Chennai: Promotions are not going to come the way for medical teachers who do not indulge in research and have the requisite number of publications as laid down by the Medical Council of India. With this background, the Tamil Nadu Directorate of Medical Eduction (DME) was recently seen denying promotions to 30 doctors out of 300 stating that they do not have the required number of research publications
MCI rules state that for promotion to the post Associate Professor in broad specialities, a doctor must have experience as Assistant Professor in the subject for 4 years in a permitted/approved/recognized medical college/institution with 2 Research Publication in Indexed Journals as Ist Author or as corresponding author.
For promotion to the position of a professor, a medical teacher must have served as an associate Professor in the subject for 3 years in a permitted/approved/recognized medical college/institution with 4 Research Publications in Indexed Journal on Cumulative basis with minimum of 2 Research Publication during the tenure of Associate Professor as Ist Author or as corresponding author.
However, Director of Medical Education (DME) observed that at least one out of every ten government doctors were not fulfilling the criteria of publishing at least four research papers in indexed medical journals as first or corresponding authors. With the criteria not being met, the department is now denying promotions to doctors. The vacant position for the post will be filled after the criteria will be fulfilled for the post.
DME, Dr Edwin stated to TOI, “Most of these teachers had enough experience and satisfied other criteria, but without research, they will not get promotions. Assistant professors too should have at least two papers to qualify as associate professors.”
The doctors in the state have a contradictory viewpoint on the matter. One pointed out that the increasing number of research projects would hamper the quality.
A senior professor at the Madras Medical College told the TOI, “Doctors in government have access to quality clinical material and data. The intention of urging doctors to do research is to get evidences for policies. If doctors are rushing research for promotion, we will have heaps of research papers that can be put to no use.”
Dr A Ramalingam, state secretary for service doctors and PG association told TOI, “It is not difficult to publish research papers but we don’t have that many research grants. There is tough competition for small grants. When doctors are dealing with overcrowded wards it may not be easy for them to spend time competing for research grants. If doctors must do research, they should be given the time and money.”