You can study medicine and surgery in university of Jos, Plateau state, but there are so many challenges involved that if you are not told, you will end up disappointed due to ignorance of the nature of this course. Before you start studying medicine and surgery or even apply for it in unijos, try and know the following points because you may change your mind to a different course or it may help you to prepare your mind to the task of becoming a Medical doctor.
1. You will do all the science courses: biology, chemistry, physics (including their practical aspect) and other core courses such as English (GST) and mathematics in your 100 level.
2. You need to make 50% in all courses mentioned above before you move to 200 level, when you fail to make 50% in any of the courses above, you will have to repeat the year and then rewrite the subject you failed before you are promoted.
3. In your 200 level, you will study Anatomy, Biochemistry, Physiology and Community Health (Community Medicine).
The Anatomy is the study of Human Body parts and their functions;
Biochemistry is the study of biological sciences and the chemical makeup of the body. Physiology is the study of the normal functions of the body.
You will do these four courses without writing any examination in your 200level but you will continue to write Tests which add to your total marks in the examination you will write in your 300level.
4. In your 300 level, you will also continue with the four courses above and at the end of your year three (300level), you will write your first professional examination called Second MBBS (2nd M.B.B.S) M.B.B.S means Bachelor of Medicine , Bachelor of Surgery. The Total mark for the examination is: 500. The tests make up 200marks and the main examination makeup 300 marks giving a total of 500marks. You need to have 250 marks in order to pass the examination.
If you fail any (one or two) of the courses mentioned in no 3 above, you will have to repeat the examination again after about 3months. During the 3 months before the repeat examination, you will go through series of short lectures for 3 months after which you will still be given another test in the course(s) you failed. The tests marks will then be added again to the repeat examination. If you fail again, you will finally have to repeat a whole year while your mates proceed to the next level with others who were able to pass the repeat exam that was conducted after 3months. During that 3 months, your mates that were able to pass the main exam at first sitting will be relaxing at home while they wait for those who may be able to pass the repeat exam after 3 months so that they can continue together.
If it happened that you failed all the three core courses which are Biochemistry, Physiology and Anatomy, you will not be given a chance to write the repeat exam, but rather you will automatically repeat a whole year.
5. Your 200 level and 300 level are called Pre-Clinical and all your activities are done at Bauchi road campus (Temporary site of the university of Jos) while 400level to 600level is known as Clinical ( Your activities are done at the Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH), even in your 400 level, you will still be attending Pharmacology lectures at the Temporary site due to the fact that the Faculty of Pharmaceutical sciences is located at Bauchi Road Campus(temporary site).
6. You will start studying Pharmacology and Pathology in your 400 level while also studying Medicine and Surgery. Though you will start your medicine and surgery courses in 400 level, you will not write medicine and surgery exams until you are in your 600 level but you will be given various tests in medicine and surgery which will add up to your final marks in your medicine and surgery examination in your final year.
Pathology comprises of Histopathology, Haematology, Microbiology and Chemical Pathology. Each of these four courses is taken to be on its own even though all are Pathology courses and their exams are written differently; if you fail any of these four courses, you will have to write the repeat exam and you must write all the four pathology courses. Which means if you fail Chemical pathology, you are not just going to write the chemical pathology repeat exam alone, but you will also write the remaining three of the pathology again even if you had distinctions in those three previously.
If you pass the four pathology courses and fail pharmacology, you will have to repeat pharmacology exam again within 3 months. If you fail both pathology and pharmacology, you must repeat all the four courses of pathology and also pharmacology after 3 months.
7. In your 400 level (commonly called Path. and Pharm. class), you will not write any examination but you will continue to write tests and attend your lectures. The Pathology and Pharmacology Examination (3rd M.B.B.S) is written in this class. The nature of repeating the examination is just like the 2nd MBBS mentioned above and applies with all other exams in medical school. The Pathology and Pharmacology exam is believed to be the hardest because of the nature of pathology courses and the requirements for passing the exam especially the repeating of all the pathology courses when you fail one of them.
8. In your 500 level, you will start your Obstetrics and Gynaecology/Paediatrics lectures and clinical activities ( O & G / Paediatric Postings). The O & G postings start after your 3rd MBBS exams and it is into two phases. The first Phase is called: Junior Postings while the second Phase is called: Senior Postings.
In the Junior Postings, you will be attending your lectures (O & G lectures and Paediatrics) while attending clinical activities for two months.
