Medical education: Proposed ‘modular system’ opposed at doctors’ moot


FAISALABAD: The Medical Teachers’ Association (MTA), the Young Doctors’ Association (YDA) and the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) on Friday rejected the modular system of medical teaching.

At a moot organised in the city, the associations termed the system pernicious for the medical profession. They said it would wreck medical education nationwide.

Those present on the occasion said the University of Health Sciences (UHS) would face spirited resistance from students and teachers if it tried to implement the system.

Accusing the UHS of deception, they said the varsity was twisting facts and lying when it said that it had no other option but to adopt the system as the curriculum.

“The UHS has been discriminating against qualified academics by giving teaching assignments to juniors, flouting international standards by not ensuring the provision of facilities to medical institutions and confounding students by its poor management of various subjects,” the speakers said.

They said the UHS wanted to handover teacher training and capacity building to those who did not have requisite experience. He said the varsity had been attempting to implement the system by bypassing academic councils of medical institutions. The speakers said the UHS wanted to further compromise medical education standards that had already been adversely affected by the exponential growth of private medical colleges.

Those present on the occasion urged the UHS to implement all of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) 106 international standards of medical education in place of the system.

They also noted that proposals of raising student fees and increasing the number of subjects to be examined in formative MBBS years had left students encumbered and crestfallen.

Those present said the UHS would have to deal with a pressing problem across all medical colleges if it did not immediately halt the system’s implementation.

MTA general secretary Khurram Sohail Raja said the system’s implementation would have disastrous consequences for the medical profession. He said that “a particular lobby in the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) working for the interests of the private sector has been striving to introduce the system as the sole option for medical education in the name of revamping the curriculum.”

Raja said the PMDC had been deceiving the associations. He said the system was not the only option. Raja said the present curriculum was accredited the world over. He said all that needed to be done was to overcome its shortcomings.

The MTA general secretary said circumstances were not conducive to the introduction of the system. He said the move would jeopardise medical education standards nationwide that had been compromised already with the nationwide proliferation of substandard medical institutions.

A resolution against the PMDC’s Bhurban declaration was also unanimously passed at the moot.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2016.