ISLAMABAD: Although faculty members who do not have PhDs or equivalent degrees have previously been appointed professors, the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has now decided that a PhD degree is a must for faculty members to be promoted to professors.
Following this decision, only faculty members possessing PhDs or Fellowship of the College of Physicians and Surgeons (FCPS) will be appointed vice chancellor, principal or dean of a medical college. Associate professors who do not possess PhDs or equivalent degrees will retire as associate professors.
The decision was taken by the council’s management committee to ensure high quality education and meet international standards.
The current management committee was formed after President Mamnoon Hussain promulgated the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 on Aug 26, dissolving the PMDC executive council.
‘Decision will ensure education of international standards’
The committee consists of retired Maj Gen Azhar Kiyani, Prof Abid Farooqi, Prof Nadeem Rizvi, and others. The committee was advised to hold executive council elections within 120 days.
On Dec 11, the national health services (NHS) minister tabled the draft of the bill on the floor of the National Assembly, and the ordinance was extended for another 120 days through a resolution. The management committee has been taking measures to ensure quality education and that Pakistani doctors are able to compete with doctors at the international level.
A PMDC official who is not authorised to speak on record said in the past a special qualification was not required to promote an associate professor to professor.
“There are a few hundred faculty members with just MPhil degrees teaching at different medical colleges who were promoted to professors in the past. The majority of them are teaching social sciences,” the official said.
“It has been decided that, in the future, no faculty members will be promoted to professor without having a PhD or equivalent degree. However, the status of those professors who do not have PhD degrees but have already been promoted to professor will not be changed,” he said.
The official said that the committee had also decided to promote the family medicine faculty in colleges.
“Family medicine is introduced in developed countries like UK, US, Austrial – so a department of family medicine will be established in every university,” he said.
PMDC registrar retired Brig Dr Hafizuddin Ahmed Siddiqui confirmed that the management committee had decided that only PhD-holding faculty would be promoted to professor.
“Moreover, we have decided to encourage family physicians… So universities are being advised to establish departments of family medicine,” he said.
Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2015