The Complete Course Outline For Medicine And Surgery In Nigeria

Course outline for medicine and surgery in nigeria

The course outline for medicine and surgery in Nigeria PDF can be like a sailor’s compass. 

It can give you the perfect idea of things to direct your attention on.

And moreso, things that’ll be covered as you journey your way into 6 years of medical school. 

Have you been searching for the medicine and surgery syllabus in Nigeria, then you’re in luck!

We’ve received lots of search queries on this term, and in this guide, we’ll give you everything you need to know.

We’d first start with an overview of how medical school programs run in Nigeria. You’d then get all the different courses to learn. 

And not just that. We’ll also give you a template of the course outline for medicine and surgery in UNN. 

With all this information, you can be properly aware of things to meet in medical school! 

If you’re ready for this, then let’s get started immediately! 

How Is Medicine and Surgery Program in Nigeria?

Generally, Medicine and surgery program in Nigeria differs from schools to school. However, there are very similar things that you must meet in any medical school in Nigeria. Here are few of them:


To fully train as a medical doctor in Nigeria requires 6 years for UTME students and 5 years for direct entry students.

 However, this may vary. For example, it cost about 5 years and few months in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). But in the University of Ibadan and some state universities? It cost about 7! 

Whichever one it is, just put in mind that medicine and surgery program in Nigeria ranges from 6-7 years. Also know that, it can extend more than that in some state universities that aren’t yet accredited.


When you’re in Medical school, your program will be divided into three phases; 

  • Pre-medical
  • Pre-clinical
  • Clinical

Pre- Medical

This phase only lasts for one year, which happens to be the first year of medical school. Here, you’d learn General biology, chemistry, physics, and other basic sciences and practicals that’ll soften the soil for further work to occur. 

As some would say, first year of medicine in Nigeria is like child’s play because the main work hasn’t started yet.

Also note that, you’d write some extra courses like General studies like English, and some social courses. Some schools even make their first year medics to write mathematics! 

 Whichever one it is, you’d find all you need to know in this subject in medicine first year in Nigeria guide


After passing all your courses in first year, you’d now move over to the next phase which is pre-clinical

As the word implies, this phase is everything you need to learn before you start going to the clinic, and feel like a medical student 🙂. 

This phase lasts for 18 months in UNN. But may be more or less in other schools. So it’ll take second year and the first semester of third year.

How many months does it take in your school? Drop your answer in the comment box below.

The major courses here is Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology (Continue reading as I’d explain more about this below). You might also be required to study some general courses as required by your medical school. 

After the program, you’d then write the second MBBS professional examination (some call it the almighty 2nd mb because it’s a major exam that slashes a good number of students in the class; more info about this later). 


Phew! After you’ve passed the second MBBS program in Nigeria, praise be to God, you’ll now proceed into clinicals. You can now purchase those shiny lab coats and start taking nice pictures of yourself in the hospital. But mind you, there’s more work to be done. 

The clinical is then splitted into programs; 3rd, 4th and 5th MBBS. And the courses you’d be doing in clinicals are generally; Pharmacology, Microbiology, Pathology, Paedetrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Radiology, Community medicine, Medicine and Surgery. 

After doing all this and passing all corresponding exams, you can now be inducted as a medical doctor, and start earning big bucks and buying mansions practicing medicine in this great country 🙂. 

But… all what I explained now, was just a briefing about medicine and surgery program in Nigeria. 

Now you’ve gotten an overview, let’s move to the course outline for medicine and surgery in Nigeria PDF. 

Course Outline For Medicine and Surgery in Nigeria PDF Download 

First of all, I’m going to show all the courses you’d meet in medical school according to the different programs. There are 4 major programs in medical school which corresponds with the professional examinations.

Here are the programs with their corresponding course outline for medicine and surgery in Nigeria: 

1st Professional Exam 

Exams in First year of medical school is not usually considered as a professional one while in some schools, it is. Here are the subjects you’d meet in first year of medical school; 

  • General biology 
  • Practical biology 
  • General chemistry 
  • Practical chemistry 
  • General physics 
  • Practical physics 
  • General studies: Mathematics, English, Computer or any other subject depending on the school. 

Recommended: 5 Creepy Mistakes First year medical students shouldn’t make

2nd MBBS Program/Exam 

Like we said earlier, the second MBBS program is a professional exam written in the third year of medical school. It’s very important because without passing, one cannot proceed to the clinicals. Here are the subjects in Medicine second year in Nigeria: 


Anatomy is the medical science that studies the structures of the human body. This also is divided into three;

  • Gross anatomy:  study of the structures of the human body without using the microscope. Here you’d learn all the organs of the body, all 206 bones, nerves, arteries, veins, outer surface and everything about the human body. 
  • Histology: this type, also called microscopic anatomy studies the human body using the microscope. You’d learn all what composes the nervous, connective, epithelial and blood tissues in the body. You’d also learn and identify the microscopic features of all parts of the body.
  • Embryology: have you ever wondered how the human embryo develops into a baby? The processes right from the fertilization of the egg with spermatozoon to the delivery of the baby, you’d learn everything about it under embryology. This course also softens the soil for obstetrics and gynaecology. So if you’d like to be an specialist in this area, you’d need to fall in love with it as soon as possible. 


You must have passed General chemistry in secondary school and first year. So, biochemistry involves the study of all the physical and chemical properties of molecules and it’s metabolism in the human body. 

You’d learn all the processes of how different molecules like carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, amino acids are broken down in the body. Furthermore, you’ll learn the different medical importance and diseases that can arrive from each metabolism. 


