Following the perpetual controversy over the issue of requirements for a professorship in Medicine, the inaugurated Committee on the Status of Medical Education in Nigerian Universities has met with the Executive Secretary, of the National Universities Commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, to present to him an interim report on their assigned task.
This is as the NUC reiterated its stance on the need for medical doctors in the academics to acquire Master’s and doctorate degrees to enable them attain the rank of professors.
Reports indicate that there have been controversies over the need for medical doctors to acquire Masters and doctorate degrees following the acquisition of medical fellowships.
Earlier, the NUC’s Executive Secretary reiterated that the recently introduced Doctor of Medicine programme was for an entirely different purpose from the original medicine by fellowship programme and “therefore, submitted that one can never replace the other”.
According to a statement posted on the NUC website, sighted by our correspondent on Tuesday, Rasheed received the team led by the NUC Deputy Executive Secretary, Academics, Dr. Noel Saliu.
“The Executive Secretary stated that the committee still has much work to do in areas such as Basic Medical, Allied Health, Dentistry as well as Basic Clinical and Clinical Sciences as they were all part of medicine.”
Rasheed urged them to work assiduously to generate a reliable record and status of medical education in Nigeria.
“He charged them to dig deep into those salient issues that would restore the pride of medical education, especially by looking into whether the nation’s available medical colleges have training facilities for students and if the students are also properly trained. He told the team that the commission needed to have all this data to know the advice to give the government and other institutions in the country.
“The NUC scribe explained that since he assumed duty, he had fought hard to deal with medically-related issues almost every year because of the fractions in medicine.
“He gave kudos to medical doctors who had refused to be engaging in unsavory issues, remarking that it was through persistence that he was able to get medical doctors together to look at the medical curriculum. He stressed that medical education had to change and expressed his delight about the changes brought into the medical curriculum”, the statement said.
The Executive Secretary further said that NUC had initially wanted to disassociate itself from the medical postgraduate institution that tried to exercise undue powers by awarding PhDs, arguing that people could become world-class scholars in medicine but that a Ph.D. in medicine makes it more complete.
While harping more on the issue, Rasheed said students on the Ph.D. should not be overloaded with coursework like those doing a Master’s in medicine, which is clinically based.
He reiterated that a PhD should be more of research stating that without a Master’s and a PhD, no one would emerge as a Professor in Medicine. He urged the committee to do its best to bring out a good document on the status of medicine in Nigeria.
Responding on behalf of the team, Dr. Noel Abiodun Saliu promised that the committee would compel the Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian universities to submit the list of necessary documents required to help it fast-track its assignment as well as build in the anticipated data that would show the state of the medical facilities in the nation’s universities.
He assured the Executive Secretary that the committee’s assignment would be completed by the end of April.
Others in the committee on the status of medical education in Nigeria included: Professors Ibrahim Yakasai; B.B. Shehu; King David Yawe; Joseph Ahaneku, while an employee of the NUC Directorate of Academic Planning, Saadiya Sambo, would serve as the Secretary.