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Medical, dental council of Nigeria inducts pioneer set of 25 Tafawa Balewa varsity Bauchi medical students as doctors

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The inductees taking the oath

By Akanji Alowolodu , Bauchi

Twenty-five pioneer medical graduates of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi have been inducted medical doctors by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN).

The ceremony was held on Thursday, 28 March 2024 at the 1,000 seater capacity hall of the Yelwa Campus, Bauchi.

The Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Council, Dr. Fatima Kyari, described induction ceremony as a unique occasion.

According to her, it is the first time the University y is graduating Medical Doctors; and for her, it is the first Induction ceremony she is attending as the 1st female and the 10th Registrar of the Council established 61 years ago.

Fatima said that, “It is therefore my wish, that you will no sooner rank among the first in the production of quality human resources for health care in Nigeria.”

She however challenged the management of ATBU to note that accreditation is a continuous process; therefore they must not rest on their oars towards maintaining excellence in medical education pointing that Basic Sciences and Basic Medical Sciences trainers must be medically qualified.

Fatima also called on parents and guardians to “please leave your children alone. Don’t be too anxious to have them at home with you yet. Allow them to imbibe best practices during their housemanship for the next one year. They are still in training.”

According to her, “In the practice of medicine, skills are very important. And skills have to be hands-on. Housemanship is a period of immersion, to work under supervision, with stipends paid for their sustenance, so that they gain experience under full supervision.”

Speaking to the inductees, the Registrar informed them that at the end of the successful completion of their housemanship, they are required to apply for Full Registration (FR) which will be their professional certification and without which, they won’t be allowed to practice and will also not be able to proceed for their one year mandatory National Youth Service Corps programme.

She further informed them that once they are on the register, they must ensure they uphold the integrity and ethics of the profession and in whatever they do, they must also ensure that they have an annual practicing licence.

The Registrar reminded the inductees that the Medical and Dental Profession Worldwide is done under close watch by colleagues, members of the public and the regulatory agencies warning that any report of infamous conduct against a doctor in a professional regard is duly investigated and in case of MDCN, by the Medical and Dental Practitioners Investigating Panel (MDPIP).

According to her, if any infamous conduct is substantiated against a Doctor, it is escalated to the Medical and Dental Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal (MDPDT) which has a status of a Federal High Court and could order a complete erasure of the name of the Doctor from the Register in case of very grave offenses.

She also said that: “Remember, for that one slot that you got to study medicine in this university, there were 60 other people who wanted it too but didn’t get it.

“Because you stand out in society, and for the safety of patients, I cannot overemphasise the importance of upholding the ethics of the medical profession and the expected conduct of doctors. Erring and defaulting doctors will face the law and will be subjected disciplinary measures,” she said.

The MDCN Registrar added that, “The practice of medicine is a calling. You need to dedicate yourself. Medicine has to do with human life. You will often find yourself away from your comfort zone, meeting people at their lowest moment.”

According to her, “People who are sick and look up to you for care, and for cure. People who will be anxious to know that you are the right and competent person to treat them. The duty of care to patients is sacrosanct. Do your job and we will protect you and stand up for you. If you are not ready for this, now is the time to back out.”

She urged them to continue to study and to familiarise themselves with the Codes of Conduct and other regulatory policies of the Council and above all, ask questions and continue to learn from the very best, throughout their practice.

Provost, College of Medical Sciences ATBU, Professor Sambo Zailani, gave a brief on the establishment of the College, saying that ATBU was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria Act No. 79 of January 1988 as a University of Technology.

He added that the enabling law of the University allows it to establish courses in Medical and Allied Medical Disciplines as cited in the Federal Government Gazette Vol. 79 of 1992.

According to him, the College of Medical Sciences successfully received the National University Commission’s resource verification and subsequent MDCN advisory visit on 2nd September 2016 with an intake slot of 50 medical students.

He said that the College of Medical Sciences formally took off at the Gubi Campus of the University with the first set of students (who are to be inducted today) were admitted in the 2016/2017 academic session.

The Provost said that six faculties were approved at the inception of the College namely: Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences and Faculty of Biomedical Engineering and Prosthesis.

According to him, “The Cardinal function of the College is to train medical graduates, but also to be involved in research and render clinical services to the community.”

He also said that, “The curriculum is designed to graduate medical doctors of international standard, with in-depth and vast knowledge of current state of medicine particularly in the tropics. When fully established, the college plans to offer training in Dentistry, Allied medical professions, and Biomedical Engineering and Prosthesis.”

“The event is especially organized to allow our 25 graduating doctors to be inducted and take an Oath so that they can be licensed to practice as qualified medical doctors anywhere in the world. You will agree with me that this is a great achievement for the ATBU, Bauchi State and indeed, the nation at large,” he stated.

He expressed confidence that their choice of Medicine as a career was not an accident urging them to note that Medicine is nothing without love for Humanity.

According to him, “We have done our best to train you as qualified medical doctors. Now, we are challenging you, with your parents and well-wishers as witnesses, to go out and conquer the world. We expect you, at all times, to do give your best to this profession and to manifest the best virtues and excellence in your conduct.

“Remember, that teamwork as a value is a sine qua non for optimal healthcare service delivery and should be upheld by all of you. Be great team players,” he chsrged.

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, was represented at the ceremony by Alhaji Yakubu Abdullahi.

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