After the Junior Postings, you will start what is usually called the Minor Postings (This is called minor postings not because the departments are actually Minor. So do not be misled into thinking they are not important ). In the Minor postings, you will go round five (5) departments and spent one month each in these departments which include: Anaesthesia department; Ear, Nose & Throat Department (E.N.T); Psychiatry department; Ophthalmology department and Radiology department. In all these minor postings courses, you will still attend morning lectures and in some days, you will also attend afternoon lectures after your clinical activity in those various departments of the minor postings.
After the minor postings which normally take 5 months, you will then start the Senior Postings. In the Senior Postings, you will then resume the second phase of the O and G/Paediatric postings and you will spend 2 months each in O & G, Paediatric and Community Medicine. ( Community Medicine is added in your Senior Postings and after the community medicine posting, you will be required to write a Project but only in community medicine).
If you are to add up the total number of months spent in 500 level , you will notice that it is more than a year which means your juniors in 400 level will write their exams and still catch up with you while you are still in 500 level making the 500 level class to be divided into Junior and Senior 500 level, depending on whether you are doing your Senior or Junior Postings. This has created confusion especially when someone outside of medicine and surgery asks you of your level, you will lack how to explain as to whether you are still in 400 level or 500 level or maybe you are not in any class even when you are still going to school. Because of this, you find some medical students in unijos telling you they are in Path. and Pharm. class instead of 400 level, or Junior O and G/Paedo instead of saying New 500 level or they could say senior O and G/Paedo instead of saying they are in 600 level, and then those in the Final classes are the ones that can boldly say they are in 600level or Final year.
After the senior postings, you will write your 4th MBBS exams which is the first that involves dealing with real patients, diagnosing their diseases and presenting it before your examiner. Something good about this exam is that, if you fail to pass this examination even after writing the repeat examination, you will still move to the final year class, but you will not graduate unless you come back and write it again together with your juniors before you will be cleared; So that means you may be in 600 level but you may not graduate with your mates in 600 level till you clear your O and G/Paedo exams.
9. In your 600 level, you will resume the second phase of the Medicine/Surgery courses and then you will finally write your 5th MBBS exams before you graduate. Hence there are five (5) professional examinations in Medical school; 100 level examination is not a professional exam even though the counting starts from 2nd to 5th MBBS.
A new medical student in Pre-clinical may not know of this because your calendar may almost go along with that of the whole University, it will only dawn on you after you cross to the clinical that you will spend four (4) years in the Clinical instead of 3 years thereby bringing the total number of years to 7 years in studying Medicine and Surgery in Unijos. Though it is officially 6 years, you will end up spending 7 years apart from the extra one year of Housemanship (Internship) bringing the total number of years to 8 years before you go for your Youth Service which takes 1 year just like any other graduate.
In University of Jos Medical School, if you happen to repeat a class twice (simultaneously), you will only have one more chance before you are driven out of the medical school. This means that if you write and fail any examination more than 3 times, your course will be changed and you will have to leave medicine and surgery. Here is an example: Assuming I write 2nd MBBS exams and then I fail, I will then write the repeat after 3 months. If I fail the repeat, I will then repeat a whole year. ( This is the first count). After I write the same 2nd MBBS exam again and I fail, I will again write the repeat after 3months, if I fail again, I will repeat another whole year making it to be the second time. I will then be given another chance, if I write the 2nd MBBS this time and I fail, I will still write the repeat after 3months again, but this time around, if I fail after the repeat, I will have to change to another department but not medicine and surgery again.
I know you may think the chances are much but the truth is that, once you fail the first examination, you will start having emotional problems which could make you anxious and you may lose concentration and before you realize it, you are out of medical school. The only way out is overcoming the emotional trauma of the first repeat-examination and concentrating in order to pass the next chance.
Therefore, before you apply for Medicine and Surgery in Unijos, think of the Long Work to Freedom, just make up your mind that if you do not repeat a year; you are going to spend 7years in school + 1year housemanship . If it happened that you repeat a year, just add it to the normal 8years and you may be thinking of 9 or 10 years. If you think this is not true, take a look at the Identity card of any Final year medical student of Unijos, you will find out that it has expired with one year. Because of the way I stayed long for 7years , my relatives were thinking I repeated but may not want to tell them. In fact my Parents and Siblings suspected me too, but I had to explain to them, hence, if you have someone studying medicine and surgery in Unijos, do not blame them when you observe or suspect that they have stayed for too long in school.
Dr. Brown is the founder of Jotscroll, he is a Medical Doctor, Entrepreneur, and author. Dr. Razi Brown holds a medical degree from the University of San Diego. He has invested in many startups and is currently working on his fifth book to be published in the upcoming year.