Avicenna Medical College has a host of faculty as required vide Criteria for Recognition and Regulation of 2012 of PM&DC. Whereas the number and type of faculty specified is available in the said regulation as Para 25 to 29. These are mandatory clauses and are reproduced below for perusal. Also connected with this is Para 20 which gives the requisites of the Principal or the Dean of the institution.
Principal or Dean or Vice chancellor
The chief official of the institution shall usually holds the title "Dean," or "Principal" or "Vice chancellor" and shall be appointed as per Council's eligibility criteria. He shall have financial autonomy, as decided by the governing body. He may have authority and control over the attached teaching hospital and may function as its chief executive also. He shall have ready access to the university authorities and the governing body and other officials as are necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of the dean's or Principal's office. There shall be clear understanding of the authority and responsibility for institution's matters along its hierarchy. He shall be responsible for discipline in the colleges and shall take steps to prevent harassment of faculty and students and ensure that there is no ragging. He shall ensure that the faculty and students get opportunities and time for research. He shall ensure development of faculty by making available appropriate opportunities. He shall be responsible for ensuring compliance of all Council's regulations and for the supply of correct information as and when required by Council. Any default in his duties, once reported by Council to the governing body shall make him un-suitable to hold office. The governing body shall then appoint a new "Dean," or "Principal" or " Vice chancellor" as the case may be, after due process. (Authority PM&DC Regulation 2012 – Clause 20)
PART VII - FACULTY
The faculty shall be as defined in the Pakistan Registration of Medical and Dental Practitioners Regulations, 2008 and appointed in accordance with the regulations of the Council. The faculty shall be registered with Council and only that registered faculty shall be acceptable as faculty. The faculty shall display his valid faculty registration card on his person and copy of his Council registration certificate at his place of duty. (Authority PM&DC Regulation 2012 – Clause 25)
(Authority PM&DC Regulation 2012 – Clause 26)
Service Policies and Career Planning and Progression
(Authority PM&DC Regulation 2012 – Clause 27)
Number, Qualifications, and Functions of the Faculty
The recruitment and development of an institution's faculty shall take into account its mission, the diversity of its student body and the population that it serves. The number of faculty members and ancillary staff in the subjects of basic sciences and in the clinical disciplines, to meet the needs of the educational program and the other missions of the medical institution, shall be as set out Appendix-VII. In determining the number of faculty needed for the educational program, institutions shall consider that faculty may have service responsibilities other than its academic program as in the clinical sciences, the number and kind of faculty appointed shall also relate to the amount of patient care activities required to conduct meaningful clinical teaching across the continuum of medical and dental education. Persons appointed to a faculty position have to demonstrate achievements commensurate with their academic rank. A faculty member or consultant who attends duty or call after midnight shall not be required on duty next day before midday.
(Authority PM&DC Regulation 2012 – Clause 28)
Effective teaching requires knowledge of the discipline and an understanding of curriculum design and development, evaluation, and methods of instruction, Faculty members involved in teaching, course planning and curricular evaluation shall possess or acquire expertise in teaching methods, curriculum development, program evaluation, and student evaluation. Such expertise may be supplied by a department of medical and dental education or by faculty or staff members with backgrounds in educational science. Faculty involved in the development and implementation of a course shall be able to design the learning activities and corresponding evaluation methods (student and program) in a manner consistent with the institution's stated educational objectives and sound educational principles. Community physicians aiding the faculty shall serve as role models for students, and provide insight into contemporary practical methods of providing patient-care. Faculty members shall have a commitment to continuing scholarly productivity characteristic of an institution of learning. To ensure adherence to the standards of the Council, the following amongst others, shall be the parameters, namely:
(Authority PM&DC Regulation 2012 – Clause 29)
Behavior and Discipline (3) No political activity, in any form is to be undertaken by a student or a faculty member. PM&DC shall take serious action against perpetrators including debarring him from medical and dental education anywhere in Pakistan. (Authority – The Gazette of Pakistan 26th January 2012 – Clause 39)
The qualification of the faculty have been revised from time-to-time. The 2012 Regulation was revised in 2017 then again in Sep 2018 and these bear the qualifications for each post and the conditions affecting their promotion and retention. A list of the qualification, experience, training and the quantum of research work required for faculty at Avicenna Medical College is attached as Job Specification List Annexure-A.
The details of the requirements for faculty were received from PM&DC vide letter No. PF.1.G-2017/(RC)/PMDC Regs-2018/1234 and are attached as Annexure-B.
The PM&DC Regulation 2012 gives exhaustive details on the duties responsibilities and powers of the Principal. Clause 20 of the subject regulation have already been reproduced above for perusal. This clause bears full details of the institution of the Principal. Likewise, the job description of all other carders i.e., Dean, Head of Department, Professor etc. down to the medical officer / demonstrator have been formulated by Avicenna Medical College and are as follows:
Recruitment of Faculty
The recruitment of faculty through established means and procedures and only the person qualified is given the job. The advertisement is placed on the print and social media and applications invited. The advertisement clearly mentions the qualifications of the faculty the numbers required and last date of applications together with the date of interview.
Receipt of Applications
All applications are handled in confidentiality and put up to the Principal for perusal. The Principal then marks the applications to the basic sciences or clinical sciences, faculty recruitment sub-committees which are as follows:
Note: After the applications have been perused by the basic and clinical sub-committees the recruitment committee meets on the day of the interviews.