Physiology is another subject in the course outline for medicine and surgery in Nigeria PDF. This course teaches you the different systems and proper functioning of everything in the body. 

You’d learn about the respiratory, endocrine, reproductive, nervous, skeletal, digestive, and other systems in the body. 

You’d also learn the mechanisms of how things work normally, laying the foundation for pathophysiology, which is the study of the diseases or wrong functioning of the body.

3rd MBBS program/exam 

In this article by Medarchivemagazine, Dr. Lee says that the 3rd MBBS examination in Nigeria is one of the least talked about programs in med school.

And this is no doubt owing to how quick the program is, and how fast the next one takes over.

The 3rd MBBS begins the start of clinical and it’s the shortest of all programs in medical school costing approximately 10 months. In UNN, it’s 9 months. So you have a short time to learn huge amount of knowledge. 

The different courses to learn are: 


Pathology is the medical science that studied the causes and results of diseases or injury to the human body. A medical doctor who focused in this area is called a pathologist. Here are the different parts in this course; 

  • Histopathology 
  • Hematopathology 
  • Microbiology 
  • Chemical pathology 


After doing histology in the second MBBS program, you’d now study not only the microscopic structures of the body, but also the manifestations of related diseases. You’d learn how to examine a biopsy, process histological sections and identify a diseases tissue. 

Like in histology, you’d have learnt all about tissue processing, but in histopathology, you’d learn how to interpret data and diagnose diseases.


From the word “hema” and “pathology”, it’s easy to understand that this course studies the blood cells, their erythropoiesis (production), and the different organs like bone marrow that produces these cells. 

You’d learn how to diagnose and treat diseases like leukemia and lymphoma which are popular ailments in haematopathology. 


Think about all the microbes and diseases they cause, then you have a hint that microbiology is the study of the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases caused by microbes. 

In this course, you’d learn how to study the characteristics of pathogens, their method of transmission and growth.

You’d also be able to profer solutions to such infection diseases which serves a valuable information in controlling epidemics. Common diseases relating to this study includes; Chlyamdia, typhoid, malaria, etc. 

Chemical pathology 

What are the different chemicals in the body? The urine, blood, cerebrospinal fluid? That’s right! Chemical pathology is the study of the biochemical characteristics of these body fluids and the related diseases. 


Pharmacology is the second branch of the main thing to study in the 3rd MBBS program. This course studied the drugs and medications that are used in health care. You’d learn the composition, properties, design, cellular systems and structures of different kinds of drugs. 

Put in mind that, you’d need your pack of retentive memory to remember the hundreds of drugs and their medical names. You’d also learn how Drugs affect different diseases which will help you make prescriptions. 

4th MBBS program 

During this program, you’d start clinical postings to hospitals and will be presented with real patients having health problems. The examination will test your knowledge on how to ask questions (history taking), carry out physical examinations and document all possible treatments of the health conditions.

The program’s course outline for medicine and surgery in Nigeria pdf is;

– Pediatrics

This is the medical science that studies children and all the medical conditions and diseases related to them. 

Here you’d learn all about the nutrition, growth and development of children. Furthermore, you’d learn child health care and all the diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, genito-urinary systems of children. 

– Obstetrics and Gynecology

While everyone thinks O and G is related to pregnant women; this cliche is not always true when it comes to medicine. In fact, the two words mean different things. 

Obstetrics is the medical science that focuses on child delivery and caring for women that are in the child bearing stage. Gynecology deals with the diseases, physiology and medical conditions that can affect the reproductive system of girls and women. 

In a nutshell, obstetrics and gynecology will prepare you on the medicine of childbirth. You’d learn all about labor and the neonate. Furthermore, you will learn more about reproductive physiology and all the practices in obstetrics and gynecology clinics. 

5th MBBS program 

The two major courses in the 5th MBBS program in Nigeria are Medicine and Surgery. Yep, that’s the overall name given to the degree, but this time, you’d be studying it specifically.

In Medicine, you’d learn the medical practices in different disciplines like Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology, Clinical immunology, medical ethics, Orthopedics, etc. 

programs in medicine and surgery in Nigeria
Final year medical students from UNN. A Special Shoutout to Dr. Nelson at extreme right😁.

While in surgery, you’d learn all the surgical skills that are expected of any good medical doctor. Topics in this course include Ophthalmology, pediatrics, Neurosurgery, cardiothoracic and vascular surgery, and so on. 

Phew! After all these, comes the final 5th MBBS examination. Ace it, and you are done with medical school! You deserve a pat on the back for the exam success!  

Recommended: What’s Next after medical school in Nigeria?

We’ve finished all you need to know concerning the course outline for medicine and surgery in Nigeria pdf. 

However, below is a sample of the syllabus from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka by Henry Divine at Suresuccess.

But know this: the medicine and surgery syllabus in Nigeria differs from school to school, so this outline below may be different from what it is in your university. 

Final Words on the Course outline for medicine and surgery in Nigeria 

Alas! We’ve reached the end of this detailed guide on the medicine and surgery syllabus in Nigeria. 

Are you entering first, second or fourth year of medical school, then this guide would give you an idea of what to expect!

Is there any questions you have concerning the course outline for medicine and surgery in Nigeria pdf? Then let us know using the comment section below! Cheers to your medical school success! 

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Anaso Emmanuel
Anaso Emmanuel

My name is Anaso Emmanuel and I’m the founder of MedicsDomain; an SEO Expert, Content Writer and an Enthusiastic learner. To the outside world, I’m an ordinary Medic but secretly I use this blog to help aspirants get into medical school, provide insightful guides and connect with others like me.