Pakistani medical students or medical schools always tend to be on the news for one reason or another.
It’s no secret that private medical colleges in the country are extremely expensive and not everyone can afford the five-year MBBS program they have to offer. And students who are enrolled in these programs, have other issues to deal with altogether.
Private medical universities are notorious for selecting students by ignoring merit and focusing on their wealth.
Students who can afford to can get admitted to a university just by paying a little more than others. I talked to several medical students who are or have studied in various public and private medical colleges in Pakistan.
I was told horrifying stories about how students are asked for elaborate details of their family’s assets and overall wealth before being admitted to Bahria University Medical And Dental college.
And if you family’s wealth does not make the cut, you do not get selected for their college.
Other than that, a female student recounted how she was not accepted into a university which surprised her since she passed the test and thought her interview went well. She asked around and tried to get to the bottom of why she was not selected and found out it was because one of the interviewers thought ‘she was wearing too much make-up’.
But getting admitted into a medical university is just the first hurdle since private universities are infamous for how biased they might be towards their students.
Recently students at Multan Medical and Dental College were furious after the university stopped their admissions to UHS for the external exams. And these exams are vital for students to appear in since passing or failing in them determines whether a student will progress to the next year in medical college.
And when students do not get their admissions sent to UHS, they automatically have to repeat an entire year of medical college.
And with the hefty yearly fees they have to pay, another added year is not just a burden in terms of time but also financially! The university justified itself by saying students had failed the internal examinations preceding the external one. And universities are allowed to stop admission if students fail these exams.
The students at Multan Medical and Dental College, however, argued that they have failed inconsequential subjects such as ‘Behavioral Sciences’ and they do not even know how they failed and believe this is just a tactic being used by the administration and faculty to exact revenge on students they do not like and to make more money off of them.
And apparently, this behaviour is pretty common amongst the faculty and administrations of different private medical colleges.
I talked to students at other private medical colleges all across the country and the sentiment was the same. They knew that they were helpless in the face of administrations and faculty who could decide whether or not to send their admissions on a whim. And this is illegal but apparently, there seems to be no actual check and balance.
A student told me that her university stopped her admission to UHS even though she did not fail a single subject. The justification her university gave was totally outrageous but her hands were tied because the powers that be had deep ties in medical circles anyway and she believed her complains would either fall on deaf ears or worse; get her expelled from her college.
Another student recounted how she and her friend lost out on her admission because they never bothered sucking up to their teachers and going to their offices just to chat. They could find no other reason why their admission would be stopped since they were in the top scoring percentile of their classes.
Clearly, the system within private medical schools needs fixing because this seems almost like a nightmare.
If medical wasn’t stressful enough to pursue, the conditions students are put through make it even worse.
What do you think about this behaviour within private medical colleges? Let us know in the comments!
Cover Image Source: dawn.com