COMPULSORY PhD: ABU Medical Students Lament as Consultants Refuse to Call Off Strike

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Medical Students of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria are obviously not happy with the ongoing strike by their lecturers, (Medical consultants) under the aegis of Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria which came as a result of a policy of National Universities Commission NUC making PhD acquisition compulsory for all consultants lecturing in  medical colleges.

In a series of twits under the hashtag #SaveMedicalEducation monitored by TheAbusites, they have unanimously urged the NUC to reverse the new policy pointing out that it was needless.

According to Faisal Indina, With minimum available resources and, despite morbid neglect of the education sector, clinical lecturers in Nigeria have managed to produce internationally competent medical doctors. There are issues to be addressed in medical education far more important than a redundant PhD.

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In her remark, Opeyemi Muili said, A PhD won’t help my consultants teach me how to pick signs & symptoms. They are already doing that perfectly well.

Medical education in the country has maintained excellence only because it has refused to adopt the corrupt policies in the universities. One can be honored with a Ph.D. one can even buy it. But a fellowship,
You earn it with your sweat & blood remark a medical student with username @drahabsnr

According to Musa Abokinkure, In Nigeria where corruption has eaten up all our University admission procedures. The NUC choose to be interested in imposing a Ph.D. certificate on consultants. We are still waiting for reasons that call for this imposition.

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He added that Doctors (consultants) are not rejecting PhD because they don’t have what it takes to get it, everyone knows this. But why will someone impose his decision on me, with no single reason? Who will be the supervisors/trainers?

Boluwatife Ade Concluded that It’s so evident that acquiring a Ph.D. to teach medical students has political backing rather than an intellectual one and undeniably, this country would move rather backward in the health care system if care isn’t taken. #SaveMedicalEducation #savenigeriahealthcaresystem

ABUMSA declared support for it lecturers

The Ahmadu Bello University Medical Students Association – ABUMSA has declared support for it lecturers.

ABU Medical Students Lament as Consultants Refuse to Call Off Strike

In a short statement released on it’s official Twitter handle, ABUMSA said, “We stand with our teachers. The new Ph.D. policy by NUC is designed just to cause more waste of time and distraction. Everything has been going well; patient care and training of medical students and residents...

..Doctors who are trained in Nigeria (by fellows who do not have a Ph.D.) can stand anywhere in the world and say he’s medical graduate, with no fear of being asked any form of question in his field.”

Medical Consultants Refuse to Call Off Strike

Meanwhile, the Medical consultants under the aegis of Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria insist they will not call off their strike until the National Universities Commission withdraws its circular on compulsory PhD for all consultants lecturing in medical colleges.

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The MDCAN Chairman, University College Hospital, Ibadan branch, Dr. Dare Olulana, said in keeping with the directive that the affected lecturers should withdraw their services, the teaching of medical students had been suspended. However, the strike  has  not affected patients at teaching hospitals.

Olulana said, “The teaching of medical students has been suspended. We have not been teaching them since we withdrew our services from the university’s college of medicine. That is what the strike is meant for at the moment.

“We have not been teaching medical students. They are not in the clinic for us to teach them; they are not in the theatre; not in the class; and of course, they are not onward round.

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“As for treating of patients,  that has gone undisturbed. Our action does not affect patients’ care for now. It only affects teaching of students and that has been very effective. To the best of my knowledge, none of our members is opposed to the withdrawal of our services to the medical students.

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“We are about 250 medical practitioners at the UCH branch. These are consultant medical doctors  who also work in the College of Medicine.”

Asked why they were still attending to patients, he said, “We are working because the NUC circular is what is provoking our action for now. It is directed to the universities and it has to do with lecturing; it talks about the capacity to lecture medical students requesting that we should all have PhDs; this is  not necessary for medical lecturers who already have fellowships.

“Why the  NUC is asking for that we don’t know.”

The NUC  in the circular dated December 24, 2019, addressed to vice-chancellors of all universities and the  Registrar of National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria indicated that Ph.D. programmes should be introduced into the clinical sciences in the university system.

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Chila Andrew Aondofa

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