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In medical practice, every country have their assessment examination for candidates who want to practice in their country. These are candidates who attended medical school in a country different from the country they want to practice.

In Nigeria, such examination is the MDCN Assessment Examination which is a 2 day exam for medical graduates who attended an accredited medical school outside Nigeria and wants to practice in Nigeria.

Here, let’s learn about what the examination is, if you would and should write it, if it is compulsory , the purpose of writing the examination, and in fact what the examination stands for. 

The MDCN exam is an assessment examination set by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria for the assessment of graduate doctors of Medicine and Dental Surgery. The examination isn’t meant for every graduate doctor that wants to practice in Nigeria, and it tests the candidate’s ability to apply their basic medical sciences and clinical skills in a healthcare setting.

In this article, we will look at:

  • Is the MDCN examination meant for everyone?
  • Is the MDCN examination mandatory?
  • Should I write the MDCN exam?
  • Where can I take the MDCN examination?
  • When is the MDCN examination?
  • Is the MDCN examination difficult?
  • Format of the MDCN Exam
  • How Much Does the MDCN Exam cost?
  • Purpose of the MDCN examination?

Is The MDCN Examination Meant For Everyone?

No, the MDCN exam isn’t meant for everyone. The MDCN examination is ONLY meant for:

  1. foreign-trained medical doctors & dental surgeons who want to practice in Nigeria.
  2. and for Nigeria-trained doctors that did not complete their housemanship within 24 months of graduation or those whose Medical institutions have lost their accreditations.

In other words, any medical graduates trained abroad irrespective of their citizenship whether a Nigerian or a Non-Nigerian and that want to practice in Nigeria must take the MDCN assessment examination.

Medical graduates trained in Nigeria in any of the approved medical schools and that have completed their housemanship within 24 months are NOT to write the examination.

Is The MDCN Examination Mandatory?

The answer to this is a Yes and a No.

Yes, it is mandatory if you are a foreign-trained medical graduate and want to practice in Nigeria.

Yes, it’s also mandatory if you were trained in Nigeria but couldn’t complete your internship within 24 months of graduation/receiving your provisional license or those whose Medical institutions have lost their accreditation at the time of graduation.

No, it’s not mandatory if you are a foreign-trained medical graduate (be it a Nigerian or Non-Nigerian) and you do not want or have no intention of practicing in Nigeria.

No, it is not mandatory if you an indigenous trained doctor (doctors/dentists who had their medical school in Nigeria) and you have successfully completed your housemanship within 24 months of graduation/receiving your provisional license.

Should I Write The MDCN Exam?

Yes, I recommend that you write the examination if you are a foreign-trained medical graduate and you wish to practice in Nigeria.

Particularly, if you are a Nigerian citizen and trained abroad, I recommend that you write the MDCN examination. This is because, as an indigene, it is natural that you will always be affiliated with your homeland. And the safest bet will be to have the eligibility to practice in your country. 

Where Can I Take The MDCN Examination?

You can only take the examination here in Nigeria.

The venue for the MDCN exam is a teaching hospital in Nigeria. And at the moment, no more than 1 teaching hospital in Nigeria can host the exam when it is held.

In the past, the MDCN exam has been held in the teaching hospitals of University of Abuja, Gwagwalada, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano State, Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, and University College Hospital, Ibadan.

Recently in the past 3 years, the venue has been held at the University College Hospital, Ibadan.

When Is The MDCN Examination?

The MDCN examination runs for two days and the exam occurs twice a year.

It occurs in the first half of the year usually around ending of June or first few weeks of July. It also occurs in the later half of the year usually around mid to late November.

You can write the exam in any of these times during the year.

See Also: Result Of November 2020 MDCN Exam

Also Register For MDCN November 2023 HERE

Am I Eligible For The MDCN Exam?

You will be eligible for the MDCN examination if you meet the following 3 requirements according to the MDCN:

i)          The examination shall be for candidates trained in ALL Countries (other than Nigeria) and whose training institutions are currently listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools (www.wdoms.org); and for Nigeria-trained doctors that either failed to complete their internship within twenty-four months of graduation or those whose medical/dental schools have lost their accreditations.

ii)         Candidates must hold medical/dental degrees of approved medical and dental training institutions that shall be verified by Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC).

iii)        Candidates must show evidence of eligibility to practice medicine/dentistry in the Country of training. A current practising license and a Certificate of Good Standing from the Country’s medical/dental regulatory authority (not from the Training Institution) shall be required.

What Is The Structure And Format Of The MDCN Exam?

The examination is for two days. And within these two days, all candidates must complete the examination.

The Day 1 of the exam is a computer-based test and consists of 300 MCQs for 2 hours.

The exam usually starts at 8 am and candidates are advised to be at the venue 45-60 minutes before the exam starts. The MCQs consist of Picture Test Questions (graphics-based), and Regular MCQs (text-based).

