Nigerian ‘doctors’: An Overhyped Profession; Yet Insignificant

By IndepthAfrica
In Article
Sep 9th, 2013
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Doctors always think anybody doing something they aren’t is a quack; also they think all patients are idiots
Flannery O’Connor

Fejiro Oliver

When the gods wish to kill a man, they first make him mad; an unfortunate theatrics that is about and will happen to graduates of MBBS, fondly called doctors in Nigeria soon. Like a faded script washed away by the rain, their relevance has been called to questions by Nigerians, who before now accorded them the respect they never deserved. Their relevance in the health sector is now questionable by Nigerians who thought every illness in Medicine was cured by these general body physicians.
Now, I truly did not wish to write on these medical personnel since benevolent JOHESU suspended their strike, yet the MBBS graduates has taken it upon themselves to mis-inform Nigerians. We refuse such misinformation and barrages of lies, all aimed at restoring their bruised ego caused by the JOHESU strike. The coronation of their concocted misinformation was posted on the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) blog titled, “Rejoinder: Of Nigerian Doctors Other Medical Workers: Where Fejiro Oliver Got It Wrong by Kalu Theodore but ended with Emmanuel Esezobor as the writer of the article. The article can be read on fejirooliver86 Facebook timeline.
We do not wish to debate on who actually wrote the watery article, though Emmanuel claimed not to be physician but a teacher. How ridiculous it sound writing to an investigative journalist, whose finding revealed that he’s a physician that works at Irua Specialist Hospital, Edo State. This is where their falsehood began.
The rejoinder claimed that these general body physicians never gave themselves the title ‘physician’, rather the patient who saw his work did. Amazing grace! This is one lie that will make Lucifer ask God to change his name from father of liars and be confirmed on this physician who apparently does not know how the name came about. I refuse to educate him on it, since his medical lecturers failed to teach him. Little wonder some get confused when they are in the theatre.
Medicine like every other course is an art and it remains so; the science angle linked to it is derived from the diagnosis of the Medical Laboratory Scientist, and the surgery which involves various health professionals to complete. What manner of physician exist that relies 70 percent on his shallow brain to make a diagnosis and 30 percent on results from the lab test, as written by Emmanuel? Answers are beginning to surface on why a patient goes to a hospital/clinic and a physician opens his eyes wide, and then concludes that the patient has malaria, only for a rest result to prove him wrong with a typhoid diagnosis.
“The physician is the principal manager of the patient. his curriculum includes learning the total body anatomy, physiology and biochemistry; then he is taught pathology (study of diseases including the interpretations of laboratory parameters be it from histology lab, haematology lab, chemical pathology lab and microbiology lab). The physician is not trained to do the test but to have the good 5 senses to interprete and relate the findings to his patient”, he writes ( all mistakes in quotes are his). Truly, it is time most of the MBBS graduates go for a psychiatrist test. That a general body physician owns a doctor is a crime punishable by Haman’s gallow. What of the patients treated by a doctor of dentistry, doctor of physiotherapy or doctor of optometry or even the nurse; the general body doctors own them I guess?
Emmanuel probably lives in the moon to write that only MBBS graduates are taught the various courses he mentioned. For the avoidance of his deceptive report; almost all the medical graduates from medical school are taught the same curriculum, till third year when most of them begin to focus on their main course of study. Where then lies this omnipotence that they wish to claim over other medical workers? Sorry, it doesn’t happen that way. The pathology study is no specialty that Medical Lab scientist do not know, as it’s a known fact that doing residency in pathology is like doing a degree in MLS. Who then do you want to lord your pathology certificate over?
“A medical lab scientist is trained to perform the test on tissues gotten from living organisms. In the hospital, he is a support staff. His job is to churn out results from these tissue samples for the pathologist (trained in the art of medicine and further 6years postgraduate training). The hospitals has a pathology dept headed by a pathologist with 4 major branches viz haematology, histopathology, chemical pathology and medical microbiology. Each subspecialties have their laboratory where the laboratory scientists are employed to help test the tissue for the pathologist to interprete. The present problems in the country emanated from the fact that we have had paucity of pathologists for so long”, he writes again.
Can someone please wake me up from my slumber and tell me that the six years spent by the Medical Lab Scientist was just to collect tissues from living organisms and hand over the sample to a supposed ‘superior’ being (pathologist)? You mean to tell the world how ignorant the physician folks are, that they don’t know that MLS do cellular pathology, histopathology or pharmacokinetics? With such kind of thoughts which they have fed the patients with for years, one need not go far to realize how brainwashed Nigerian patients have been over the years. Not anymore; the spell is broken and they know the truth! Sorry again dear doctors of medicine; no one is a support staff in the hospital; rather you all support each other.
Did I hear him say that Nigerian problems are due to shortage of pathologists? Brilliant ignorant analysis! Display the ignorance of your folks that lack of pathologist is the cause for election rigging in Nigeria or the various corrupt practices in the nation. Tell the world that lack of pathologist (a specialty that is doubled by MLS) is the cause of the political crisis in the country. Seriously, these MBBS graduates need a study of political science in school.
