LAHORE: Vice chancellors and principals of the public sector medical universities all over the country have proposed formation of a National Inter-University Board to bring uniformity and standardisation of the university residency programme.

The recommendation came on the concluding day on Wednesday of the two-day convention organised at the University of Health Sciences, Lahore. It was attended primarily by the VCs of the six public sector medical universities of Punjab, the VC of the People’s Medical University, Nawabshah, Sindh and the principals of government medical colleges besides more than 300 postgraduate students.

The convention unanimously nominated Prof Gulshan Ali Memon, Dean Surgery and Allied, People’s University of Medical and Health Sciences, Nawabshah as the president of the National Inter-University Board and Mayo Hospital Lahore Chief Executive Officer Prof Asad Aslam as the secretary.

The draft for the formation of the Board will be forwarded to the federal government through the Punjab government for issuance of a notification, an official told Dawn.

He said the senior clinicians in the convention also proposed the formation of the Punjab Inter-University Board and nominated University of Health Sciences Lahore VC Prof Javed Akram its chairman. Prof Asad Aslam Khan was nominated secretary of the Board proposed at the provincial level.

The convention requested the Specialized Health Care & Medical Education Department to formally notify this board.

The participants came up with the proposals following the realisation that the uniformity and standardisation of the university programmes has become the need of the hour to meet the needs of the modern world.

They proposed that the provincial board would prepare a uniform curriculum for university residency programmes being run by all the medical varsities and colleges of the province. The convention unanimously constituted a curriculum committee for the board comprising controllers of examinations of the government medical universities.

Prof Muhammad Umer, the vice chancellor Rawalpindi Medical University, was nominated chairman of the curriculum committee.

They also took another important step of declaring that the title “University Residency Programme” would be used in future instead of MD/MS/MDS programme. However, the awarded degree would be called MD, MS, MDS.

“There shall be a committee which will prepare uniform curriculum for the basic sciences programmes of the varsities for which heads of all the medical universities and colleges shall send nominations respectively.”

It was also recommended that after completion of the training, maximum time limit to appear in the exam would be five years.

The convention proposed that the rotation programmes for different disciplines would be available on the websites of the universities and supervisors and candidates would be informed regularly by the registrar office.

It proposed that the government medical universities would offer the MD Nephrology programme.

“The Registrar of the universities shall notify the rotational duty of each and every candidate of the university and the attached medical colleges as well.

“The curriculum committee constituted under chairmanship of Prof Muhammad Umer shall prepare a uniform framework for the university residency programmes for clinical disciplines. It shall prepare a uniform framework for the university residency programmes for basic sciences as well.”

It was also proposed that international observers would be invited to witness university residency programmes’ examination system to ensure international recognition.

The convocation recommended that all those who appeared in the Joint Centralized Admission Test (JCAT) conducted by the King Edward Medical University but could not get induction in major programmes including MD, MS, MDS may be allowed for induction in University diplomas and MCPS on 50:50 ratio.

“The curriculum committee shall also prepare a uniform and standardised assessment system for all the universities. There shall be minimum role of the supervisor of the candidates in the final examination while the external examiners may be invited from the other provinces.”

The convention also proposed mandatory regular audit of the examinations and the feedback from the examiners and candidates. In case of delay in the arrangements of workshop on the part of the university, the candidates would be allowed to sit in the examinations.

The heads of the government medical institutions also recommended in the convention that the number of attempts to appear in exams for the candidates would not be limited.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2019