Maryam Abeeb, Abuja
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 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.