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MBBS/BDS in Nigeria now 7 years + other changes

  • November 4, 2015 10:51 PM CET

    New academic standards approved for medical and dental education in Nigeria


    The Nigerian government through the Nigerian University Commission (NUC) has approved the revised academic standards for medical and dental education in Nigeria. The commission said the revised standards would become effective from the 2016/2017 academic session.

    Find below the approved version of the revised standards as published by the NUC and made available toHealthNewsNG.

    i. A seven year MBBS/BDS programme that encompass a mandatory seamless four-year acquisition of the B.Sc. (Basic Medical Science) with interest in either Anatomy/Physiology/Biochemistry. At the end of seven years, students would have acquired the Bachelor of Basic Medical Science, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees. In case of the dental programmes, the students would have acquired a degree in Basic Dental Science and Bachelor of Dental Surgery.

    ii. In order to allow for career change for interested non-medical health professionals, the Commission has also approved a four year programme leading to MBBS/BDS for interested and qualified graduates of Nursing, Pharmacology, Physiotherapy, Image Science, Paramedics, Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology. It must be noted for such to be considered for admission they must have at the WAEC/NECO levels minimum credit scores in Mathematics, English, Physics, Chemistry and Biology at one sitting, prior to the admissions for their first degrees. They must also have a good CGPA.

    iii. Admission into universities based on the current six year programme would be allowed to continue as suitable alternative based on the discretion of the University.
    It should be noted and emphasized that all the above degrees have the Bachelor appellation as they remain undergraduate programmes.
    For Specific periods of posting to the department of Family Medicine. The obvious implication here is that, the Universities should create the Department of Family Medicine following their due process.
    The department of pharmacology would be redsignated to the department of pharmacology and therapeutics and is now expected to provide relevant basic clinical teaching and conduct relevant professional examination in Pharmacology. They will also be expected to provide relevant clinical teaching in Therapeutics.
    According to the NUC, proprietors of medical and dental schools in Nigeria (both current and prospective) are requested to note the following implementing steps including relevant adjustments relating to accreditation of Medical /dental schools
    From 1st September 2015, both current and prospective proprietors of Medical and Dental Schools should:
    a. Write a letter to the Executive Secretary stating their intent and provide relevant information as available.
    b. On receipt, (if NUC has no obvious reasons to disqualify the application), they would be sent a copy of the BMAS for MBBS/BDS and advised firmly to ensure that they are strictly complied with.
    c. The setting up of medical schools is not an emergency exercise. To this end, prospective proprietors must own and have in place (prior to a request for a Resource Verification), a fully functional and well run tertiary type hospital.
    In the circumstance of the above not being in place, consideration for an affiliation with a tertiary government owned institution may be given only when the said university owns a medical institution fully functional with a minimum of 150 beds and a rural health medical unit. (See Appendix 4 of the BMAS).
    d. APre-clinical Accreditation would be expected to take place within two years of a positive Resource Verification.
    Students can only sit for the second MBBS professional examination (Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry) when they have a successful preclinical accreditation. The preclinical accreditation would, amongst others, concentrate largely on the Department of Anatomy, Biochemistry, Physiology, Pathology and Pharmacology and to a lesser extent, Community Health. All evaluated departments must have the minimum requirements in terms of academic staff, non academic staff and laboratory facilities. (See Appendix 3 of the BMAS)
    e. The Commission has now approved a Clinical Accreditation expected to take place within twelve months of a successful preclinical accreditation. Subsequent to that, a reaccreditation exercise will take place every five years.
    2. With respect to established medical schools, (and irrespective of their accreditation status), it should be noted that only institutions that (by the deadline of March 20th, 2016) have requested and obtained formal approval from the National Universities Commission for a re-evaluation based on the following considerations would be allowed to admit students into the MBBS/BDS programmes from the 2016/2017 academic year:
    a. All Medical and Dental schools must have an approved, and appropriately utilized, Clinical Skills/Simulation centre.
    b. Ensure strict adherence to the proper use of the course system for all approved programmes in Nigerian Universities. The implication of the above is that a particular programme (subject) is taught not only broken into cluster units of 1-4 but also have the components of university supervised examinations. For clarity, current end of posting examinations (practiced by some medical/dental schools) that neither have units allocated nor follow the standards of a University examination, do not conform to the Minimum Academic Standards as established by the National Universities Commission.
    c. Universities are strongly urged to immediately review their current methods of teaching medical and dental students to include more tutorials, self study group teaching, use of IT in the delivery of courses and simulation/competency based evaluations that must be signed by a lecturer not below the status of a senior lecturer. It must be noted that the confirmation of a successful simulation/competency based evaluation should be a mandatory requirement before the students are eligible to sit for the various professional/sessional examinations

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