By ANDREW OJIEZEL
REGISTRAR of the National Postgraduate Medical College, Prof. A.O. Atoyebi has confirmed that the institution has the capacity and capability to certify specialists who will train other medical and dental doctors to the professional level.
Atoyebi stated this last week in his reaction to recent arguments over the issue of the relativity of the postgraduate fellowship in medicine and dentistry vis-a-vis Ph.D. in the Nigerian university system.
In a letter addressed to the college principal, Prof Rasheed Arogundade, Atoyebi said, “It has become imperative for the college to make some clarifications as the organ of the federal government of Nigeria that awards the fellowship in clinical medicine and dentistry in line with international best practices.
“The National Postgraduate Medical College was established by Law as a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal. The Law gave the college the responsibility to conduct postgraduate examinations of candidates in the various branches of Medicine and Dentistry,” he said.
He observed that in Nigeria, as in other parts of the world, the topmost graduate qualification recognized for clinical sciences is the fellowship while for core basic medical sciences (anatomy, biochemistry and physiology), it is the Ph.D which is recognized to get to peak of their careers.
Explaining further, Atoyebi said, “ The uniqueness of the Fellowship training of the College is the fact that it combines the full academic research content as obtainable in any sound doctoral degree with the structural clinical (professional ) postgraduate training. This accounts why it takes a long time to produce a single Fellow in any of the specialized branches of Medicine and Dentistry.”
He noted that the competency-based curriculum for the fellowship residency programme has been designed to train postgraduate specialists and clinical lecturers over a minimum of six years with definite competencies in the four areas of professional practice; clinical problem solving, research, teaching and health management.
On fellowship certification, Atoyebi also said, “There are 3 years of the evaluation process viz: Primary, Part 1Fellowship and Part 11(Final) Fellowship. The basic medical degree (M B BS) and dental degree ( BDS) after 600 Level courses in the university , are equivalent to special Masters Degrees and holders are often appointed as Assistant Lecturers in the basic medical sciences.”