Residency Training In Nigeria: All You Need To Know

In this post we will quickly take a look at medical doctors residency training in Nigeria and everything you need to know. 

And as usual we will list all the key and important facts about residency training in Nigeria for those who do not know about residency training in Nigeria and also for future doctors 

that would need precise and accurate information about residency training in Nigeria. 

30 Quick Facts About Medical Doctors Residency Training In Nigeria
  • 1. Residency is a continuation of training after graduate school. It offers a platform for advancement in a medical or surgical training.
  • 2. According to historians residency training evolved in the late 19th century from brief and informal programmes for extra training in a special area of interest.
  • 3.Residency training is simply when a medical doctor after graduating from medical school decides to specialize in a particular field,in other to avoid 'General Practice'. 
  • 4. Only students with a medical degree (MBBS, MBChB, BMed) can enroll for residency training.
  • 5. Usually after residency training,the next step for the student is to go for fellowship. 

  • 6. Graduate medical students can decide to specialize in any field of medicine via residency training such as anesthesiology, ophthalmology, dermatology, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, pathology, pediatrics, plastic and reconstructive surgery, psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, radiology, radiation oncology, neurosurgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery,chemical pathology,community medicine, medical microbiology,orthopaedic 
  • Surgery,opthalmology,aadiotherapy and Oncology Etc
  • 7. A resident physician is referred to as a resident doctor, or a senior house officer.  
  • 8. The duration of most residencies can range from three years to seven years,typically in Nigeria a year in residency training begins between late June to early July.

  • See AlsoAccredited Medical Universities In Nigeria 

  • 9. First year resident doctors are called "intern" while senior residents in their final year of residency are called "chief residents".
  • 10. When any doctor has completed his/her resident the doctor might decide to further his/her education in a fellowship,at that point that doctor will be referred to as a "fellow".
  • 11. As stated earlier the aim of residency training is for graduate medical students to receive postgraduate training in accredited teaching hospitals in other to become a specialist or consultant in any medical field.
  • 12. Residency training must be conducted in an accredited hospital in Nigeria. 
  • 13. Residency training is now compulsory for significant progress in the medical profession.
  • 14. Residency trainings are done in hospitals than in schools,usually the trainee doctors live in the hospital staff quarters and are usually called upon at anytime to handle emergencies,or after the departure of the consultant doctor.
  • 15. Residency started as a brief and informal sessions of trainings at the John Hopkins Hospital and was later formalized as a necessary step towards medical advancement in the whole of America. Currently residency training for doctors is almost formalized and practiced around the world.
  • 16. Residency offers the doctor the opportunity to work with patients in a real life situation and helps the fresh doctors to gather experience. 
  • 17. It's imperative that fresh graduates from medical school choose carefully the area of medicine to specialize in considering certain factors such as stability,cost,support Etc.
  • 18. Graduates from medical schools can apply for residency by look out for adverts from different teaching hospitals that are offering the specialty course they want.
  • 19. Residency training cost about application cost a non-refundable N10,000 to N15,000.

  • Read Also: Top 10 Best Medical Universities In Nigeria

  • 20. The National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria,conducts an exam called "Primary" which holds twice a year,graduate doctors from medical school are expected to seat for the exam and pass before proceeding for residency.
  • 21. The National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria charges N40,000 for the exam, the alternative, West African Postgraduate Medical College (of Physicians or Surgeons), charges N148,000.
  • 22. Successful medical students are expected to secure a placement for the residency or the result would lose validity,as the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria's primary exams is valid for 5 years,if however after 5 years,the successful candidate was unable to secure a placement for residency,the graduate doctor would have to retake the exam or settle for "General Practice".
  • 23. Most doctors shy away from "General Practice" because of the prestige that comes with being a specialist doctor and also specialist doctors are well paid.
  • 24. Due to the unavailability of space for residency training for medical doctors in Nigeria,some medical graduates will even pay as much as N500,000 to be allowed to do the residency training.
  • --
  • 25. After the residency training in Nigeria,resident doctors will receive an award of the Fellowship of National Postgraduate Medical College and/or West African Postgraduate Medical College.
  • 26. Before medical doctors can enroll for residency training,the doctor must have fully registered with the Nigerian Medical Council and have completed the one-year NYSC or are exempted.
  • 27. Usually after the the final fellowship examination follows at the end of the 4 year of training,successful candidates will then be, eligible to apply for appointments as Consultants in any hospitals of their choice in Nigeria. 
  • 28. In Nigeria,a lot of graduate doctors find it really difficult to get placement for their residency training. 
  • 29. A lot of brilliant graduate doctors has traveled out of Nigeria just because they couldn't get a spot for residency training in Nigeria.
  • 30. Graduate doctors that cannot secure a residency placement spot will eventually resort to "General Practice" even after successfully passing the "primary exam". 


  1. When starting the residency program, can a dental surgery doctor apply for obstetrics and gynecology to specialize and become a consultant to practice in that field (as a obstetrics & gynecology doctor)? Appreciates

  2. Hi, can a dental surgery doctor specialize in obstetrics and gynecology when starting residency program to become a consultant in that field during the primary exam? Appreciates!


Post a Comment