The face-off between National Universities Commission (NUC) and Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) over the mandatory PhD demand on clinical lecturers has worsened as MDCAN has withdrawn its services from medical education in all medical colleges of Nigerian universities.
The association had earlier threatened to embark on strike if the NUC did not withdraw its circular to Nigerian universities on compulsory postgraduate training for clinical sciences from medical education.
Recall that NUC through a circular directed Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian universities and the Registrar of the National Postgraduate Medical College that doctors teaching students in the universities must have PhD to qualify them for the job, noting that residency training leading to the procession of fellowship was not enough to qualify them to teach medical students in the university.
Addressing newsmen in Jos, the National President, MDCAN Professor Kenneth Ozoilo, who said the association will withdraw its services from Medical education as from Monday said it was an established fact that the curriculum content of the fellowship far outstrips that of the PhD.
“While the PhD is a predominantly academic pursuit, the fellowship is both academic and professional, and as of today, is the minimum qualification required to practice as a specialist, and to teach medicine. Let me also add that this the practice worldwide.”
He pointed out that “all the comments of the NUC have failed to address a basic fundamental question such as what is the deficiency in medical education currently that the NUC plans to correct by imposing the PhD on medical lecturers?”
Professor Ozoilo explained the Executive Secretary of NUC was right in pointing out that some of the MDCAN members do have PhD but failed to point out that in such instances, it has been a purely personal, voluntary and optional endeavour tailored to the career needs of individuals who have elected to pursue chosen career pathways in research and not necessarily to advance their teaching skills or patient management skills.
He said the interview granted by the Executive Secretary has altogether shed a lot of light on the thinking in the NUC and how it relates with the people it deals with.
The MDCAN president, therefore, declared thus: “Come midnight February 24th 2020, we shall withdraw our services from medical education in Nigeria and focus our energies on caring for our patients. We wish the NUC and the universities good luck in finding the doctors with PhDs to man their medical schools.”