentioned above, just go and keep shining them. Buy wine, send text messages, visit them. Yes! You need them that much!

✅ LEAVING The Country

        • This option used to be down down in the list but due to recent trends, it can even be a person's first port of call. I know someone that got his MB,BS and next thing he was already writing his USMLE!
        • Its even good to write the exams when you are still fresh out of medical college so that you will be "firing". Some people wait until after rust has set in before they start attempting to clear the cobwebs that must have accumulated on their grey matter.😂
        • This is a whole area of discuss on it's own because you have to decide which country you want to go and why. You have to compare and contrast alot of factors before making that decision.
        • By the way, I heard some people are now going to Qatar, Kenya even Ghana😁. Any which way is still the way. Look out for an article on this area in subsequent publications.

✅ POLITICS 😂

        • Yes! You can be the Chris Ngige of our own generation. This past governor of Anambra state, ex-senator and current minister is well known in the political scenery of Nigeria. He got his MBBS just like you. So why not?
        • Politics is very "lucrative". You know that Nigeria is a pretty rich country just that the resources do not trickle down to the poor masses. So if you are good with people, then this is an area to consider. A charismatic individual who can convince the serpent to eat an apple will do well in politics.🍎🐍
        • Some of you​ hustled for departmental and faculty leadership positions even as students. So this is definitely for you! You have a bigger playing field with the masses looking up to you for a change of fortunes in the country. Please don't disappoint us oh!👌
        • I don't want to hear any more stories of different animals swallowing the country's money. 36 million naira by 🐉. Another by 🐁🐀🐁s. Recently we heard the gorilla abi monkey doing it's own thing too🐵.

✅ ENTERPRENEURSHIP and Any Other Business

        • Yes! Doctors can be enterpreneurs too. To cap it off they actually do very well in it. Anyone that can successfully complete medical school and graduate is a smart and resilient person by default. Those are the qualities frequently exhibited by business men as well.
        • You can do any type of business you like on the side while you still practice your Medicine with your stethoscope around your neck. Meanwhile, your account balance will be smiling on a daily basis. Your Medical job allawee should not be your only source of income.
        • There are many opportunities to change things in Nigeria because of the state of our economy. Any problem you can solve for others is equal to money for you if you know how to monetize your creations.
        • I know someone that made so much money via internet business and he even left Medical school in his 5th year and went abroad. He said he was tired of the "stress" of medicine. He eventually sponsored his classmates' graduation year book with 1 million naira👌.
        • So find alternatives! Make more​ money 💰. If medicine is really your calling, please continue doing it. If it's not, quietly hang your stethoscope somewhere neat and nice before you murder somebody's son or daughter with quackery!😁

This is where we wrap up this article. I strongly believe I have opened your eyes to opportunities you may have ignored . The Bible says that; "my people perish for the lack of knowledge!"

So now you have this information, what will you do with it?


Stay tuned on Air-Clinic for more!💙


 


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A doctor is required to have high knowledge and skills. Just like in your country, in Indonesia too many doctors are less skilled in handling patients. Hopefully in the future doctors can use their knowledge to jump into the community. Have anice day, my friend.

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What a great eyes opener for young medical doctors in Nigeria!
Nice write-up.