Story of Brilliant but unlucky students, which belong to middle class but very passionate to bring a change in their life as medical graduates. Pakistan produce thousands of medical graduates every year. Academic study after school became a business in the recent years. Only those who score more than 90% marks during their college get a chance in governmental medical colleges. All those who score relatively low but aimed to be a medical graduate suffer from a common disease in our society called “private medical colleges”, where they have to pay millions of rupees to complete their degree. Then remaining students are those who score same like private medical graduates but don’t have enough financial resources, they move towards the countries like Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Ukraine and many others to fulfill their dreams. It’s still much expensive for some mediocre but fulfilling big dreams is not easy. Five/ six years in a new country, different language, culture, lifestyle, a whole new beginning but that is not the cup of tea for Pakistan Government. It’s never easy though when students rush there, they have no idea what is coming in the future. Spending years of precious time and all the reserved resources, when they come back then starts the real story, the big fish that we call PM&DC (Pakistan Medical & Dental Council) and why I call it a big fish let me tell you.
Please relax and sit back and read it slowly. PM&DC is an independent department who has complete authority over all the government and private medical colleges in Pakistan. Its designation and authorities has been a controversy for year regarding their member’s authorities and the system they are running especially regarding private medical colleges and foreign medical graduates. When some new private medical college comes into origin through some rich medical personals who pays huge amount of money to PM&DC for the registration of that private institute. And students who take admission in that particular medical college have to pay almost 1 million rupees on the name of donation to that institute, well that was just a small example of corruption sweetly done by PM&DC. Moreover, PM&DC has been responsible for issuing fake degrees to number of foreign graduates in the past. Since 2012, scenario has been changed a bit as government of Pakistan took some fruitful actions against that mafia. Governance and members of PM&DC has been changed since then. But dilemma is that corruption has been reported multiple times even after that but situation is much better now.
Here I come to the real story what actually happens to foreign medical graduates after completing their graduation from abroad. Students after completing graduation from foreign medical institutes should start working as an internee (House Officer) in government hospital, instead of that they have to apply for eligibility in PM&DC office and wait for weeks even months being eligible to sit in an exam which will prove that they are capable to work as doctors in Pakistan. Well that was a single exam till 2010 but after that it was changed to three step procedure just like USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination). First basic subjects then clinical knowledge and last but not the least, viva and OSCE/OSPE. After 2012, exam system became fair but issue is PM&DC doesn’t have a proper structure and illumine to conduct exam like their own exam, conducted by UHS. Instead, they give tender in news to conduct exam from any medical college from any province. And if a student pass one step he has to wait at least 6 months for the next step. Which is nothing but just a waste of time for those who didn’t crack that exam in first / second step. That wait for next step without knowing who will conduct upcoming exam is a stressor for the students who has to prepare blindly for months without knowing who will conduct the exam until they announce a week or 2 before that exam, which creates a panic situation for the students. Students who are already in a pile of stress, can’t bear it for a while and those who don’t crack in first attempt suffer from anxiety, depression, and major psychiatric issues. PM&DC has given on their website that they will conduct exam 4 times in a year which means every 3rd month and irony is that from last 4 years exam bas been conducted just twice which means the department is failing once again which made us to ruminate that it’s a complete torture on young doctors who are being rusted by this filthy department. Many table conferences have been called, even students approached lawyers and filed case against that mafia system but all in vain. Major issue is that 5 years out of the country, getting medical degree almost after 2 years passing in PM&DC, almost 7 years of study. May be foreign graduates are not up to that mark when they come back after getting their degrees but PM&DC is one hell of a platform to prove that we foreign graduates are nevertheless than a private or government medical graduates of Pakistan. They can compete any of them during internship or their practice. But even after qualifying the exams held by PM&DC, we are not considered as Doctors. Why government and private institutes always keep us at the least position? Why we are not given paid house jobs? Why we are treated like steps? Forget about paid house jobs, dilemma is that some hospitals think of foreign medical graduate like a joke and don’t even let them work even without being paid. We being foreign graduates learnt to work hard, we did that in the past and we will never let anyone down. Since 2012, many foreign graduates are now postgraduate trainees in every specialized medical fields and they are working like midnight oils without being paid a single buck. Their dedication can be seen even by blinds but our Hippocratic government and private medical professors can’t descry their hard work. When the country like America give you respect and oblige everyone who compete an exam, then why not our Pakistani government and private hospitals and their professors? How a doctor can be a masiha when he is not obliged and bestowed with the facilities he should have to save others life. For such situation, people used to say
“sahab pait khali ho na to insan haiwan ban jata ha”.
But trust me, we tolerated it a lot and we will keep our patience but will never forget. Everything has its limit and hard work always pay off. I am really sorry to say that the associations who are working for the young doctors especially YDA (Young Doctors Association) is not doing anything regarding the rights and equality of foreign medical graduates, hypocrisy everywhere. We have been suffering from years and we have had it enough. It is the time to change the people’s mind that we being foreign graduates are not less than anyone. We have knowledge and we can treat people far better then you government and private medical personals treat us.