Career Guidance

Which Is Better Medicine or Pharmacy in Nigeria?

Which is better medicine or pharmacy in Nigeria? Both medicine and pharmacy are awesome fields in Nigeria.

Deciding which is better between both fields depends on your career goals and interests.

For more than a decade now, there has been a serious argument about which is better medicine and pharmacy in Nigeria.

While both medicine and pharmacy are profitable fields in Nigeria, which should you go for?

Medicine deals primarily with the study, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of sickness and disease whereas pharmacy deals with the finding, creating, preparing, dispensing, evaluating, and keeping track of medications with the goal of ensuring their safe, efficient, and accessible use.

While some students say that medicine is better, others claim that pharmacy is better.

But which is actually better pharmacy and medicine in Nigeria?

If you are among those asking this question, I got you covered!

In this article, we will explore the overview of medicine and pharmacy fields in Nigeria and provide insights on which is better.

By the end, you should be able to choose which field is best for you based on your career goals and interests.

Ready? Let’s go!

Also Read: How Many Years Does It Take to Study Pharmacy in Nigeria?

Table of Contents

Overview of Medicine and Pharmacy Fields in Nigeria

Overview of Medicine and Pharmacy Fields in Nigeria
Overview of Medicine and Pharmacy Fields in Nigeria

In Nigeria, both medicine and pharmacy are vital for healthcare.

Medical education takes about six years, including a five-year degree and a year of internship.

Doctors specialize in areas like internal medicine, surgery, and pediatrics.

However, the healthcare system faces funding and resource distribution issues, affecting accessibility.

Pharmacy education spans four years, leading to a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree.

Pharmacists ensure safe medication use and offer advice.

Nigeria’s pharmaceutical industry produces various medications.

Community and hospital pharmacies play key roles in dispensing and monitoring medications.

Challenges like limited resources and regulations impact both fields.

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria oversees pharmacy practice.

Despite challenges, healthcare professionals in these fields are committed to improving health services and medication access across the country.

Recommended: Where Can I Work If I Study Pharmacy in Nigeria?

Which Is Better Medicine or Pharmacy in Nigeria?

Which Is Better Medicine or Pharmacy in Nigeria
Which Is Better Medicine or Pharmacy in Nigeria

Choosing between medicine and pharmacy in Nigeria really comes down to your career goals and interests.


If you’re all about diagnosing, treating, and being on the front lines with patients, medicine might be your jam.

It’s a chance to specialize and make a direct impact on people’s health.

But, remember, medical school is a longer commitment—six years including internship—and the demanding hours can be a real deal.


Now, if you’re more into the world of medications, their effects, and ensuring they’re used right, pharmacy could be your path.

You’d work in various settings like community pharmacies or hospitals.

Plus, the four-year education is a quicker route, and you’d likely have more regular hours.

In medicine, you’re the main player in patient care, but it’s a longer journey with intensive work.

Pharmacy offers a different angle, focusing on medications and possibly a bit more balance in your daily routine.

Think about whether you want hands-on patient care or a meds-focused role, and that could guide your decision.

Both fields are important in their own ways, so it’s about what clicks with you!

Also See: Is Pharmacy a Good Course to Study in Nigeria?

Education and Training Paths for Medicine and Pharmacy in Nigeria

Education and Training Paths for Medicine and Pharmacy in Nigeria
Education and Training Paths for Medicine and Pharmacy in Nigeria

Medicine and pharmacy have different education and training paths and it’s important we look into them

Here’s a breakdown of the educational journey for both medicine and pharmacy in Nigeria:


a) Bachelor’s Degree

First up, you’ll start with the exciting Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree program.

It’s like diving into the basics of medical knowledge, covering everything from anatomy to physiology.

This takes around five to six years, so buckle up for a comprehensive learning journey.

b) Internship

After grabbing your degree, it’s time for some real action during your one-year internship.

You’ll be working in hospitals, clinics, and various medical setups, putting theory into practice.

It’s hands-on learning at its finest.

c) Residency

If you’re up for specialization (think becoming a pediatrician or surgeon), you’ll need to pursue a residency.

This means diving deeper into your chosen field for about three to six years, sometimes even longer.

It’s like becoming a Jedi master in your medical specialty.

d) Certification and Licensing

Once you’ve mastered your specialization, you’ll need to prove it by passing specialized exams.

Think of these as your final boss battles.

Once you triumph, you’ll earn your badge and get your medical license to officially practice medicine in Nigeria.

Also Read: 20 Federal Universities that Offer Pharmacy in Nigeria


a) Bachelor’s Degree

To kick things off, you’ll jump into a four-year Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) degree program.

