Career Opportunities and Job Prospects for Medicine and Surgery Graduates in Nigeria

Medicine and Surgery
About Medicine and Surgery

Introduction to Medicine and Surgery

Medicine is the science and practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. Medicine encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness. Contemporary medicine applies biomedical sciences, biomedical research, genetics, and medical technology to diagnose, treat, and prevent injury and disease, typically through pharmaceuticals or surgery, but also through therapies as diverse as psychotherapy, external splints and traction, medical devices, biologics, and ionizing radiation, amongst others.

Surgery (from the Greek: χειρουργικ? cheirourgik? (composed of χε?ρ, "hand", and ?ργον, "work"), via Latin: chirurgiae, meaning "hand work") is a medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate or treat a pathological condition such as a disease or injury, to help improve bodily function or appearance or to repair unwanted ruptured areas.

 A surgeon is a person who practices surgery and a surgeon's assistant is a person who practices surgical assistance. A surgical team is made up of surgeon, surgeon's assistant, anesthesia provider, circulating nurse and surgical technologist.

Medicine and Surgery is the study of or the practice of the diagnosis, treatment of diseases through the use of  manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to treat / investigate a pathological condition.

The aim of surgery

Surgeries can be grouped according to their purpose. For example:

  • Diagnosis – surgery can establish whether a person has a particular illness, disease or condition. Diagnostic surgery may be recommended when the person has signs that something may be wrong – for example, they may report unusual symptoms or have a positive test result. An example of diagnostic surgery is a breast lump biopsy.
  • Prevention – the removal of tissue to stop a disease from happening. An example of this type of surgery is an operation to remove bowel polyps that may turn cancerous if left untreated. This type of surgery is also called prophylactic surgery.
  • Ablation – means the surgical removal of tissue. Typically, ablative surgery involves cutting out diseased or severely damaged body parts. In most cases, the name of the surgery ends in -ectomy. Examples include mastectomy (removal of a cancerous breast) or cholecystectomy (removal of a diseased gall bladder).
  • Reconstruction – the aim is to restore use (such as knee reconstructive surgery) or improve appearance (such as breast reconstruction following mastectomy). Sometimes, reconstructive surgery achieves both. For example, a cleft palate repair enhances the person’s appearance and also improves their ability to eat, swallow and talk.
  • Transplantation – this is surgery to replace a body part that no longer works properly: for example, a hip replacement or a lung transplant. The part may be artificial (made from silicone, stainless steel or titanium) or natural (donated from a deceased person).
  • Palliative care – the aim is to reduce pain, control symptoms and improve quality of life when there is no chance of cure. An example of this type of surgery is nerve resection to stop a person from feeling constant pain.

The field of surgery

Surgeries can be categorised by field, which includes body systems, diseases or conditions. For example:

  • Orthopaedic surgery – musculoskeletal system
  • Ocular surgery – the eyes
  • Neurosurgery – brain and spinal cord
  • Cardiac surgery – heart and surrounding blood vessels
  • Surgical oncology – treats cancer
  • Bariatric surgery – treats obesity.

Goals of Medicine

Medicine is a vocational degree, allowing you to develop the practical and clinical capabilities specific to medicine, as well as the professional and personal attributes necessary to become a doctor

The goals of medicine encompass the relief of pain and suffering, the promotion of health and the prevention of disease, the forestalling of death and the promoting of a peaceful death, and the cure of disease when possible and the care of those who can not be cured.

Skills and Competencies neede in Medicine and Surgery

  • Patient Care Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Scientific Skills

Some of the qualities that a good doctor should possess are measurable, others are not. A good doctor should be:

  • attentive (to patient's needs), analytical (of self), authoritative, accommodating, adviser, approachable, assuring
  • balanced, believer, bold (yet soft), brave
  • caring, concerned, competent, compassionate, confident, creative, communicative, calm, comforter, conscientious, compliant, cooperative, cultivated
  • detective (a good doctor is like a good detective), a good discussion partner, decisive, delicate (don't play “God”)
  • ethical, empathy, effective, efficient, enduring, energetic, enthusiastic
  • friendly, faithful to his or her patients, flexible
  • a “good person,” gracious
  • a “human being,” honest, humorous, humanistic, humble, hopeful
  • intellectual, investigative, impartial, informative
  • wise in judgment, jovial, just
  • knowledgeable, kind
  • learner, good listener, loyal
  • mature, modest
  • noble, nurturing
  • open minded, open hearted, optimistic, objective, observant
  • professional, passionate, patient, positive, persuasive, philosopher
  • qualified, questions self (thoughts, beliefs, decisions, and actions)
  • realistic, respectful (of autonomy), responsible, reliever (of pain and anxiety), reassuring
  • sensitive, selfless, scholarly, skilful, speaker, sympathetic
  • trustworthy, a great thinker (especially lateral thinking), teacher, thorough, thoughtful
  • understanding, unequivocal, up to date (with literature)
  • vigilant, veracious
  • warm, wise, watchful, willingness to listen, learn, and experiment
  • yearning, yielding
  • zestful.

General surgeons need a blend of skills and personal qualities which include:

  • a high degree of manual dexterity
  • good hand-eye co-ordination, excellent vision and visuo-spatial awareness
  • good organisational ability and effective decision-making skills
  • excellent communication skills to deal with a wide range of colleagues, patients and their families
  • emotional resilience, a calm temperament and the ability to work well under pressure
  • physical stamina to cope with the demands of surgery
  • the ability to lead and manage a team effectively

Career Opportunities and Job Prospects for Medicine and Surgery Graduates

  • Cardiologist
  • Clinical radiologist
  • General practice doctor
  • Hospital doctor
  • Pathologist
  • Physician associate
  • Psychiatrist
  • Surgeon
  • Adult nurse
  • Anaesthetist
  • Children's nurse
  • Healthcare scientist, genomics
  • Higher education lecturer
  • International aid/development worker
  • Mental health nurse
  • Midwife
  • Neurologist
  • Paramedic
  • Research scientist (life sciences)
  • Science writer
  • Healthcare Equity Research Analyst
  • Medical Sales Representative
  • Medical Legal Advisor
  • Radiology/Diagnostic Imaging Director
  • Health Journalist
  • Public Health Worker

Admission Requirements for the study of Medicine and Surgery in Nigeria

In UTME, please note that English Language is Compulsory for this course. Therefore, the three (3) other JAMB UTME subject combination needed to study Medicine and Surgery under the Faculty of Medical, Pharmaceutical & Health Sciences in the above Universities include;

Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

The O'level subject combination and requirements needed to study Medicine and Surgery;

You require; Five SSCE credit passes in English Language, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

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