In the last three decades, surgical training has been on a great decline in Nigeria such that medical students don"t assist at surgeries nor take normal deliveries before graduation. The new graduates are called BABY DOCTORS by their patients.
The deterioration in the teaching hospitals has led to the flight of patients abroad for medical tourism and several teaching hospitals in the West African sub-region have resorted to the concept of "from the body to the bench" in teaching basic surgical skills. I have called this ALTERNATIVE TO PRACTICAL.
This practice has been extended to the further training of the specialist surgeons. A few weeks ago, I was having a chat with some surgical residents who were on strike. They lamented their plight. A general surgical unit comprising two consultants, two senior registrars and four registrars operate ONCE a week during which, on a very good day, they perform two major and four minor surgeries (biopsy and excision of lumps).
. I asked them: "How are you able to obtain the required number of cases before the exams?".
. I was told: "Sir, as many of us as are present in the operating room get signed up for the cases done that day!!".
The question is: "What is the quality of the consultant surgeon trained in Nigeria?"
By Oluyombo Awojobi,
1. Awojobi O A Training 21st Century Surgeons in West Africa.
2. Ezeome, ER, Ekenze SO , Ugwumba, F, Nwajiobi, C E and Coker O. Surgical training in resource-limited countries: moving from the body to the bench- experiences from the basic surgical skills workshop in Enugu, Nigeria. Tropical Doctor 2009; 39: 93 97.
3. Bode CO, Nwawolo CC, Giwa-Osagie OF. Surgical education at the West African College of Surgeons. World Journal of Surgery 2008; 32(10): 2162-6.
4. Awojobi O A Human resources for health in Nigeria - Surgical skill acquisition at ACE - June 2012. http://www.ifrs-rural.com/MEDRACE%20-%202.pdf
5. Awojobi O A Human resources for health in Nigeria - Surgical skill acquisition at ACE (2)- September 2013. http://www.ifrs-rural.com/MEDRACE%20ISSUE%20SEPTEMBER.pdf
HIFA profile: Oluyombo A Awojobi is a Consultant Rural Surgeon at Awojobi Clinic Eruwa, Oyo State, Nigeria.