Is clinical medicine marketable in Kenya?

Clinical medicine and surgery is one of the most popular medical courses in Kenya…but is clinical medicine marketable in Kenya really?

Well, read on to find out….Remember that the course is a preferred choice even among those who miss the cut off marks required to study for MBChB at campus(Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) in Kenya (and are unable to join the parallel MBChB programme)

So, is clinical medicine marketable in Kenya? / Is clinical officer marketable in Kenya /Is a degree in clinical medicine marketable in Kenya /Is diploma in clinical medicine and surgery marketable in Kenya

Now, it is a good course – many medical courses are- though it is slowly becoming a bit challenging when it comes to the job market.

What do I mean?

You see, because of the government’s failure to absorb medical health workers to cover the shortage of these important middle-level healthcare personnel, some clinical officers are remaining unemployed for longer these days.

And they are forced to get creative to survive until clinical officers jobs come by.

So it is not that the course has suddenly become terrible in terms of opportunities. No!

Instead, what is happening is that county government are not really hiring clinical officers as fast as they ought to, to keep up with the demand for health workers due to population increase…

In other words, we are of the opinion that the course remains marketable –at least for now- but do not be over-expectant as regards getting employed by the county immediately.

But the good thing is that even as you wait, you can be employed by the many private medical centers being opened across the country in the recent past..

If you look around where you live, you might notice that there are now more healthcare centers (health centers, clinics, and even level 3 and level hospitals –private and mission owned) than it has ever been.

Indeed, even many of those who get employed fast are hired in newly opened government owned medical facilities.

So yeah, not a bad course –but like with many other courses today- be prepared to wait for your ideal job after finishing the course.

Of course, you could be lucky and get recruited soon after college so you never know.

The other thing to keep in mind is

Is clinical medicine marketable in Kenya? – What else you need to know

Cadres of Kenya-Trained Clinical Officers

In Kenya, there are 2 categories (majorly) when it comes to Clinical Officer cadres:

General COs (or RCOs)

These are not specialized in any area and are considered general practitioners (jack of all trades)

Specialist COs (or SCOs)

As you may have guessed from the title, specialist COs have undertaken some further training in a particular medical field, typically a higher diploma (for example in Anaesthesia, Reproductive Health, ophthalmology, ENT, and the like).

So they provide more specialized skills.

Registration of clinical officers in Kenya

Also note that COs are usually regulated by the COC(Clinical Officers Council).

Now, this is essentially an institution operating under Clinical Officers Act-CAP 260 which mandates them to oversee training, registration, and even licensing of clinical officers in Kenya.

So you’ll need to register with them after finishing the course, if you go ahead and do it.

Diploma Vs Degree in Clinical Medicine

The course is offered at both degree and diploma level.

However, while degree students take more time at the university and even learn some skills which have, for long, been the preserve of medical doctors such as doing basic surgery and CS, the market seems to favor diploma holders.

Yeah..that is true.

The degree qualified CO has been having a tougher experience when he comes to the job market in comparison to their competitors with diplomas.

Perhaps it is because the degree programme was originally intended for Diploma in Clinical Medicine and Surgery holders to upgrade!

Or maybe it is because the diploma trained COs are considered to be hardier…You can never tell..

Yet, to quote The Standard:

“In practice, the degree in clinical medicine CO and diploma in clinical medicine CO are more or less the same – they offer the same services”.



What other courses can you do if you do not feel satisfied with the clinical medicine course?

With your qualifications, you may as well opt to apply for these courses:

Dentistry (or Dental Technology)


Dental Technology Courses In Kenya – All you need to know

Nursing (including Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in Nursing, depending on your exact grades)


Is nursing marketable in Kenya?

Pharmacy (including Bachelor of Pharmacy, depending on your exact grades)


Is pharmacy marketable in Kenya

There are other alternatives you could explore, again depending on your exact grades).

These include:

Diploma in laboratory technology

The course also goes by the name Diploma in Science Laboratory Technology in some colleges

Diploma in orthopaedic technology

The course is offered by the Department of Orthopaedic Technology at KMTC among other colleges

Diploma in physiotherapy

If you have the right grades, you may even a BSc in Physiotherapy at Universities like AMREF International University.

To be clear, the requirements for a BSc. Physiotherapy are as follows:

Mean grade(At KCSE):  C+ (plus)

Additional requirements you must have (subjects and grades):

  1. C+ (plus) in languages (English or Kiswahili)
  2. C+ (plus) in Biology (must) and same grade in either Maths/Physics
  3. C+(plus) in Chemistry (must)

Diploma in Optometry course


Diploma in optometry in Kenya [All you need to know]

Your call now…

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