The picture test questions are 50 in number. Candidates are to score at least 50% in the picture test section to pass the MDCN exam. The clinical pictures to identify are pathognomonic, medical equipment, and some radiographic images.  

The MCQ exam assesses a candidate’s ability to apply their basic medical sciences and clinical knowledge in solving problems. Candidates are tested in particularly physiology, pathology, and public health.

Candidates should be familiar with common clinical conditions. For example, tetanus, diabetes, malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, and sickle cell diseases.

Cardiovascular conditions like heart failure, hypertension, subarachnoid, epidural, and subdural hemorrhage. Respiratory diseases: pneumothorax, cough, pneumonia, pleural effusion, asthma.

Renal and Hepatic conditions such as acute renal failure, nephrotic and nephritic syndrome, liver cirrhosis.

Candidates should also prepare for basic topics in O&G and Paediatrics.

The Day 2 of the examination is the clinical part of the examination.

It consists of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations, OSCE also known as Oral examination. It tests candidates’ ability to apply their practical and clinical skills in patient care.

Each Medical candidate should come with their Stethoscope, Diagnostics Set, Patella Hammer, Tape Rule. However, Dental candidates should come with their Mouth Mirror, Probes, and Tweezers.

Candidates are required to show more interpersonal relationship skills and clinical bedside manners in this section and should know how to use their respective diagnostic tools.

You will be examined in different stations.

Two stations will involve clerking, while three will involve diagnosing radiographs.

You will also be required to answer questions 2 questions in Prevention, & Public Health, and 1 question each in Gynecology, Pediatrics, and Counseling.

Finally, you are required to SIGN IN before the examination and equally SIGN OUT at the end of each examination- Day 1, and Day 2.

Here are samples of the MDCN practice questions.

Is The MDCN Examination Difficult?

No, the MDCN examination is not difficult. 

If you prepare well and adequately for the MDCN examination, you won’t find it difficult. Some candidates find it uneasy to pass the MDCN exam not because it is difficult but because they aren’t well prepared for it.

How Should I Prepare For The MDCN Examination?

To prepare for any examination, you should always find the scope. The same applies to the MDCN exam.

The scope of the MDCN exam ranges from the Clinical Picture MCQ Test, Texts-based MCQ test, to the OSCE (oral examination).

This has been explained in the previous header above.

I recommend that you start preparing for the MDCN exam as early as possible. Try to start preparing 6 to 12 months before the examination. At most, don’t let it exceed 3 months before you start preparing.

Nevertheless, this is not to say that you can’t perform excellently in the exam if you start your preparation very late. You should know your strengths, weaknesses, & abilities. You should test yourself before the actual exam and tailor your preparations following your needs.

When Will MDCN Release The Examination Results?

The MDCN will release the examination results about 24 hours after the completion of the day 2 (OSCE Examination). Candidates should check the following day to know their pass status. Here is the compendium of the MDCN examination results for previous years and for the just concluded examination.

How Much Does The MDCN Exam Cost?

As of 2023, the examination attracts a non-refundable fee of:

  1. N130,000 for Nigerian Citizens
  2. N205,000 for Non-Nigerian Citizens 
  3. N25,000 Other charges (Dental materials for dental candidates only)

Purpose Of The MDCN Exam

The MDCN is a regulatory body for Medical and Dental Practice in Nigeria.

The examination is to ensure that foreign-trained doctors and doctors whose institutions lost their accreditation including those trained in Nigeria that did not complete their internship within 24 months show themselves capable of practicing in Nigeria.

On passing the examination, you are given a provisional license to practice in Nigeria.

It is with this provisional license medical and dental graduates will use to practice during their 1-year housemanship after which they are given a license of full registration.

Everything about the Provisional License, Housemanship, and License of Full Registration has been explained in this post.

Also Check: Register For MDCN November 2021 Examination

When Is The Next MDCN Exam 2023?

The next MDCN exam 2023 is going to be in June and November. These are the two months in the year the MDCN exam usually holds.

Proceed with the MDCN June 2023 Application Here.

You could sign up for our newsletter or send your email address to info@healthjobsng.com and we will notify you when the sales of application form for upcoming assessment examination is out.

Do you enjoy reading this article? Kindly share it to your colleagues writing the MDCN examination.

Do you have any further questions regarding the MDCN Assessment examination? Ask it in the comment box below to get an answer.

By Dr Nathaniel

Nat is a pioneer of healthjobsng.com. His commitment to excellence in medical writing has earned him recognition as a trusted authority in the field. He have collaborated with leading healthcare organizations, authored thought-provoking articles, and played a pivotal role in raising health literacy levels across diverse audiences.

13 thoughts on “Everything You Need To Know About The MDCN Assessment Examination In Nigeria”
  1. Hi am Yusuf Nasir, a foreign graduate of Dentistry. I want to be notify when MDCN assessment examination form is available.

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