How to Become a Cardiologist in Nigeria
A cardiologist is simply a medical doctor that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of blood vessel diseases and heart diseases. Some of the many ailments which will require you to see a cardiologist in Nigeria are hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, etc. Cardiologists do not just diagnose and treat the above-named ailments. They also perform interventional cardiology, echocardiography, etc.
If you are looking to become a cardiologist in Nigeria, then, I can say you will be solving a lot of problems if you end up becoming one. This is because the number of people that might need to see a cardiologist in Nigeria far outweighs the number of cardiologists in the Nigerian medical system.
What You Need to Do to Become a Cardiologists
If you are looking to become a cardiologist in Nigeria, then, it is expected that you are either already a medical doctor or are n medical school. If you are not yet in medical school, you might not want to dream of becoming a cardiologist. You simply might need to settle for a place in medical school first. After getting into medical school, you will be considered qualified to become a cardiologist.
The first step in becoming a cardiologist is buying a JAMB form and seating for UTME. This form will enable you to study medicine and surgery and put you in a position to become a cardiologist.
Once you are done with your time as a medical student, you will have to do your housemanship and then embark on the compulsory one year of national service. Without doing this, regardless of how intelligent you are, you will not be qualified to become a cardiologist in Nigeria.
After your NYSC, you will need to take part in the medical entrance examination also known as primaries. This exam takes place two times every year. The implication of this is every medical doctor looking to become a cardiologist in Nigeria has two shots at getting started every year. After passing this exam, you will need to find out any of the university teaching hospitals in Nigeria that has vacancies for young doctors interested in becoming cardiologists. Once you find this out, go on and apply.
The process of becoming a cardiologist in Nigeria is about 5-6 years long. This means you will need a great deal of tenacity and also exercise a lot of patience. Things might not be so easy. You might fail some exams along the way and the only alternatives will be to write this exam again or give up on your dreams.
Your Residency Program
When looking to become a cardiologist in Nigeria, you will need to apply to a hospital to undergo Internal Medicine. This means during your time in training you will be a resident doctor in internal medicine.
While working towards becoming a cardiologist in Nigeria, you have to be aware of the fact that cardiology is not a surgical specialty but a medical specialty. This means you will need to spend three years as a resident doctor in internal medicine.
The three-year process you will spend learning internal medicine involves getting used to carry out evaluations of several medical conditions and also managing them properly.
When looking to do a residency in cardiology, things will be a lot easy for you if you undergo training at a residency that is well known. When this is done, you will be able to meet the biggest names in cardiology in Nigeria and this could earn you a letter of recommendation.
Becoming a cardiologist in Nigeria is a lot more than just doing your residency in the right hospital. You will need to take part in several research projects. Doing this will prepare the way for you to have a smooth run into the Cardiology fellowship.
After your time doing internal medicine, you will move on to a general cardiology fellowship. This journey is expected to run for three years. This is the point in your residency where you will have to deal with various cardiac conditions. You will encounter conditions such as valvular heart disease, coronary artery disease, and heart failure through this period. That’s not all. You will also learn to carry out procedures such as echocardiography, catheterization, etc.
How Much do Cardiologists in Nigeria Earn
Nigerian doctors generally complain about not being properly paid. This might be in comparison to their counterparts from other parts of the world. Nonetheless, compared to the average salary of graduates in Nigeria, Cardiologists in Nigeria can be said to earn decent amounts.
As a junior resident in cardiology, a medical doctor in Nigeria is expected to earn up to N350,000 every month after tax is paid. Furthermore, a senior registrar in Cardiology earns about 480,000 naira after tax. Consultant cardiologists on the other hand earn up to 800,000 naira monthly after their tax is taken care of.
Where do Cardiologists in Nigeria Work
The Nigerian system makes room for cardiologists to work in teaching hospitals. However, this set of consultants are not limited to simply working in teaching hospitals. They can also take part in private practice and earn a lot more than they would earn from just working in government-owned hospitals.
What are the Best Hospitals in Nigeria for People Looking to Become Cardiologists?
As a medical doctor in Nigeria that is interested in becoming a cardiologist, it is not out of place for you to simply consider options in government-owned teaching hospitals.
As much as these hospitals appear like the easiest place to have your residency, there are other hospitals in Nigeria where intending cardiologists can have their residency and acquire all the knowledge they need to become proficient in their profession. Some of these hospitals are;
This hospital was established by Hygeia Group in 1986. It is currently regarded as one of the best hospitals in Nigeria for people looking to get tertiary care. It is accredited by the Joint Commission International. Beyond just being accredited, it is the first hospital in Nigeria to have this accreditation.
The EKO hospital, also known as the Eneli Kuku Obiora hospital is located in Ikeja, Lagos, and boasts of up tomn130 beds. It is a private teaching hospital and was set up in 1982.
Other hospitals you can consider for residency in cardiology are;
• Primus super specialty hospital
• St. Nicholas hospital
• FIRSR Consultants Medical Center