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Dermatology Specialty

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Dermatology as a Specialty

Undergraduate Education

Dermatology has not been an examination subject; hence, its teaching has not been so regular and uniform. Recently, Pakistan Medical and Dental Council has conferred on dermatology the status of essential specialty for undergraduates, the new curriculum is in the preparatory phase and it is hoped that it would be implemented in true letter and spirit.

Postgraduate Education

At the time of independence, in 1947, there was scarcity of health facilities including an acute shortage of medical teachers and specialists. There was no postgraduate medical institution in the country. Although Punjab University awarded MD and MS degrees, medical graduates had to proceed to UK for higher medical education. Government of Pakistan responded to this challenge by establishing College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) on the pattern of Royal Colleges of UK in 1962. The objective was to introduce and promote postgraduate specialization in the country. CPSP started postgraduate qualification at two levels i.e. Membership (MCPS – Member College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan) and Fellowship (FCPS – Fellow College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan). MCPS was aimed at providing district level specialists and FCPS to provide teachers in the medical colleges.

MCPS and FCPS in dermatology were started in 1970 and 1986, respectively. Dr. Ch. Muhammad Rashid, who qualified in 1975, was the first MCPS in dermatology. Similarly, Col. (R) Dr. Ahsan Hameed has the honour to be the first FCPS in dermatology in 1990. Till the year 2010, 200+ MCPS and 100+ FCPS dermatology were registered with CPSP and these constitute the major bulk of dermatologists in the country. Others hold MRCP (UK), American board/diplomat in dermatology, diploma in dermatology from St. Johns Institute of Dermatology, London, diploma in dermatology from Bangkok, Thailand and diploma in dermatology from Singapore, masters in dermatology from UK and diploma/fellowship in dermatology and venereology from Austria.