You’ll be mixing up a potion of pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacy practice, and all things meds-related.

It’s like the ultimate guide to understanding how medications work.

b) Internship

After earning your B.Pharm, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dive into a year-long internship.

This is where you’ll really get your hands dirty (well, metaphorically) in pharmacies and healthcare setups.

c) Licensing Exam

The final showdown before you become a licensed pharmacist is the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) exam.

It’s like the key that unlocks your career as a certified pharmacist, giving you the green light to make a difference in the world of medications.

d) Further Education (Optional)

If you’re up for even more adventure, you can take the optional route of pursuing a Master’s in Pharmacy (M.Pharm) or a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D).

It’s like going for an advanced level in the pharmacy game, opening doors to specialized roles and research.


Overall, whether you’re aiming to be a healthcare hero in medicine or a meds maestro in pharmacy, both paths offer unique experiences and the chance to make a significant impact on people’s lives.

It’s all about finding the journey that speaks to you!

Recommended: Which Is Better Nursing or Pharmacy in Nigeria?

Career Opportunities and Job Prospects in Medicine and Pharmacy in Nigeria

Both medicine and pharmacy have exciting career opportunities and job prospects.

Let’s dive into the career opportunities and job prospects in medicine and pharmacy in Nigeria.


a) Medical Practitioner

Imagine being on the front lines, working in hospitals or clinics, interacting with patients, diagnosing ailments, and prescribing treatments.

It’s like being a health detective and a problem solver all in one.

b) Specialist Physician

If you’re keen on going deep into a specific area like surgery, pediatrics, or gynecology, becoming a specialist is your path.

You’d be the go-to person for those complex medical cases.

c) Medical Researcher

Picture yourself in a lab coat, contributing to groundbreaking medical research that could change lives.

You’d be exploring new treatments and understanding diseases at a whole new level.

d) Medical Educator

Ever thought about shaping the future of healthcare?

As a medical educator, you’d be sharing your knowledge with the next generation of doctors and molding their expertise.

e) Public Health Specialist

Join forces with government agencies or organizations to create better health policies, disease prevention strategies, and healthcare awareness campaigns.

f) Hospital Administration

If you’re into management, you could be running the show behind the scenes, ensuring hospitals run smoothly and efficiently.

Also See: Which Is Better Computer Science or Computer Engineering in Nigeria?


a) Community Pharmacist

Imagine being the friendly face at a local pharmacy, helping people with their medications, giving advice, and making a real impact on their health.

b) Hospital Pharmacist

Working in a hospital, you’d be part of the team that ensures patients get the right medications at the right time.

It’s like being a guardian of proper treatment.

c) Pharmaceutical Industry

Ever wondered how new drugs come to life?

In the pharmaceutical industry, you could be involved in everything from drug development to quality control.

d) Research and Academia

Dive into research at universities or institutions, contributing to the discovery of new medications and advancing the field of pharmacy.

e) Regulatory Affairs

If you’re a stickler for rules and standards, this role involves making sure all medications meet safety and regulatory guidelines.

f) Clinical Trials

Play a pivotal role in testing new medications, making sure they’re safe and effective before they hit the market.

g) Drug Information Specialist

Be the go-to source for medication information, helping patients and other healthcare professionals understand their treatments.

h) Pharmaceutical Sales

If you’re a people person, you could be promoting medications and building relationships with healthcare professionals.

Also Read: List of State Universities Offering Pharmacy in Nigeria

Job Prospects

In Nigeria, the healthcare world is buzzing with opportunities due to the growing population and a push for better healthcare services.


There’s always a need for doctors across different specialties, to ensure that people get the care they need.

Although keep in mind, job availability can vary between urban and rural areas.


From bustling cities to tranquil villages, pharmacists are in demand everywhere.

With the healthcare landscape expanding, your skills could make a significant impact wherever you choose to practice.


So, whether you’re leaning towards the stethoscope or the prescription pad, both medicine and pharmacy offer a range of paths that can lead to meaningful and impactful careers in Nigeria.

Your choice will depend on what gets your heart racing and where you see yourself making a difference!

Recommended: 10 Cheapest Universities to Study Pharmacy in Nigeria

Duties and Roles of Medical Doctors and Pharmacists in Nigeria’s Healthcare System

Both medical doctors and pharmacists contribute significantly to Nigeria’s healthcare system but they have diverse roles they play.

Let’s explore the duties and roles of medical doctors and pharmacists in Nigeria’s healthcare system:

Medical Doctors

a) Diagnosing and Treating Patients

Imagine doctors as medical detectives.

They listen to patients, examine them, and figure out what’s going on.

