The world is leading in medical research and we are just focusing on producing practitioners. Research is premium than medical practice. The pandemic exposes two major fault lines existing in the field of medicine. First, there has been over-reliance on medical practice. Second, without research, medical practice is just for time being not for the long term.
Pakistan needs more medical researchers than professionals only for practice. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare a reality. Medical research is premium than medical practice.
Globally, there are more medical practitioners than there are medical researchers, just because medical practice yields financial and career benefits more than medical research does.
Nevertheless, the pandemic dictates that at the forefront of medical research and ancillary to it is the practice of medicine. Ironically, medical practitioners are advising prevention, which is not tantamount to medical practice. Instead, practitioners are supposed to treat.
Thousands of COVID-19 infected patients have lost their lives despite being surrounded by the best medical practitioners.
In Punjab, Lahore is the worst-hit city by COVID-19. In Lahore, there are two main medical universities: King Edward Medical University (KEMU) and the University of Health Sciences (UHS). Both were founded to advance medical education and medical research in Pakistan and both have been consuming millions of public money every year to run their affairs. At this juncture of the COVID-19 crisis, it is significant to take an overview of their performance.
To ensure its survival, the UHS did four things. First, the university kept its monopoly over conducting yearly medical entry examinations throughout Punjab. Second, the university secured the affiliations of most dental and medical colleges in Punjab. Third, the university sought affiliation with various universities in the world. Fourth, the university put in place a public relations department to manage the media in favor of the university. All four factors are still the reason for the survival of the UHS.
Universities need to upgrade their method of teaching while making students experts in research.