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Ja pa Syndrome: MDCN appeals to medical graduates to stay, serve Nigeria

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The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria has appealed to the recently inducted medical doctors from the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, urging them not to flee the country to pursue their medical careers overseas.

The council emphasised the importance of medical practice as a service to humanity and encouraged the doctors to consider how they can contribute to the advancement of the Nigerian medical system.

During the maiden induction ceremony of UNIMED, Dr Tajudeen Sanusi, the Registrar of the council, delivered a stern message. A total of 34 medical graduates from the institution were officially welcomed into the medical profession.

Sanusi stated, “Our responsibility lies in ensuring the well-being of society, regardless of the financial rewards. Today’s ceremony signifies a call to service, a service that benefits humanity.”

“However,” he continued, “there is a prevalent trend of seeking greener pastures abroad, commonly known as the ‘Japa Syndrome.’ While it may initially seem enticing, in the long run, it is often unrewarding. Some of us have had the opportunity to receive training abroad, but let me be honest with you—there is no place like home.”

“When you have the chance to study abroad, take advantage of post-graduate training opportunities there, but also consider returning to contribute to our own system. You have received a substantial education at minimal cost. Even if your parents financed your education, it is because Nigeria’s economy has been favorable. Shouldn’t you give something back to this country? Yes, we may have a shortage of doctors, but we should be able to utilize the ones we have for the benefit of society. In the Western world, their children are no longer pursuing medical education, and they lack the resources to train more doctors. That is why they look to the developing world to recruit. Let us be patriotic and contemplate what we can contribute to our own system.”

In his remarks, Prof. Adesegun Fatusi, the vice-chancellor of UNIMED, acknowledged the university’s remarkable achievement in producing a significant number of medical doctors despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“No government-owned university in the last few decades has produced medical doctors as efficiently as UNIMED. Despite the pandemic’s disruptions to clinical postings, we overcame the obstacles by implementing technology in non-clinical areas of our university. The success we celebrate today demonstrates the remarkable progress we have made in our first eight years,” the VC affirmed.

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