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No promotions to medical teachers who do not indulge in Research: DME


No promotions to medical teachers who do not indulge in Research: DME

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.

Read Also: PG Diploma Conversion: Tamil Nadu gets MCI nod for 461 PG Medical Degree Seats in 11 Medical Colleges

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.”

Source: with inputs
11 comment(s) on No promotions to medical teachers who do not indulge in Research: DME

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  1. INDIA IS THE GRABAGE BIN OF RESEARCH !!

    because of MCI present guideline on research.
    Their professor in AIMS & PGI..who have 100s of research paper…how is this possible, expect by cheating or taking credit of a poor post graduate student or subordinate colleague

  2. user
    Dr.Lily Daniel March 11, 2019, 8:22 pm

    To have Research as the sole criteria for promotions is unfair to say the least. A teacher in a medical college spends many hours in imparting clinical skills and if a surgeon, operating techniques to medical students. That apart ,a good many hours in examining patients, counselling them, operating on them and taking care of their follow up.
    For some teachers, patient care is their passion. For some others its research. Its not rare to find teachers who are good clinicians struggling to publish because they would rather be treating patients and vice versa, teachers who are research experts may not be good clinicians or skillful surgeons. Ofcourse there are some who are good at either.
    its not to belittle research, but for it to be the sole criteria for promotions needs rethinking.

  3. Very true. Publications should be desirable and should not be Mandatory. Teachers should fight in the courts of law.

  4. In western countries, the teaching faculty get promotions,incentives and more salary if they carry out research. Research is recognised and encouraged by the medical institutions there. Research alone will lead to improvement and discovery of new techniques or change for better outcome or less risk of patient care.In India,until recently most of the state medical colleges whether private or government did not have proper setting for doing research and most of the research was being done based upon individual interest. MCI introduced published research criteria for promotion in 2013 and this created a situation where teaching faculty are forced to do research get promotion.This was never easy as the research was never given importance before and most colleges did not start any research cell.Some of the teaching faculty found easy way of publishing the dissertations of PG students as their own.It is alleged that in some private medical colleges, research cell is started where the researcher will prepare the original article from students ICMR projects or PG students dissertations for the teaching faculty who will simply write his name and send them as his/her own research.The main problem with indexed journals is proper peer review and plagiarism check and this will eliminate publication/fabrication/falcification considerably. So publication of substandard/plagiarised research in an indexed and reputed journal is very difficult. Already some new journals allegedly without proper peer review process and publication ethics have been started to help those desperately looking for promotion by promising quick publication if money is paid. In some instances, both MCI inspector and the college principal allegedly overlooked whether the journal is indexed and failed to verify the publications with college ethics committee where the research proposals are first submitted. But I always say that publications should never come in the way of promotion for those with good clinical/teaching skills but they should not be allowed to guide PG students.

  5. Medicine is applied science, ie how to save a life with the amount of knowledge gained and procedures learnt, whereas research belongs to different area which mostly narrows down to some very specific topics. The professors who teach medical students not only teach, they are also actively involved in treating patients as well as other jobs related to the day to day running of the hospital (applied knowledge) to which the medical college is attached. Teaching/training medical students, treating patients and other related functions is different from research. Of course when doctors come across certain interesting cases/findings in the course of their profession, they do make some presentations/writings about it. This is done in the interest of sharing knowledge to to others. However, making research mandatory for promotion (even though the professors are capable of training students and treating patients) does not seem to be a good thing. Research, especially medical research should be promoted separately from academics and clinical duties.