The recruitment committee interviews all concerns who ascertain their suitability for employment at Avicenna Medical College. The salary structure, perks and benefits are discussed with each candidate in an open-minded manner. The terms and conditions of employment and clarifications that may be required by any candidate are also spelled out in a friendly manner. Once the employer and the employed have agreed on various terms and conditions the following documentation is issued to the incoming prospective faculty:
Note: Those desirous of joining Avicenna Medical College are also provided a copy of the leave policy and the job description for which they have been recruited.
Retention of Faculty
Quantum of Faculty
Avicenna Medical College follows the policy of maintaining nearly 100% faculty strength for the purpose of effective and efficient imparting of instructions and achievement of aims and goals of the curriculum. The faculty is expected to abide by a system in which their punctuality, commitment to the deliverance on medical education and commitment to doing research are highlighted. The Faculty currently employed at Avicenna Medical College is as shown in Annexure-F attached.
Note: A perusal of the faculty list of the basic sciences and clinical sciences would indicate the near permanency of faculty of Assistant Professors and above. However the carders of Demonstrators, Lecturers, Medical Officers etc. remain volatile due to their training and professional commitments.
Roles of Faculty
Faculty Development Program
Encouragement to Attend Professional Development Opportunities
In order to encourage the faculty to attend faculty development opportunities, Avicenna Medical College encourages its faculty to attend all possible workshops, seminars and symposiums. The faculty is given paid leave for the following commitments:
Note: All the above commitments are kept over and above the authorized leaves and the faculty is given paid leave and encouragement.
Professional development at the personal level could result in a tunnel vision and narrow spectrum on knowledge that mars effective decision making. However grooming and growth within an organization develops tolerance, interpersonal relations and inculcates effective decision making ability. At Avicenna Medical College, all faculty members are engaged in brother-like interpersonal relations, they care for each-others’ needs and the informal culture encouraged by the Chairman of the institute results in comfort and ease. Avicenna Medical College enjoys the reputation of having friendly atmosphere where the faculty gives their maximum output in an environment of mutual respect and understanding.
National/International CME and CPD Activities
Faculty at Avicenna Medical College is provided full opportunity and are encouraged to attend national and international CME and CPD activities. Faculty is given paid leaves for all study periods of up to 8 days per annum. Further leave is also available as the priority goes to professional development. The college in order to encourage its faculty has set aside funds in the budget for the purpose of research at Rs. 25000 per faculty for co-curricular activities and equivalent to US $ 25,000 for international professional development
Policy for Partaking in Political Activity
Avicenna Medical College strongly discourages its faculty members to have any political affiliation; any faculty member involved in such activities is liable for disciplinary action. No political gatherings, rallies or any welcoming parties to any political personality is allowed.
The ratio of male and female faculty at Avicenna Medical College is nearly 50% each. Avicenna Medical College takes its guidelines from Pakistan Medical & Dental Council in looking after the faculty in a most conducive manner. Some of the measures taken are:
Training the Trainers
The institution through its department of medical education, in collaboration with the University of Health Sciences runs an effective program for training the faculty of medical education to conduct workshops. The University of Health Sciences conducts training workshops for qualified medical educationists at its premises to run programs such as Certificate in Medical Teaching (CMT), Finance Management, Leadership and Research Methodology. These faculty members are then encouraged to conduct workshops for the entire basic sciences and clinical faculty in their own institutions.
Innovations in Faculty Development
The importance of Faculty development and it being a continuous process cannot be over emphasized. This is exactly the policy that is being followed at Avicenna Medical College. Whereas the arenas in which the faculty is involved to achieve faculty development, new ways, means and innovations are arranged to arouse the faculty interest. The faculty is free to express their opinion and come up with innovations that can help expand the center of teaching and learning services. Some of the measures used include:
The college also provides access to sophistication of learning technologies, ascendance of assessment, making faculty a part of internal and external audits and giving additional responsibilities against monetary benefits. The traditional approach of faculty development has to be interjected with fresh ideas to keep the interest of the faculty alive.
Various faculty innovative ideas have been put into practice at Avicenna Medical College. The involvement of faculty in the evening support classes improve the results, the availability of the e-Library, the availability of the digital library and the college link up with the HEC and UHS libraries have all come out as innovative suggestions from the faculty and adapted by the college.
Faculty development is given importance at Avicenna Medical College as faculty development programs help to enhance the knowledge, skills and ability of the teachers besides improving the quality of higher education. It is also important that along with professional developments of the human resource, promotions and performance appraisals be given to them. The college ensures that promotions are not denied to the faculty and these are granted without waiting for the vacancy to occur. It is for this reason that there is element of permanency in the faculty serving at Avicenna Medical College. All promotions are applied for in the shortest possible time after recognition of experience has been received from Pakistan Medical & Dental Council. The college also has its internal procedure of performance evaluation of the faculty. This practice has to be done annually by the Head of the concerned department which is also a requirement of the Minimum Service Delivery Standards of Punjab Healthcare Commission and International Standards Organization. The HOD gives after assessment, a performance evaluation and appraisal recommendation on a performance evaluation form to the Human Resource Department.