M.D degrees conferred without clinical training

The degree was allegedly issued without the required training and in the absence of course supervisor

Safdar Rizvi June 23, 2024
The degree which was conferred last year by the University of Karachi to Dr Behram Khan Khoso, had allegedly been issued without the post graduate training and in the absencethe awardee completing the required post-graduate training in the absence of his course supervisor.PHOTO:TRIBUNE


While the professional oversights of an under qualifie-worker might at worst cost the organization an unanticipated revenue loss, medical malpractice due to the negligence of an untrained doctor can straightaway lead to the irredeemable loss of precious lives.

Recently, the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and the University of Karachi (KU) have come under fire for conferring a master’s degree, M.D (Medicine), to a faculty member at JPMC against the rules and regulations stipulated by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).

The degree which was conferred last year by the University of Karachi to Dr Behram Khan Khoso, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at JPMC, had allegedly been issued without the awardee completing the required post-graduate training in the absence of his course supervisor.

The matter was brought to the fore when a formal complaint was lodged by Dr Rabia Ghafoor, a colleague of Dr Khoso, who took the matter to the court of the Federal Ombudsman after the PMDC failed to address it. “Conferring a degree to an under-qualified and untrained person, that too in a difficult field like dermatology, would mean playing with the lives of patients. This is a serious violation of the prevailing rules of medical education and the matter must be thoroughly investigated,” said Dr Ghafoor.

Read:Rainwater enters hospital wards, short circuit at JPMC

During the investigative proceedings undertaken by the Federal Ombudsman, it was revealed that Dr Bahram Khoso had enrolled in the M.D Dermatology program at the University of Karachi in 2017, while his supervisor Dr Azam Samdani was not eligible for supervising the degree during the same period since his tenure as a foreign professor at JPMC had officially ended in 2012. Furthermore, the PMDC’s rules also specify that a Ph.D. holder is not entitled to supervise a candidate with a clinical degree.

On the other hand, the management at KU maintained their stance that the degree certifications were issued to Dr Khoso after they had received official letters from JPMC confirming the completion of his degree requirements. Records obtained by the Express Tribune from KU affirmed that in 2022, the Executive Director of JPMC had approved Dr Khoso’s postgraduate training leading to an M.D, stating that he had received training in dermatology from October 2017 to December 2022, and in internal medicine from December 2020 to December 2021.

Moreover, a letter from JPMC dating back to 2021, had also confirmed the appointment of Dr Samdani, Dr Khoso's PhD supervisor, as a Visiting Professor for a period of three years, with the former visiting the institution for a few days every calendar year.

While Dr Khoso refused to comment on the matter, his supervisor Dr Samdani, claimed that the matter was a dispute between two people, which could only be resolved by the investigation teams.

On the other hand, when the current Executive of JPMC, Professor Shahid Rasool, was contacted in this regard, he said, "The Court of Ombudsman has asked KU and PMDC to issue their responses. This matter is beyond our limits. We cannot determine whether the degree is real or fake. A decision will come only after both the institutions submit their comments to the Ombudsman.”

When approached by The Express Tribune to ascertain KU’s stance on the matter, the Dean of Medicine declined to comment on the grounds that the issue was being probed by the Federal Ombudsman Court.


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