Trading-off quality for quantity: Mushrooming of Medical Institutions and Quality of Medical Education in Pakistan

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Professor, Consultant Pathologist, American Board Certified Pathologist, Fellow College of American Pathologists. Areas of interest Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology, Cytology, Cancer, Ethics, Islam, Humanity

Trading-off quality for quantity: Mushrooming of Medical Institutions and Quality of Medical Education in Pakistan

Abdul Khalid Awan

 


Introduction

The Medicine….an art of healing…..has always been the noble, rewarding and cherished profession. A large majority of parents in Pakistan dream to see their children in white coats. Likewise, inspired by idealism, a large number of adolescents have ambitions to become doctors after passing their Fsc examination. This combination of dreams and ambitions and the belief that healing is a divine virtue, have made career in medicine as the most sought after profession in Pakistan over the last several decades.

The education system in Pakistan had produced eminent scholars and professionals in the field of medicine, rendering their services in the country and abroad. Most of these are graduates from Government medical colleges. These professionals are overseas ambassadors of Pakistan particularly in Middle East, Europe and America.

During the last two decades there has been a tremendous increase in the number of private medical colleges in Pakistan1. This mushrooming growth of medical institutions was not without concerns towards quality of medical education, as it was not associated with parallel development of clinical and non-clinical properly equipped physical structures, compromising the quality of institutions. Furthermore, it has consumed faculty and financial resources resulting in poor quality of education. The regulatory body (PMDC) has failed to ensure standards of institutions and quality of educational programmes in Pakistan.

At present, a large majority of students do not have access to medical education of international standards in this country. The majority of newly established medical colleges struggle to meet even the minimal PMDC requirements as regards to faculty, space and facilities.

         

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