Saturday , 24 February 2018
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Surgeon General: What it truly is & What Nigerian Doctors want it to be: #NMAstrike

Surgeon General.
In a bid to catch up with the developed countries, we most times copy some of their practices.
One of which we are yet about to copy is the creation of the post of Surgeon General in Nigeria.

What it truly is:
The Surgeon General of the United States is the operational head of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC) and thus the leading spokesperson on matters of public health in the federal government of the United States.

In the United states of America (a country where the NMA is copying some of their medical development from) where they have the office of the surgeon General, the incumbent Rear Admiral (RADM) Boris D. Lushniak (who is in the acting position). He is a medical doctor who has who has excelled very well in his career. However, the current Deputy Surgeon general of the United States Rear Admiral (RADM) Scott F. Giberson is a Pharmacist. And not just a Pharmacist, but a Clinical Pharmacist, Chief Pharmacist, Senior public Health Advisor, Senior medical program officer, Division Director and principal consultant.
In a similar medical sector in the same United states of America, Patricia D. Horoho is a United States Army lieutenant general and the 43rd U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Command. She is the first female and first Nurse Corps Officer to hold those appointments.
Now this is a picture of a society that has progress at the back of their minds. A society that is not myopic. A society that considers competence, skill, excellence and professional relevance over professional segregation, nepotism and professional pride. A society that gives one “The Job” as long as one is skilled, qualified and competent regardless of the part of a system one emerges from.

What Nigerian Doctors want it to be:
Nigerian doctors spear headed by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) wants the office of the Surgeon General of the Federation created and they want it to be the exclusive birth right of medical doctors whether competent or not. In fact, they want the office to remain “sacrosanct and untouchable” by other medical professionals.
In addition to that they want every administrative position of responsibility in the medical sector to be headed by only medical doctors; like other medical professionals do not have the requisite skills, competence and guts to head such positions of responsibilities.

My unanswered Questions:
1. What is the crown of glory on the head of Nigerian Medical doctors?
2. When would Nigerian Medical doctors learn to respect other medical professionals especially the very senior, highly trained and educationally nurtured medical professionals?
3. Is the NMA now a trade union? Aren’t they meant to be a professional body? Isn’t their activity illegal and criminal?
4. Does the fact that a medical professional other than a medical doctor heads an administrative position of responsibility, stop medical doctors from carrying out their jobs as doctors?
5. Do other medical professionals not have the ability to understand the patients or are they not also trained to function in the system for the betterment of the patient?

The medical sector is a system and every part of this system needs to be recognised as relevant for it to function effectively. After all, the medical colleges of all Nigerian Universities is a faculty with different departments of which medicine (MBBS) is just one; I wonder why it alone is not a faculty.

Picture what will happen if all medical laboratories both public and private lock up for just one week or when Nurses and Physiotherapists both public and private sit at home for just 3 days. Again, what will happen when all Pharmacies both public and private lock up for just 3 days. Would their relevance finally be felt?

Every member of the medical profession is as important as the other. This professional discrimination has divided and killed the system.
The sky is wide enough for all birds to flock without obstructing the other.
Dear Nigeria Medical Association; Live and let Live.
These little things matter!!!

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  1. Well said! God bless you

  2. This is why am dumping pharmacy!! once am through with my year 1.

    • My brother anonymous don’t mind the funny writer that has seen what is required to get the post of a surgeon general and instead of picking his JAMB form while he still has an opportunity he’s busy with spewing shit on d media.Great stride brother anonymous as u take d giant stride of leaving pharmacy to medicine. In future u wil be CMD and surgeon general while dis dunny writer will remain a noise maker.

  3. That’s why half education and  ignorance is lethal..Mr  writer ..u didn’t tell us d role of a deputy surgeon general (just assisting the Surgeon General in communicating the best available scientific information to the public regarding ways to improve personal health and the health of the nation)..Just assisting d surgeon general who is a doctor in dat micro mini task which can be done by any other allied health professional even a ward maid.let alone a deputy surgeon general who’s a pharmacist and a licensed clinician with a masters in public health and certificate in health emergencies and licensed both as a pharmacist and a clinician .For your information NMA never prevented others from being deputy but insists dat d post of surgeon general which just like in US as u quoted are exclusively d right of a medical doctor. Get ur fact right bro and stop this name calling and derogatory remarks..

