LAHORE: Recently, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of private medical colleges. Why is there this upsurge? I think the setting up of new private medical schools in Pakistan is, day by day, creating a sense of inferiority complex in students who cannot get admission in well-statured institutions due to financial problems. Another view is that we are creating an atmosphere where doctors of the future will approach their practical field with a touch of business. In short, we are letting the entire medical education system of Pakistan lose its integrity by building schools that lack quality and infrastructure. Except for a few private medical schools, most such institutions fail to produce quality doctors. Many private medical colleges lacking standardisation have turned medical education into a mere game. Medical schools with no hospitals of their own are leading to the entire medical education system of Pakistan losing its decorum.
Some steps should be taken to review the quality of education being imparted by private medical colleges, which are charging students millions of rupees in the name of imparting them with knowledge. A major problem of our medical education system is that there is a lack of emphasis on research, which should be mandatory for all medical students.
In my opinion, CMH Lahore Medical College stands at the forefront of producing quality doctors. Observing the teaching practices at CMH, I have seen that its education system is based on evidence-based learning. Students work in teams in tutorials thus setting an atmosphere of team-based learning. They compete with each other within a team-based environment. I urge all medical schools of Pakistan to apply such a system of learning in their respective schedules. There should also be a change in the medical curriculum with a specialised focus on the viva system rather than on assessing students on written tests. Our system is based on an approach that rewards students for cramming facts instead of being able to practically apply the knowledge that they have gained.
Imran Haider Khan
Published in The Express Tribune, March 12th, 2015.