Licensing exam for foreign trained doctors 


The practice and training of Medical doctors is well regulated by governments of different countries. This is due to the sensitive nature of the profession. These regulations often state clearly the conditions in which a doctor is expected to practice and other requirements to maintain standard. Medical graduates from a medical school in a particular country would usually have met the requirements to obtain registration with license to practice on graduation.

However it is common nowadays for students seeking to practice medicine to seek training overseas away from their home country. On completion of training if they desire to go back home, such individuals would be required to prove that they have obtained the same level of skills and knowledge as newly graduating doctors trained in their home country. The proof is usually demonstrated by way of passing a licensing exam that is organized by the medical regulatory body of such country. Example is PLAB by GMC, MCI screening test by MCI, USMLE by ECFMG, AMC MCQs by AMC et al.

Foreign trained Medical doctors including Nigerians who trained abroad that desired to practice in Nigeria will have to write the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) Assessment examination. The assessment exam is conducted two times in a year (April and October) along with a mandatory four month pre-assessment remedial course. The aim is to; within the short duration of the remedial program, introduce Foreign trained Medical Doctors (FTMD) to diseases that are prevalent in the Nigerian environment.

In order to be eligible to write the exam, FTMD are required to register with MDCN at any of their offices in Nigeria (see below). Registration involves paying a fee (currently it is 75,000Naira for Nigerians and 150,000Naira for foreigners) and submission of certain documents as specify by MDCN. These documents include;

-Evidence of payment of required fees to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.
-Photocopies of all relevant academic qualifications i.e GCE, medical/dental degree certificate.
-Relevant portion of International Passport (Visa & Departures pages)
-Two (2) passport size photographs
-Birth certificate or statutory declaration of age.
-Current license/evidence of eligibility to practice medicine/dentistry in the Country of training  issued by the medical/dental regulatory authority in that country.


The exam comprises of different sections which includes MCQs, Essays, Oral exam and Clinical exam. The Traditional method (comprising Long and Short cases) or OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) might be adopted during the clinical aspect of the exam. MDCN conducts the exam in partnership with five teaching hospitals which serves as centre for the assessment exam.


These hospitals includes OAUTH-Ile-Ife, ABUTH-Zaria, LUTH-Lagos, UBTH-Benin, UNTH-Enugu. The assessment result is usually published within 1-2weeks after the exam on the MDCN website( Successful Doctors are inducted into the medical profession by the MDCN within few weeks from announcement of results.

During the induction ceremony, doctors to be inducted are allowed to come with at least two guests to witness the event while they take the Hippocratic oath. The event is usually colorful with lots of family members and friends waiting outside to celebrate with the inductees. The newly inducted doctors would be granted an handbook on the regulations of medical and dental practice in Nigeria together with a certificate of provisional registration and practice license. The Doctors will be expected to complete Housemanship (Medical Internship) training within two years of receiving this provisional certificate which would then qualify them to obtain a permanent registration and practice license with the MDCN.
MDCN Offices in Nigeria
Lagos:  No 25,Ahmed Onibudo Street, Victoria Island, PMB. 12611, Lagos; Telephone: (01-4541228, 01-4541229, 01-454130)
Kaduna:  6, North Road, Via Abakpa NEPA Substation, Red Cross Compound, Kaduna; Tel: (08035501266,062-29047
Enugu: 2, Ogufere Street, Off Okpara Avenue, G.R.A., Enugu; Tel: 042-290079.
Abuja (Head office): Plot 1102, Cadastral Zone B11, Off Oladipo Diya Road, BehindPrince and Princess Estate,Kaura District, Abuja. Tel: 09-2902900,2901435,07098200749,7802977,7803357.

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