“Medical doctors do not need PhD to teach medical students, Fellowship remains the highest medical qualification” – NUC backtracks
After a protracted disagreement that saw medical consultants going on strike resulting in the paralysis of academic activities of medical students, the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) have resolved that the PhD is not a compulsory qualification requirement for the career progression of clinical consultants.
The resolution was reached at a meeting between the NUC, MDCAN, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria and other stakeholders following the intervention of the National Assembly on Wednesday in Abuja.
A circular by the NUC last December that clinical teachers with PhD would be promoted faster than those without had led MDCAN, the umbrella body of teaching hospital consultants who teach clinical medicine, to call a strike.
However, a statement signed by MDCAN President, Prof. Ken Ozoilo, and Secretary General, Dr. M. P. Chingle, following the truce meeting noted that the PhD will not hinder the career progression of clinical consultants.
It reads: “At the end of the meeting, the following resolutions were reached:
That the Fellowship is the highest qualification for clinical specialists and remains the qualification for employment for clinical lecturers into the University (Lecturer I)
“That the PhD is the highest academic qualification in the university
That the possession of PhD by clinical lecturers is voluntary and optional
That non- possession of PhD will not hinder the clinical lecturer from being promoted from one rank to the other up to the level of Professor in the Nigerian University system.”
The practice has been that medical students were taught clinicals by academics from medical colleges and consultants from the teaching hospitals. The consultants pass through Fellowship training from the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN), West African College of Physicians (WACP) and West African College of Surgeons (WACS), among others.
The NUC, however, desirous of a Ph.D in clinical sciences gave approval for the programme to run in Nigerian universities.
Recall that the NUC before now have included PhD as a requirement for medical doctors who were interested in lecturing medical students in our universities. However, MCAN kicked against this new policy and called for a nationwide strike action which has crippled medical schools in all Nigerian universities.
Partly culled from The Nation