Concern regarding decision of Pakistan Medical Commission of allowing non-medical teachers to teach in medical and dental colleges of Pakistan

To                                                                                                        Date: 20/01/2020

President,

Pakistan Medical Commission

Islamabad, Pakistan.

 

Subject:          Concern regarding decision of Pakistan Medical Commission of allowing non-medical teachers to teach in medical and dental colleges of Pakistan

Dear Sir

Pakistan Medical Commission PMC was constituted to establish a uniform minimum standard of basic and higher medical education, training, and recognition of qualifications in medicine and dentistry.

However, the present Council has taken certain decisions contradicting their main philosophy which will affect private and public sector medical institutions adversely.

  • The present Council has abolished the requirement of MBBS and BDS for teaching basic sciences in the Medical and Dental colleges and non-medicswithout the medical background can be hired for teaching at medical institutions regardless of their qualifications and teaching experience (Reference Minutes of 3rd Council Meeting 30th November 2019 Item No. 9).
  • Each country should implement the principles of medical education in view of the cultural, socioeconomic and academic norms prevalent in that country rather than blindly following the west. Firstly, in the Western countries the non-medic teachers are not core faculty of the medical schools, rather they are visiting faculty coming from their respective University department and teach very specific TOPICS such as genetics, or molecular biology not in CORE SUBJECTS (basic medical sciences e.g., anatomy, physiology, pathology etc.) taught in medical schools.
  • The newly introduced concept of integrated modular curriculum emphasizes upon clinical integration right from first year onwards. A teacher who has a basic MBBS or BDS degree can only integrate the basic principles of the basic sciences with the clinical scenarios.
  • Every professional degree requires its own professionals to teach e.g., engineering, agriculture, pharmacy etc. with no overlap of basic sciences.
  • Medical microbiology, medical pharmacology, medical biochemistry, medical pathology, medical physiology and medical anatomy are different subjects from e.g., plant physiology or for that matter animal physiology. As an example, a DVM (doctor of veterinary medicine) does not study human basic sciences, how will they teach human basic sciences.
  • The dearth of basic medical science teachers that was 5 years back has now decreased significantly and if there is any persisting it should be addressed by providing job opportunities to thosemedics with post-graduate basic medical science qualifications are jobless. More post graduate training institutes should be regularised with scholarship opportunities and more medics should be enrolled for post-graduate studies.
  • Non-medical teachers or even medics who have done post-graduation from non-medical institutes or under the supervision of non-medical supervisors do not have any clinical exposure to patients in hospitals or clinics. Therefore, they will have limited knowledge about clinical application.
  • It is also a matter of great concern that a degree in basic medical sciences especially Pathology is not being endorsed by PMC and has been left for HEC recognition only. PMC is a regulatory authority and a council for medical professionals across the country. A degree has to be recognised not only by the Higher Education Commission of the country but also through the Medical council of the country.
  • A number of our colleagues who have applied abroad for job opportunities have been asked by the hiring authorities to get the degree attested by HEC and endorsed on the registration certificate by the regulatory authority i.e, the respective council. Pathology especially has a lot of clinical relevance and the pathologists have a lot of patient interaction with a significant role in diagnostic interventional procedures like Clinical endocrinology (Challenge and suppression tests), Clinical Chemistry, Laboratory medicine, Clinical Haematology (Bone marrow biopsy) and Clinical Histopathology and FNAC. The pathologists work in close liaison with the physicians, surgeons and the patients.
  • Basic Medical sciences particularly Pathology should be endorsed on the license to practice otherwise it will create a lot of problem for doctors working abroad or who intend to apply for jobs abroad. This license differentiates the medica from the non-medics and is mandatory to keep a check and balance

The above submission clearly highlights that this regulation will be detrimental for the medical profession and the coming generations will be treated by substandard graduates produced under the present regulations. These graduates will play havoc with the lives of people of this country.

In addition, a notification of PM&DC dated 29th June 2019 (attached) clearly states“non-medical doctors including Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) cannot be appointed in medical/dental college”

It is therefore, requested that the Honourable Council reverse the decision of allowing non-medical teachers in medical and dental colleges of Pakistan. We would like to avail an opportunity of presenting our point of view in person to the Council.

 

Kind Regards,

Professor Ashok kumar Tanwani

President

& Members Pakistan Association of Pathologists

Email: aktanwani58@gmail.com

Cell #:       0300-8565035