In a survey carried out on emigration of Nigerian medical doctors which was conducted by Nigeria Health Watch and NOI Polls, it showed that approximately 9 out of 10 doctors had either emigrated or were in the process of emigration. Seven percent of 705 junior and senior medical doctors who completed an online questionnaire gave “poor relationship among colleagues” as the reason for emigrating to other countries.
In the same survey, in-depth interviews were conducted with 26 doctors. A female resident doctor at one of the tertiary hospitals in Nigeria unpacked the poor relationship among colleagues in this way: “First of all, the working conditions are harsh… Medical ethics in Nigeria is practically dead. There’s a lot of oppression practiced in medicine, and it’s been occurring from generation to generation. This cycle is perpetuated as the oppressed over time become the oppressors. The root cause of this oppression may stem from the fact that you spend all of your time and dedicate all of your life, away from family and friends to this profession, only to find out that it is just not worth it at the end. This manifests in them lashing out at junior doctors. So, the relationship between senior and junior doctors is very bad.”
Also, Dr. Ifeanyi Nsofor, Director of Policy & Advocacy for Nigeria Health Watch, CEO of EpiAFRIC said, “I had firsthand experiences of this type of bullying by residents, senior residents and consultants. As a medical student, there were senior doctors that I was terrified of and dreaded attending their classes, ward rounds or clinics. At almost every encounter, we medical students would be called names, shouted at and made to doubt our capacity. The bullying becomes a vicious cycle because junior doctors who complained of being bullied end up as bullies themselves once they become consultants.”
He, therefore, advised that advise via his twitter handle that serious medical reform is needed in the medical community