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FG to probe foreign medical schools over recurring poor performance of graduates

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Osagie Ehanire

Worried by the recurring poor performance of foreign trained medical and dental graduates, the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) has planned to probe some of the new foreign schools to determine their fitness to offer acceptable medical degrees.

Minister of State for Health, Osagie Ehanire, who disclosed this at the induction of foreign-trained medical and dental graduates in Abuja yesterday, said the investigation would enable MDCN differentiate these institutions from genuine ones and compile its findings to draw a comprehensive list of accredited and non-accredited medical and dental schools.

The minister, who advised that students should accept admission into foreign medical schools only if they are accredited, says the Council does its job of attesting young doctors’ knowledge and skills in collaboration with the teaching hospitals which conduct adjustment tutorials and assessment examinations.

He, therefore, asked students to check for accredited institutions on the website of the International Medical Education Directory (IMED) and World Directory of Medical Schools (WDoMS) subject to confirmation by the MDCN.

He stated that the last examination in November 2017 at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital ended with a rather high failure rate, raising alarm among students and their sponsors.

He said due to these concerns, the Federal Ministry of Health approved the unusual resit examination in February 2018 to give a second chance to candidates who did not fare well and that this yielded 51 more successful candidates who are among inductees today, in addition to those who passed the regular April 2018 examination.

He said: The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria’s (MDCN) responsibility is to ensure that medical doctors and dentists trained within and outside Nigeria have acquired the right competencies to contribute meaningfully to the Nigerian health sector.

“This is not an easy task because of the challenges of the educational system in Nigeria on one hand, and on the other hand, the fact that Nigerians study in a wide variety of countries with widely varying languages, academic cultures, medical curriculums and traditions of education.

“The MDCN on its part should more than ever ensure persons and professional institutions continuously monitor and evaluate medical education and professional development.”

Ehanire stated that Nigeria faces a medical manpower shortage and in finding ways to better the situation, the Federal Government has considered strategies to retain home-grown doctors and encourage return of Nigerian doctors in Diaspora.

Also, the Registrar of MDCN, Dr. Tajudeen Sanusi, who decried the recurring poor performance of foreign-trained medical and dental graduates, noted that the resit examination was conducted as a result of the outcry that followed the outcome of the 2017 assessment examination, which had a high failure rate.

He said the unsuccessful candidates became aggrieved and petitioned the National Assembly and the Federal Ministry of Health whose intervention led to the resit examination in February 2018.


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