  4. I wonder why the doctors’ requests are unbearable to the JOHESU people (I term them anti-doctors). As a Nigerian, I’ve only made a health complaint to a non doctor once in my life. The result was calamitous. These people head the medical team. There shouldn’t be any argument. The laboratory pple are even the worst culprit. Pple call them Drs and they proudly accept it. They’ve turned typhoid into an epidemic in Nigeria. The doctors have a point, it is our duty as life-loving citizens to support them. I cannot visit a hospital to lodge a health complaint to a nurse/ lab man/pharmacist/ cleaner/ gateman/ record officer.

  5. Look don’t be deceive medicine is better than pharmacy any one that says that is myopic be cos pharmacist have more options while doctors have only the hospital. As a pharmacist have changed jobs 3 times cos anytime am filling bored I change my job. How many doctors have the luxury of doing that.
    Have worked as a hospital pharmacist was bored cos it was not very interactive with patients, changed to community pharmacy enjoyed it for a while cos it was more interactive and finally changed to marketing cos the job is more intractive than community pharmacy practise. Am so enjoying my job now recently just came back from south Africa cos of my job having more fun than I though. Now how many doctors have this privilege to change their jobs like have done. Please think critically and don’t be moved by sentiments. My brother is a doctor and wishes he can have my job now that’s a doctor envying me. I leave the rest for you to decide.

  6. Thanks jare @ude narco. Dear pharm. Anonymous with all due respect I think what u just typed sums up what I hate so much about pharmacy and that thing is what I term ‘unnecessary delusional pretence’! They always preach of how diverse pharmacy is despite knowing d fact that its only in places like UK will a pharmacist actually enjoy being a pharmacist to the fullest esp when it comes to practising what u were taught in skul and also dat 80k dollars/year as starting salary…. Fine I know that there are still some pharm grads who hit it big in naija. Yes I know but the percentage is just too low! Likewise d opportunities…
    ** They are just gud at unnecessary and ignorant exaggerations like
    *the starting salary is btw 150k to 200k(even if is true, an engineer in total E&P whose starting salary is above 600k hardly makes such noise) the worst part of it is that pharmacists generally have low percentage of pay rise
    *even in schools. When we resumed for 1st semester everyone was like guy na pharmacy u dey o hmmn if you fail any course u will repeat year 1 blah blah blah as if even if I was to be reading biochem then I will foolishly fail any course and carry over becos I have dat liberty! Its even of recent dat I discovered that in my skul ( I don’t know of other skuls) if u are in 100 level medecine ( not MB-level o) and u fail any course u will be withdrawn to biochem microbiology zoology etc yet u dnt see medical students shouting up and down about it cos frankly if as a person u have an idea of what’s happening around u, no matter d course u r studying u will know dat carry overs will weaken ur final GP thus raising ur difficulty to secure a nyc job when u graduate. Simple! U don’t have to be a pharm student b4 u avoid carry overs if u r d serious type
    *U changed ur job because you were bored? Pls let’s face the truth for once! If u were on 250k-300k per month salary u won’t change except u found another one with a better package….pls its not becos u r bored!!!! My dad’s friend who happen to be a consultant makes nothing less than 650k per month from salary alone o (despite working within the hours of only 10am-2pm daily. Some days he doesn’t even go to work) Now throw in the money he makes of his top notch private clinic in lagos….. A consultant who once diagnosed me a year ago(while advicing me if I had what it takes that I shud go into med/surg straight) openly told me that the money he makes monthly from his own private clinic was far more greater than his basic monthly salary……. Then talk of travelling— so u mean its only pharms dat travel around the world? Haba see for d past 4 yrs my dad’s friend has made d habit of going on summer holiday’s yearly with his family to places like dubai,london, edinburgh etc
    And lastly I think ur brother needs to go and pursue his residency (if he has not) so he could become a consultant…. I rest my case.

  7. It seems the NMA and her sponsors are biting more than they could chew taking other health professionals for granted and playing “the winner taakes all” game. We’ll all see the aftermath.

  8. NMA is on strike pls let the patients see the lab scientist ,pharmacists, physiotherapist and nurses after all the gates of the hospitals are wide open! The earlier other health workers accept that they are to play supportive roles to the docs who are the heads of the medical team the earlier normalcy will return to the health sector Let all the ” jamb dropouts” go and read medicine if the wish to head hospitals and ministry of health it is never too late to achieve their dreams but pls no “short cuts”

  9. Nigerians are myopic and so are the doctors. My point is : these doctors are egocentric. Doctors shouldn’t be money or post driven. They are to save lifes . Even if its for “FREE”. We can all make the health sector work better if we leave our ego at “home” and get to work . We should just make the patients’ lifes the priority. This fight happens everywhere even in the US. That’s why you must have PharmD in the states to able to practice. Yea I’m a pharmacist and I know its boring but I’m not complaining.