ISLAMABAD: The World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) has approved the accreditation of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, paving the way for Pakistani medical graduates to pursue postgraduate training and practice in the US and other countries on the WFME list.

The students have also become eligible for the US Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) in light of the approval. Other countries that also require the WFME recognition include Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

In Sept 2010, the ECFMG announced that after January 2023, the graduates of only those countries having recognition from the WFME would be allowed to appear in the USMLE. Later, the deadline was extended to January 2024 due to Covid-19.

In order to remain eligible for the US, the PMDC had started the process for recognition but the medical council was disbanded through a presidential ordinance by the PTI government and eventually the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) was established. The PMC started claiming itself to be the licencing body and powers to inspect medical colleges were subsequently given to universities. In other words, the PMC did not have control over medical education in the country. However, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government in 2023 restored the PMDC which resumed the efforts for the recognition.

185 medical colleges to become WFME-approved, accreditation unlocks new avenues for collaboration

‘To elevate medical education standards’

A statement issued by the PMDC read: “We are thrilled to receive recognition from WFME, a testament to our continuous efforts to elevate medical education standards in the country. This achievement opens new avenues for collaboration and ensures that our medical graduates are well-equipped to meet international healthcare standards.”

The PMDC president, Prof. Dr. Rizwan Taj, said, “WFME’s recognition underscores that the quality of medical education in Pakistan adheres to global standards. This will empower our students with the opportunity to pursue their careers anywhere in the world”. He appreciated the teamwork in achieving the goal.

He appreciated the hard work of medical colleges and hospitals, namely Shifa College of Medicine, Khyber Medical College Peshawar, the University of Lahore, Agha Khan Medical College Karachi, and the Army Medical College Rawalpindi for their support and role in conducting workshops, and inspections during the rigorous evaluation of the WFME.

“This recognition is a testament to PMDC’s firm commitment to the highest standards in medical education and accreditation. As part of this recognition, all the 185 existing medical colleges in Pakistan will become WFME accredited and the new medical colleges set up in the next 10 years will automatically become WFME-accredited. The recognition will further enhance the quality and standards of medical education in Pakistan by aligning them with global best practices and benchmarks,” he said.

He added that the PMDC will continue to work closely with international partners and stakeholders to ensure the compliance and continuous improvement of medical education in the country.

It may be noted the WFME recognition process had run its full course divided into phases with extensive data and information submissions made and evaluated as per the steps of the WFME, culminating in the final physical visit and assessment of the PMC and selected medical colleges.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Iran’s counterstrike
Updated 15 Apr, 2024

Iran’s counterstrike

Israel, by attacking Iran’s diplomatic facilities and violating Syrian airspace, is largely responsible for this dangerous situation.
Opposition alliance
15 Apr, 2024

Opposition alliance

AFTER the customary Ramazan interlude, political activity has resumed as usual. A ‘grand’ opposition alliance ...
On the margins
15 Apr, 2024

On the margins

IT appears that we are bent upon taking the majoritarian path. Thus, the promise of respect and equality for the...
Noshki killings
Updated 14 Apr, 2024

Noshki killings

It must be asked why Baloch separatists continue to target civilians as well as security men despite large deployment.
Upholding the law
14 Apr, 2024

Upholding the law

THE recent discord in Bahawalnagar offers a chance to reflect on the sanctity of the law and its enforcement across...
Tragic travels
14 Apr, 2024

Tragic travels

FOR those embarking on road and boat journeys, the probability of fatal accidents has seen a steady rise. The recent...