NMA Tackles ASUU President Over Phd Qualification

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has challenged the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, to help propagate a robust medical and dental training rather than descend into what it described “as the deliberately created confusion” in the Vice Chancellorship tussle in Lagos State University.

The NMA stated this on Thursday, in a statement signed by its President, Professor Innocent Ujah and Secretary-General, Dr Philips Ekpe, while reacting to a comment supposedly made by the ASUU President in a recent interview he granted in Nigeria.

In the interview, the ASUU president was quoted to have said that Medical Fellowship can’t substitute PhD as a qualification for VC.

The NMA, however, insisted that the medical or dental doctoral fellowship qualification is far above a PhD in any other field of human endeavor.

It, therefore, called on the general public to disregard the interview credited to the current ASUU President, insisting that: “We expected an ASUU President to help propagate a robust medical and dental training rather than descend into the deliberately created confusion in the vice chancellorship tussle in Lagos State University, a place that has had medical lecturers as Vice-Chancellor and acting Vice-Chancellor in the past.

“What has changed? If the PhD has the taunted research capacity, how come virtually all those who possessed PhD were whipped hands down when they were matched with their counterparts with medical fellowship without a ‘PhD?’

“The Medical Lecturers cum Professors have more publications with higher Impact Factors (IF). That ought and is what is used in rating quality of research worldwide and the medical doctors excelled.”

According to the NMA, the Doctor of Medicine or Medicinae Doctor (MD); Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS/MBBCH); Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) and Doctor of Dentistry (DD) are all the same in content, meaning and status of qualification. They compare favourably with the PhD in any part of the world.

The group further explained that the MD in the USA, for example, is a postgraduate qualification but has the same professional and academic status as the MBBS in Nigeria! The ISCED rates an MD or MBBS or BDS at the highest echelon of level 7 while PhD is level 8.

While calling on the ASUU President to keep his house in order, the NMA warned that it, “will not tolerate any utterances and actions that are capable of forcing her to withdraw her members from ASUU confraternity and the medical schools completely.

“He and NUC can recruit PhD holders to teach and train medical doctors for the university and the health sector.”

While making a comparison, the NMA said: “PhD requires 280 weeks for completion inclusive of BSc and MSc periods while MBBS/MD/BDS/DD requires 264 weeks; PhD requires 20 semesters while MBBS/BDS requires 19.5; overall, PhD requires 10 academic years inclusive of BSc and MSc periods while MBBS/BDS requires 9.75;  medical fellowship requires between 576-680 weeks inclusive of MBBS/BDS/DD/MD periods translating to 42.05-52.05 semesters with an average of 21.75 academic years. Compare to PhD that can only boast of 10 academic years.

“The statistics above when translated to course credit units saw that even the MBBS/MD/BDS/DD were well above Ph.D.

“The PhD is way below the post-doctoral medical fellowship conferred by the NMCN or the NMCN/internationally recognised WAPMC or any recognised foreign postgraduate medical college as its content is already over-represented in-depth and research.”

While reiterating that medical or dental post-doctoral fellowship qualification is far above a PhD anywhere in the world, the NMA further noted that: “There is no argument on this, as has been shown above.

 “For our information, some universities in countries including the United Kingdom are already offering intercalated programmes where a PhD is awarded along with MBBS or MD qualification on the graduation of medical students.

“A good example is the Imperial College. Is the current ASUU President or NUC going to reject such a qualification when presented in Nigeria?

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