LAHORE - Setting aside an earlier decision of its interim body, Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) has allowed promotion of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree holders to the professor level, paving the way for their posting as dean and principal of medical colleges.

Executive committee of PMDC abolished the interim management committee’s decision that barred promotion of MPhil degree holder faculty members beyond associate professors. For promotion to professors, the MPhil degree holders were needed to improve qualification and get Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree.

In 2015, caretaker committee decided that faculty members possessing PhDs or Fellowship of the College of Physicians and Surgeons (FCPS) will be promoted as professors, appointed as vice chancellor, principal or dean of a medical college. Associate professors who do not possess PhDs or equivalent degrees will retire as associate professors.

Keeping in view the dearth of medical teachers in basic sciences, the PMDC has allowed promotion of MPhil faculty members as professor till 2020. After this period, no associate professor with MPhil degree will be promoted until or unless he/she obtained PhD degree from recognised institution. However, the PMDC will reassess the situation on the basis of reports of medical institutions after the period.

As per the insiders, the PMDC has reverted its earlier decision for continuity in provision of education in basic sciences to undergraduates at medical colleges/universities. “There is dearth of qualified medical teachers in basic sciences like anatomy, physiology, biochemistry. Stopping promotion and letting teachers to retire as associate professor will cause frustration that will hamper education process. Now MPhil degree holders have given enough time to get PhD,” said an official privy to this development.

PMDC will launch transitional program after taking medical universities on board. “Transitional program is aimed at facilitating the registered faculty members to improve qualification. As such research and thesis of faculty will go side by side with the teaching of undergraduates at medical institutions. Hundreds of faculty members from all over the country will benefit from this decision,” the official added.

PMDC will also suggest medical universities to launch four year MD Program in basic sciences. This is level three degree like the PhD and FCPS, and will allow faculty in basic sciences to reach to the top level.