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Nigeria's First Indigenous Medical Doctor

In this article, we shall be looking at Nigeria's first indigenous medical doctor. As God will have it, medical science has really grown tremendously in our country, Nigeria.


This first indigenous "ducktor" is no other than Dr. Nathaniel King.


Dr. King was born Nathaniel Thomas King on July 14,1847 to the family of Reverend Thomas and Mary King at Hastings, Sierra Leone. His father, Reverend Thomas was a catechist of the Church Missionary Society.

In 1850, Reverend Thomas moved with his family to the church mission in Abeokuta, Ogun State. While in Nigeria in 1861, young King was recommended by Henry Venn as one of the four students to be trained at the Church Missionary Society (CMS) pre-medical training program under a Cambridge-trained doctor, Dr. A. A Harrison.


Later on, on 1865, Dr. Harrison died. King was transferred by Venn to continue his studies at Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone in 1866. He did his preliminaries of medicine at the Freetown's Colonial Hospital under Dr. Bradshaw.

Few years later, King went to King's College, London under the sponsorship of his uncle, Henry Robbin, and CMS. He obtained Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) and, his Medical Doctor (MD) degree from the University of Edinburgh on 1876.


After his studies, he returned to Nigeria and, was part of the development of modern medical practices in Nigeria. During his time, he championed environmental sanitation.

He was once an examiner for CMS Grammar School, Lagos and Wesley College. He was also a trust member of the Rebecca Hussey fund for Africans .


Dr. King died on June 12,1884 at the age of 37 and was buried in Nigeria.

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Abeokuta Nathaniel King Nigeria Ogun State Reverend Thomas

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