It’s like solving a health puzzle!

b) Prescribing Medications

Not only do doctors diagnose, but they also prescribe medicines.

They choose the right medications and dosages based on what the patient needs.

It’s like crafting a tailored treatment plan.

c) Surgical Interventions

Surgeons are like the action heroes of medicine.

They perform surgeries to fix things like broken bones or remove tumors.

It’s a mix of science and skill.

d) Patient Education

Doctors are teachers too!

They explain what’s happening in simple terms, making sure patients understand their conditions and what they need to do for recovery.

e) Specialization

Doctors can specialize in certain areas like heart issues (cardiology), kids’ health (pediatrics), or cancer (oncology).

It’s like becoming an expert in one part of the medical world.

Also See: 10 Best Private Universities to Study Pharmacy in Nigeria


a) Dispensing Medications

Think of pharmacists as medication wizards.

They take the prescription from the doctor and conjure up the right medications, ensuring patients get exactly what they need.

b) Medication Counseling

Pharmacists are medication whisperers.

They chat with patients about how to take their medications, what to expect, and any potential side effects.

It’s all about making sure patients are comfortable with their treatments.

c) Medication Management

Pharmacists are the medication maestros, checking for possible clashes between different meds.

They help create harmony in your drug regimen.

d) Pharmacy Operations

Ever wondered what happens behind the pharmacy counter?

Pharmacists manage the whole show, making sure the right medications are in stock and stored correctly.

e) Clinical Services

Some pharmacists go beyond the counter.

They offer personalized medication therapy advice, making sure patients get the best results from their treatments.

f) Research and Development

Just like scientists, some pharmacists work on developing new drugs, figuring out how they work, and making sure they’re safe.

g) Regulatory Compliance

Pharmacists are the rulekeepers, ensuring that all medications meet quality and safety standards.

h) Drug Information

Ever needed to know if a medication is safe during pregnancy or what side effects to expect?

Pharmacists are the go-to experts for drug-related info.

i) Collaboration

Doctors and pharmacists are like a dynamic duo.

Doctors prescribe, and pharmacists double-check and make sure the medications are good to go.

It’s all about teamwork for better patient care.


In Nigeria, these healthcare heroes work together to keep everyone healthy.

Doctors diagnose and treat, while pharmacists ensure that medications are safe and effective.

It’s a tag team effort that makes a huge impact on public health!

Also Read: Can a Nigerian Pharmacist Work in the UK?

Salary and Remuneration Comparisons Between Medicine and Pharmacy in Nigeria

Both medicine and pharmacy pay well in Nigeria but let’s take a more in-depth look at their salary expectations.


Doctors tend to earn more, especially as they specialize.

Fresh out of medical school, junior doctors might make around ₦150,000 – ₦300,000 per month.

But as they specialize, like surgeons or radiologists, their pay can jump to ₦500,000 – ₦1,000,000 or more monthly.


Pharmacists also do well.

Entry-level pharmacists might start around ₦100,000 – ₦200,000 per month.

With experience, that can rise to ₦300,000 – ₦500,000 or beyond.

Things to Remember

Remember, where you work matters. Big cities usually mean higher pay.

Specializing and gaining experience can bump up your paycheck.

And don’t forget about perks like housing allowances and bonuses.


Overall, both medicine and pharmacy offer good earning potential.

It’s not just about the money, though – think about what makes you excited to wake up and head to work each day!

Recommended: Can a Nigerian Pharmacist Work in the USA?

Tips for Choosing Between Medicine and Pharmacy in Nigeria

Making the choice between medicine and pharmacy in Nigeria is a big decision.

Here are some tips to help you navigate this important choice:

1. Passion and Interest

Consider what truly excites you.

Do you see yourself diagnosing and treating patients as a doctor, or are you more interested in medications and their effects as a pharmacist?

Your passion will drive your success and satisfaction.

2. Patient Interaction

If you enjoy direct patient care and building relationships, medicine might be your calling.

Pharmacists also interact with patients, but their role is more focused on medication-related advice.

3. Education Duration

Think about how much time you’re willing to invest in education.

Medicine requires around six years of study (including internship and residency), while pharmacy takes four years for a Bachelor’s degree.

Also See: Top 20 Best Medical Courses to Study in Nigeria

4. Specialization

Consider if you’re drawn to specializing.

Doctors can specialize in various medical fields, while pharmacists can also specialize in areas like clinical pharmacy or pharmaceutical research.

5. Work Environment

Imagine where you’d like to work.

Doctors often work in hospitals, clinics, and private practices, while pharmacists can be found in pharmacies, hospitals, industry, and academia.

