By Felicia Imohimi
Prof. Taiwo Adewole of the Department of Chemical Pathology, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, has raised alarm over the inadequacy of medical specialists in basic sciences at universities.
Adewole made the observation in a keynote address at the inaugural meeting and scientific conference of the Medical and Dental Specialists in Basic Medical Sciences (MeDSABAS) on Tuesday in Abuja.
The don, who defined basic medical sciences as the building block in medical practice, noted that professionals in the field now preferred to go into the clinical aspect.
He decried that shortage of these manpower had impacted negatively on professionalism, adding that such lapses paved way for non professionals in medical field to train basic medical sciences.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report the theme of the meeting is, “The Dearth of Medical Specialists in Basic Sciences: The way forward.’’
X-raying the theme, Adewole attributed the inadequate manpower to poor remuneration and discrimination, among others.
He noted that it had greatly affected the quality of students churned out from medical schools as majority of things taught were irrelevant to the profession.
According to him, basically the challenges of the shortfall centred around students, medical specialists and universities themselves.
The don defined medical specialists in basic sciences or academics as group of medically qualified lecturers in the university saddled with the responsibility of teaching basic medical sciences outside the clinical aspects.
Adewole noted that due to poor welfare package large number of these professionals rather than using their wealth of experience to impact on the younger generation, channel their wealth of experience into clinical aspects of the profession.
“Every student wants to be a physician, gynaecologists and paediatricians, among others. No one wants to go into academics.
“Medical students are also good in academics because it is only doctors that are the best to teach doctors.
“But if we fail to explore this area of medical profession and allow non professionals to teach our students it would deter the competence and proficiency of our younger generations.
“I encourage the students that there are good opportunities for medical students, who choose to go into academics.
“So many of them have graduated with MBBS awaiting for residency programme, there is huge reward if they go back to academics where they come from, they should derive pleasure and fulfillment being a teacher training doctors in this country,’’ he said.
Adewole, who described teaching in the profession as not attractive, however, recommended that the Federal Government should institute and implement policy that would encourage professionals to embrace teaching.
According to him, there is need for additional incentives and better welfare package for doctors that offered to teach because it will provide more professionals in the field and as well increase the health outcomes.
“FG should put in place enabling policy, it is not easy to build doctors, who will offer to teach because teaching is not ordinarily attractive,’’ Adewole noted.
Similarly, Prof. Tukur Umar, the President of the association, said the conference was aimed at joining forces to fight a common course for the benefit of the medical profession.
According to him, the sole aim of the association is to build basic medical sciences in such a way that medical qualified doctors would be the one to take charge in teaching their colleagues.
“The formation of this association is necessitated to assist in encouraging the young ones as well as the qualified doctors to come and take up teaching in the universities.
“This will enable us have a common goals, welfare and enhance the frontiers of knowledge,’’ he said.