Ph.D. degree holders allowed to teach basic medical sciences at medical colleges
This decision was taken to bring Pakistan’s medical schools at par with medical colleges all over the world.
According to reports, the government has allowed Ph.D. degree holders to teach basic medical sciences at medical colleges.
Under the current criteria, only medical graduates can be employed as teachers at medical colleges. This step has been taken by the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC), the regulator of medical education, to improve medical education in the country.
“So far, people with MBBS or BDS degrees have been working as teachers of basic medical sciences at medical schools throughout the country but a decision taken by PMC last year has changed the criteria. Now PhDs in relevant subjects will be appointed at basic medical sciences department of medical colleges,” sources said.
Chairman of Prime Minister Health Task Force Prof Nausherwan Burki, while talking to a news outlet, confirmed that this decision was taken to bring Pakistan’s medical schools at par with medical colleges all over the world.
“The fact is that everywhere in the developed world, the basic sciences are taught by basic scientists because a Ph.D. in biochemistry or neurosciences or immunology is obviously far better placed as a teacher of these subjects than an MBBS doctor,” he said.
Prof Burki said that the previous criteria, according to which only medical graduates could teach basic sciences, effectively closed off the opportunity to qualified experts, resulting in a shortage of teachers in those subjects and poor teaching, which was not in accordance with medical teaching in the rest of the countries.
The basic medical sciences include physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, anatomy, forensic medicine and toxicology, pathology and community medicine.
These subjects are taught to medical students up to the fourth year. Currently, the basic degree for teaching positions in medical and dental colleges is BDS or MBBS with a postgraduate qualification.
Former chairman of the biochemistry department at Khyber Medical College Prof Jamilur Rehman said that it was allowed in the UK and some other countries, but not in Pakistan.
“Teaching these subjects to medical students requires in-depth knowledge with some background information of other medical subjects which these non-medical PhDs don’t have. It may lower the standards and add to burden of self-learning on medical students,” he said.
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