Dear MBBS personnel, nobody sent you to go to school for 100 years to specialize and be called a consultant; it’s your choice. If the nursing profession which you hate to love choose only four years as their course of study and then do post graduate for 1 year to be called a consultant; the world do not care, so long they deliver their excellent services. Comparing a clerk to a lawyer is like comparing a general body physician to a health attendant.
“What the support staff in the health sector are doing is to earn what they did not work for. The physicians deserves our respect. You can not make their effort, perseverance and long suffering be unrewarded. If there are no special incentives for them, we can as well do without them. The question is how many of you will like to subject your children to these rigor only for him or her to be exactly at par with someone who read a three years course. Is this their purnishment for being the best in our various elementary schools”, says Emmanuel.
Let’s analyze. Since all medical workers are support staff to each other; it will then be right to say the doctors of medicine are also over paid for work they don’t truly work for. No one has disrespected them, instead they have disrespected the Nigerian populace so much, hence they have to be told the bitter hard truth; which is: they don’t do anything special which any other cannot do, should they decide to go to the medical school. Before the advent of medicine, the human race has lived very healthy, so doing away with them is no big deal. By the way; has traditional medicine not taken over their roles? The question of rigorous training is to whip up sentiment, since no one begs a parent to send his child to read medicine and when has it become a punishment to get a desired education, which benefits them individually. No journalist was compelled to do a four year course, neither was any MBBS graduate forced to do a six year course. What then do we say of the aeronautic engineers who do 8 to 9 year course, yet have never claimed superior to a civil engineer. By the way; where did you and your MBBS colleagues conjure the fallacy that you are the most brilliant during elementary days? Definitely not in my days when we blazed the trail while your aspiring surgeon students followed behind. Honestly, this madness has gone too far.
“The core working environment of a pharmacist is the pharmaceutical companies but now you find majority of them dispensing drugs in the hospital. For heaven sake dispensing is an infinitessima part of their job specification. The nigerian pharmacists are lazy, they have failed to develop the pharmaceutical industry”.
If there is one lazy profession in the medical field, the MBBS certainly top the list, not the pharmacists who he believes should be sacked from the hospital. The gateway to every medical cure is the pharmacist; a profession which can cripple all efforts of the doctor of medicine. How pitiable it is that our MBBS personnel do not know the workings of a pharmacist. I elect myself to teach you that there are various fields in pharmacy, which dispensing happen to be a fraction of it.
” Just imagine Mr Fejiro, a journalist in the federal republic of Nigerian telling the whole world that the physiotherapists are the people that treats cerebral palsy and stroke!!!!”
Dear MBBS, if it is not doctors of physiotherapy that treats CP and stroke, I beg to be your student. A baby that has delayed milestone, that is; doesn’t sit, crawl or walk on time; what role do MBBS graduates play in getting the CP child to achieve activities of daily living? What surgery would make that child function well in the society? Jail term ought to be pronounced on Emmanuel for misleading innocent mothers whose children have CP. The only management to CP remains physical therapy. An MBBS graduate once advice a CP mother who visited a private hospital to give the child calcium to make the baby walk. Oh heaven; what will calcium treat in a disease of neurological origin?
In the case of cerebrovascular disease (stroke) which physical manifestation involves paralysis pr weakness of one side of the body (hemiplega); what will a physician do to restore this CVD patient to become normal again? This MBBS lies have spread on too long and truth must be told to them. The only cure to CVD is entirely handled by DPT.
“I believe if the laboratory, pharmaceutical and radiological services can be outsourced a lot of the problems faced by the patients in the hospitals will be gone”
This is definitely a write-up from a student who bribed his way through his medical school and feels threatened that the lab scientist, pharmacists and radiographers have relegated the MBBS to the background and thus must be sacked from service. The reverse is the case, as the Nigerian masses needs them more than we need the general body physician or haven’t you known that with good dieting, humans can be free from complications that results in your going to the theatre to carry out operations which is akin to a farmer planting yam?
The nurses whom the likes of Emmanuel deride are the bonafide owner of the wards and patients. The nurses as the bedrock of medicine will be discussed soon.
Certainly the Nigerian physicians have had their ego massaged for long. A profession who feel they top the chart of careers, when actually they cannot stand alone as an individual; a course which every tom, dick and harry can read but chose to diversify, and we say, a profession that has not contributed much to the medical growth of the world, rather have killed it in Nigeria. This profession filled with the likes of Emmanuel needs baptism and we are ready to be the priest.
These little things matter…
Fejiro Oliver, a Journalist can be reached on secretsreporters@gmail.com and +2348026797588 (sms only please). Follow on twitter @fejirooliver86 and Facebook; fejirooliver86. Like our Facebook page- secretsreporters

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