Strides in Development of Medical Education

Document Type : Letter to editor


Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Management, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria


In Nigeria, like most African countries, Academic pharmacy is the least appealing area of practice for most graduates(1). Apart from being known to be the least lucrative area of practice in terms of remuneration, many aspects of this career path seem to be shrouded in so much mystery. A vital aspect of an academic pharmacy career which many students are not privy to is research and publishing. While there are various exposures to and simulations of most areas of pharmacy practice in undergraduate pharmacy education, none exists for a career path in academic pharmacy. Although it is widely known that academic pharmacy is the least appealing career path for many students, (1) no effort is being made to make it an attractive option for students as the lecturers are not very inviting. Academic pharmacy in Nigeria comprises teaching and research components in university settings and purely research in few available research institutes. One may argue that the final year project is enough exposure to research at the undergraduate level, and typically it is expected that graduands interested in research should pursue a post-graduate degree to learn more about research. However, the low levels of pharmacist graduates who come back for postgraduate degrees and perhaps, more importantly, pursue a career in research point to the ineffectiveness of this limited exposure to foster research interest. Also, in most cases, the students are not given the freedom to explore and pursue their research interests and are usually mandated to do the final year project in a particular area, with a designated supervisor, and of course on a designated topic assigned by the supervisor. This makes the project research more like a didactic learning experience and the students graduate acquiring little or no research skills. 


1. Ubaka CM, Ochie UM, Adibe MO. Student pharmacists career choices: a survey of three Nigerian schools of pharmacy. Pharm Pract(Granada). 2013 Jul;11(3):149-55. doi: 10.4321/s1886-36552013000300005. [PMID: 24223080]. [PMCID: PMC3809136]
2. Siegel V. Points of view: should students be encouraged to publish their research in student-run publications?: Weighing the pros and cons of undergraduate-only journal publications. Cell Biol Educ. Spring 2004;3(1):26-7. doi: 10.1187/cbe.04-01-0021. [PMID: 22031794]. [PMCID: PMC3197278].
3. Newslive. Meet Pharmacy graduate with over 50 research articles - News Live Nigeria [Internet]. [cited 2021 Feb 8]. Available from: 50-research-articles/