6. Lifestyle

Think about the lifestyle you envision.

Doctors might have irregular working hours, especially during emergencies.

Pharmacists often have more regular hours, but both fields can demand dedication.

Also Read: Where Can I Work As a Biomedical Engineer in Nigeria?

7. Personal Strengths

Assess your strengths. Doctors need strong diagnostic skills, empathy, and decision-making abilities.

Pharmacists require attention to detail, communication skills, and a deep understanding of medications.

8. Long-Term Goals

Consider your long-term aspirations.

Are you interested in research, academia, clinical practice, or administration?

Each field offers diverse avenues for growth.

9. Job Market

Research the job market trends in both fields.

While both medicine and pharmacy have ample employment opportunities, understanding the demand and distribution can be helpful.

Recommended: How Many Years Does It Take to Study Biomedical Engineering in Nigeria?

10. Volunteer or Intern

Gain hands-on experience through volunteering or internships in both fields.

This can provide insights into the daily tasks, challenges, and rewards of each profession.

11. Talk to Professionals

Seek career guidance from practicing doctors and pharmacists to get firsthand insights into their roles.

Their experiences can help you understand the practical aspects of each field.

12. Consider Combination

Keep in mind that some individuals pursue both degrees, combining medical and pharmaceutical expertise in fields like clinical pharmacology or research.


Ultimately, the choice boils down to your personal interests, strengths, and career goals.

Take your time, gather information, and envision yourself in each role.

Both medicine and pharmacy offer fulfilling and impactful careers in Nigeria’s healthcare system.

Also See: 10 Cheapest Schools of Nursing in Nigeria

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I Switch from Pharmacy to Medicine?

Yes, you can switch from pharmacy to medicine, but it’s a journey.

Think of it like changing lanes on your career highway.

You’d need to enroll in a medical degree program, which takes about six years.

That’s like diving deep into medical knowledge and clinical training.

After graduating, you’ll need to pass medical licensing exams to become a certified doctor.

It’s a road that demands time, effort and a genuine love for medicine.

So, while the path is open, make sure you’re ready for the adventure ahead!

What Skills Do Pharmacists Need?

Being a pharmacist calls for a mix of talents.

You’ve got to ace the technical side, understanding medications, dosages, and how they mingle.

Attention to detail is your secret weapon to dodge errors.

Good communication skills come in handy for explaining tricky medical stuff to patients.

Being a people person helps you offer tailored advice.

Flexibility matters since the medical scene is always changing.

Problem-solving skills tackle medication puzzles.

Lastly, solid ethical judgment keeps patients safe and compliant with rules.

It’s like having a toolkit of skills to rock your role in the pharmacy world!

Which Is More Lucrative in Nigeria: Pharmacy or Medicine?

When it comes to earning in Nigeria, both pharmacy and medicine have their perks.

Specialized medicine roles often come with higher pay, while pharmacy still offers solid salaries and benefits.

But remember, choosing between the two should be about what you’re passionate about and where you see yourself making the most impact, rather than just chasing the money.

Your heart and goals matter most!

How Much Do Doctors Make in Nigeria?

Medical doctors’ salaries in Nigeria vary depending on factors like specialization, experience, location, and type of healthcare institution.

Fresh graduates might start at around ₦150,000 – ₦300,000 monthly.

But as they specialize and gain experience, that paycheck can jump big time.

Specialists like surgeons or radiologists can pull in ₦500,000 – ₦1,000,000 or even more every month.

Remember though, these figures can change depending on where you’re working and your expertise level.

So, if you’re eyeing a career in medicine, know that the potential for growth is there!

Can a Pharmacist Become a Nurse in Nigeria?

Yes, a pharmacist can become a nurse in Nigeria, but it’s not a quick switch.

It involves more schooling.

They’d need to join a nursing program, which takes a few years, diving into patient care and clinical skills.

After graduating, passing the nursing licensing exam is a must.

It’s like adding a new layer to their skill set.

So, while the transition is doable, it means rolling up their sleeves for some dedicated learning in the nursing world.

Also Read: Which Is Better School of Nursing or Nursing in University?


Both medicine and pharmacy are exciting fields with ample job opportunities and career prospects for individuals.

Deciding which is better between both fields requires careful evaluation and assessment based on your career goals and interests.

If you prefer diagnosing and treating patients directly, medicine might be the best fit for you.

But if you are more concerned about medications and their effects on patient health, pharmacy might be your calling.

Overall, both medicine and pharmacy are profitable fields and can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding career path.

If you have any questions or inquiries, ensure to drop them in the comment section and I will respond right away.

Good luck!

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NewSchoolWeb Team

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