By Elizabeth Uwandu
About 437 foreign medical students who sat for the Medical Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN examination recently, at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, UITH have been reported to have failed the exam following the release of the result.
Some of the students who had been been verified by US/MDCN questioned why only 243 allegedly passed out of the overall 680 Doctors and 10 Dentists.
According to some students who exclusively spoke to Vanguard, they alleged that a top source in UITH initially hinted that about 500 doctors passed the assessment examination, only for the MDCN through its Registrar, Dr Tajudeen Sanusi to releases a statement that only 243 actually passed.
One of the student describing the results as a ploy to undermine foreign trained doctors, said that the irregularities that characterised the entire process of the examination from registration to the writing the examination proper were questionable.
Some of the irregularities listed included: lack of coherent preparation for the students ; no cohesive curriculum and baseless marking scheme; high cost of verification and registration fees; including an alleged last minute change of questions by the MDCN and the stress they went in the course of three months preparations for the exam among others.
Recall that Vanguard published a scoop where the foreign medication students complained of victimization by Dr Tajudeen Sanusi, Registrar of MDCN ahead of the assessment examination slated for early November this year.
The foreign medical doctors also complained that since Saturday they heard about the results, they have been exposed to emotional and physical trauma.
Sanusi not only insulted us for studying abroad, but allegedly brought another question on the morning of the exam
Obi Chukwubuile one of the student alleged that :from what I heard Ilorin submitted questions for us but Sanusi came that morning and put his own questions and that was why there was delay and mix up of names but am surprised to see that the Sanusi only released 243.”
Another doctor who craved anonymous said the results were manipulated. “I just confirmed again from a reliable source that over 500 names was given to MDCN to upload. But, am surprised the story from UITH contradicts the one from MDCN,” added the doctor.
He continues, “In Multiple Choice Question, MCQ Dr Adedoyin, Chairman of the examination committee confirmed it that 91% of us passed and he said it that we have residual knowledge. So in other words, if at all we failed, we failed picture test that we were not taught properly, failed Objective Structured Clinical Examination, OSCE because we were not taught properly. This means the three months remedial was baseless? Questioned the doctor.
Call for scrap of remedial programme since foreign trained doctors are incompetent
For a doctor who gave his name as Dr Nuhu, since Dr Sanusi saw foreign trained doctors as incompetent, what was the need for remedial?
Dr Nuhu said when Registrar, Dr Sanusi paid them a visit on November 6th, 2017 at the UITH, his response to their complaints about a proper structure for the programme was that most of the doctors were unqualified for the MDCN assessment examination.
Dr Nuhu quoted Dr Sanusi as saying,”We train you in clinical medicine and dentistry to use your medulla not diagnostic medicine that is automated, which you were taught. I am sure based on your SSCE most of you are not qualified to be seated here.”
Calling for the scrap of MDCN assessment, Dr Blessing Edet noted that despite the rigour of getting verification from the United States of America through Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials EPIC,they were being looked down on. “Beginning with our registration, what were the criteria of uploading our documents to a body based in the US? According to what I read on the MDCN site, EPIC was to verify our diploma right? And also verify that the schools we got our degrees from are legit by US/MDCN/Nigerian standard.
“So if we had to go through all that stress and spend so much for all that verification, how come these foreign schools recognized the “verification body? Yet, according to Sanusi, foreign medical schools are still churning out incompetent Nigerian doctors? Asked the aggrieved doctor.
Continuing Edet said , “ We need to know what is a standard curriculum of MDCN like they have in other countries. Let us know what is expected of the foreign trained doctors coming home to practice. Let us have a scope, no matter how wide it is. You can’t come during introduction and tell us to concentrate on malaria, snake bite, systemic hypertension, hemoglobinopathies, maternal mortality, hemodialysis, etc and then in the exam bring propofol and ketamine. How many HOs practicing in Nigeria have come in contact with ropivacaine?;
“MDCN needs to answer these questions,’ what are the criteria for pass/fail. I do not think we put our names up for lottery, so they can not just release names saying pass. What are we being judged by? Is it by our spoken English? Is it by MCQs? What are the criteria for pass/fail? asked Edet.
Corroborating Edet claims of lack of structured curriculum for the assessment, Chinyere, who got depressed to the extent of causing bodily harm on herself but for the timely intervention of her colleagues, called for the immediate scrap of MDCN programme.
“We paid excessive money for verification. My point is, why the verification if Sanusi will still come out to say the schools verified by epic are sending substandard doctors to Nigeria. That is my point. Why the verification then when it has nothing to do with this exam?
Dr Ifeoma Ikenna equally supported her colleagues call for the MDCN scrap as she described her experience while writing the first set of MDCN examination last April in Lagos. “They should scrap out remedial as the hospital involved does not care. All they tell you is ask MDCN whenever there is a problem. And like Ilorin whatever you demand or ask the hospital, they tell you that MDCN has not given them a dime for this programme. “
“How can we pass when we had lectures as if we were starting medical school anew and the doctors told us to read the slides? A move that made us starved and studied just to pass but on the exam day we had to wait for two hours after we signed in only for no question from the lectures to come out.
“Imagine waiting from 7:30 am till 12 noon to start exam because Sanusi and his group came with new student exam card from Abuja. How do you expect us to pass? Cried Dr Ikenna
Meanwhile, efforts to get the response of Dr Sanusi proved abortive as several calls, text messages and email sent to contact on MDNC website were unanswered as at the time of filing this report.