Can A Physiologist Be Called A Medical Doctor in Nigeria?

The relationship between physiology and medical doctors is an interesting one. It goes without saying that the more familiar a doctor is with their specific field of expertise, the better care they can provide for their patients.

To be effective in the healthcare arena, a doctor must have extensive knowledge of each organ and the way in which it functions in conjunction with other organs. However, how can someone gain knowledge about something they are not familiar with? Easy – by educating yourself.

The same can be said of physiologists ns seeking to expand their base of knowledge on physiologic functioning as it applies to medicine.

Can a Physiologist Be Called a Medical Doctor?

A Physiologist is a medical specialist that specializes in the study of how different systems in the body function. They are experts at testing and interpreting the results obtained from their experiments and studies. In most cases, Physiologists have to be well versed theoretical knowledge, practical tools and up-to-date research that go into the understanding of what goes on inside our body.

Physiologists are not medical doctors but they do have the equivalent of a medical degree. The term “physiologists” is used to describe those who have studied physiology after the completion of their core medical or health-related programs.

Physiologists examine the relationships between organisms and their environment, including interrelations between organisms as a whole. They focus on the interaction between these elements to create a system.

Physiologists also consider food production and utilization, sensory reception, reproduction and behaviour, and homeostasis – the maintenance of physiological stability in an organism. This area of study is broader than the medical field. A medical doctor is a physician who specializes in the greater care of patients with ailments and injuries.

Can a Physiologist Become a Medical Doctor?

Can A Physiologist Be Called A Medical Doctor in Nigeria

At times, people often wonder if a physiologist becomes a medical doctor? The answer is yes, but there is more to the story. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about this career path.

How a Physiologist Can Be A Medical Doctor in Nigeria?

This article is for Physiologists (the said person may have already graduated after studying and getting a degree in Physiology), people who are studying in school and want to switch to medicine and people who wants to be aware of the processes.

It is possible for a physiologist to be a medical doctor with any of the below processes but going to university is mandatory.

1. Start Afresh with a Jamb Form

After graduation from studying and obtaining a Bsc degree in Physiology, you’ll have to purchase a new JAMB form and reapply to study medicine at any choice of university in Nigeria. This guideline is made by the National University Commission (NUC) and the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and must be followed.

With this, you are required to write the exams and if successful, you will be offered admission into the department of Medicine and Surgery as a fresher. This gives you an edge since you already have the experience of how the university system works and be apply to apply it to your advantage and excel in your course.

You should be aware of the conditions required when being considered for admission, like meeting or beating the university cut-off mark for the course. Most times, it is set as low as 220, but you will have to score higher than 250 to be considered for the University’s Post. You will also have to score as high as 70 or above to be among those considered for admission.

If after writing and you meet these requirements, then you will have to start studying as a 100-level fresher in Medicine.

2. Purchase a Direct Entry Form

As strange as it may sound to some people, there are universities in Nigeria that admit medical students through direct entry. It is a nice option for graduates of Physiology who do not want to start from the very beginning of their academic journey.

Well, not all that glitters are gold. Meaning, as appealing and rosy as it may sound to lots of people, it is highly competitive. Majorly, because only a few students will be considered for admission and also only some percentage of universities allow Direct Entry into Medicine.

An average university in Nigeria where Medicine is being taught and studied makes room for students and applicants coming through UTME, hence only a few students will be able to make it through Direct Entry.

The major advantage is that you will be admitted into the 200-level rather than the 100-level. But the disadvantages far exceed the advantage.  

If you choose this approach check and confirm if your choice of university accepts Direct Entry students into the department of Medicine and Surgery. If so, you are good to go. Since physiology is a medical and health science course, it makes graduates of the course eligible to apply and study Medicine at any Nigerian university.

3. Obtain a JUPEB Form

The Joint University Preliminary Examination Board (JUPEB) is a nationwide examination body which facilitates and coordinates the admission of interested candidates into university without the use of JAMB.

The process involves a one-year studying of the remedial course, you are required to go through two preparation semesters and if you pass the exam, you will be admitted into your preferred university to study Medicine. The advantage of this process is that you can take the JUPEB exam at any university of your choice as long as it offers the option.

However, it is expensive and also, not too reliable. You may be given another related course after spending so much and preparing for Medicine.

4. You Can Try Departmental Transfer

Can A Physiologist Be Called A Medical Doctors in Nigeria

Departments allow the transfer of students to other departments based on their academic transfer and motive. Sometimes, the university decides if the transferred student suits the new department.

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You can also transfer to another department if you think it suits your skills, passion and ambition and that can happen if your academic performance allows it. This is for students who were admitted for Physiology but choose to transfer to Medicine and Surgery.

The pressing problem is that it is easier to transfer to a department with a lower requirement than one with a higher requirement. For instance, you will find it easy to transfer from Law to Music or Political Science but it’s very difficult and almost impossible to go from Music to Law. The same process applies to Medicine. It is hard because of the ceiling set for it like having a 4.5 GPA.

Some universities no longer permit the transfer of students from other departments to Medicine. But if it’s permitted in your university, it would require an excellent academic performance on your part, a great relationship with your university lectures and in many cases, transactions to facilitate the transfer to the Department of Medicine.