Physiology is simply put, the study of the normal functioning of the various systems that make up the body e.g. respiratory, cardiovascular, circulatory, excretory, etc. A physiologist is not a doctor or a full medical personnel as is usually misunderstood but a paramedical and more of a medical scientist. A paramedic is a person whose job is to help people who are sick or injured, , but who is not a doctor or a nurse. i.e. they cant treat patients, this is also the case with other paramedical courses e.g. biochemistry, anatomy, clinical microbiology, etc.
To study physiology An O level student needs to have at least credit passes in mathematics, English, biology, physics and chemistry; as well as the appropriate aggregate in the sciences in JAMB examinations as determined by the individual university. .An A level student requires passes in the sciences e.g. zoology, biology, botany, etc according to the direct entry university requirements.
On course Physiology is a four-year course both nationally and internationally at undergraduate level. The first year requires basic knowledge in botany, zoology, physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and the general studies depending on the university. The second year is actually the year you start your medical studies. At this stage, you do courses mainly in physiology and also in other areas of study such as biochemistry, physics, chemistry, etc.
In the second year, you get the basic introduction into these various fields. The third and fourth years are basically the same: you will concentrate on physiology in theory, practical and research aspects. Research work starts in the fourth year and you are required to go out, wherever possible to get your information. This stage is when you actually train to be a research scientist. You should know that:
1) All paramedical courses are actually related which is why you have to take courses from the other departments.
2) Physiology lets you know how the body functions properly so that you would be the first to notice if there is an abnormality (pathology) in a body system.
3) Physiologists are the people doctors and other professionals refer to when there is a major problem in their patients body systems.
4) Physiologists are the people, who do all your research on AIDS, malaria, skin problems, etc. even the newly found SARS.
Further studies Upon completion of your first degree at the university, opportunities exist for progress and further studies in a sub-department e.g. endocrinology, reproduction, the senses, cardiovascular, etc. This is compulsory if you want to continue in the field by either lecturing or being a full-time research scientist or both. You can acquire an M.Sc, Ph.D and even become a professor! Similarly, you can get a scholarship for international studies through affiliates with your university or embassies of other countries.
Still keen on medicine? If you make a first class or second class (upper division), you will have the chance of easily getting admission into medicine; after all, physiology is the basis of medicine. Last note Physiology, though not a professional course until you take it to the Ph.D level, is very interesting and adventurous.
It will give you some insights into the creation of Allaah and how they have been fashioned by Him the Most Exalted. Allaah says: "And in your own selves are the signs of Allaah for those who have faith with certainty. Will you not then see," (Ad-Dhariyaat : 21) So go into this course with the fear of Allaah and with the sole intention of serving Him alone. Do not allow anyone make you feel that it is an unknown and obscure career.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited