Medical lecturer can be defined in two ways. A medical doctor who is teaching medical students in university or any teaching institution; or any lecturer who is teaching medical students in medical faculty. And medical lecturer is further divided into clinical and non-clinical. Clinical means they work like ordinary specialist with ward, clinic & OT to look after AND at the same time they have to teach, handle students seminar, do research & manage student’s research. Well that’s my definition. And one more thing to remember, medical faculty in Malaysia are governed by Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE).
Recently the Ministry of Health Malaysia decided to give automatic promotion to all doctors serving in Malaysia based on duration of service. So many doctors are happy now. Doctors in hospital do rounds, handle clinic & OT. They don’t teach formally even though they have to supervise junior doctors. Young doctors or housemen will fill log books & will proceed to medical officer if they are recommended. That’s basically the teaching in hospital. If they, the MOH doctors, teach undergraduates, usually because they are appointed as honorary lecturer & they will be paid extra for that. Research? Not really. But recently I observed more research from MOH especially when the top managers put research as one of the KPI.
What about medical lecturer. In most public university, clinicians use most of their time like ordinary specialist but they also teach. I know in some private university, the lecturers are just teaching & no service required. Despite the automatic promotion in MOH, MoHE, so far decided not to follow that exercise. Instead they introduce special teaching allowance for medical lecturer….but for me, looking at the amount given, it is peanut. It is not comparable with what our friends in MOH are getting.
JPA came out with new circular. But I don’t see any changes to my salary tho’.
Someone postulated that MoHE afraid that medical lecturers won’t do research anymore if they give automatic promotion based on service duration. They might also worry the non-medical lecturer won’t be happy.
Being a not so clinical lecturer with no ward, clinic, OT to look after and no need to do night calls; I say follow the MOH. MOH even give same promotion to non-clinicians. Many medical lecturer will not be happy if our salary is lower than our colleagues in MOH when we have to do more that them.
Even though many will be automatically promoted to DU54, they should not be considered an Associate Professor. Because AP or Professor etc are academic title & should be based on academic merit. Therefore they should be another special allowance for AP or Professor. That special extra academic allowance can also be applied to non-medical lecturer. For that matter more and more people will make an effort to get the title.
Overall I don’t understand two things:
- Why MoHE failed to see the urgency & sensitive this problem is. We are trainings doctor for the government, for the country. And our salary is already peanut if compared to our colleague in private, and now….even lower than governments’ doctors!
- Why non-medical lecturers are making noise? We do not follow the usual classroom teaching….thinking only about credit hours. The clinicians see real patients in ward, clinic & do surgery in OT. How many non-medical lecturers are really practicing for FREE? We don’t have semester holiday. Sorry my non-medical friends. I know some do consultancy work. But is it for free? I am not bias here as I am also not so clinical. I prefer those relevant get what they deserved.
That are all my opinion on the matter.
It is not nice talking about money. But what matter is justice & fairness. Those clinicians are superhero. They teach but they still care for their patient. They were paid for their teaching, and everything else is FREE. May Allah bless you guys!