Challenges towards quality assurance of Basic Medical Education in Pakistan

  • Abdul Waheed Khan Riphah International University Islamabad
  • Ahsan Sethi Assistant Professor, Institute of Health Professions Education and Research, Khyber Medical University, Pakistan
  • Gohar Wajid Consultant, Health Professions Education
  • Raheela Yasmeen Professor of Medical Education, Riphah International University, Islamabad
Keywords: Challenges, Basic Medical Education, Accreditation, Quality Assurance


Objective: There are growing concerns towards the quality of medical education in Pakistan. To help strengthen accreditation processes, this study identifies the challenges towards quality assurance of Basic Medical Education in Pakistan.

Methods: A qualitative case study was carried out from March to August 2018. Participants included inspectors from various disciplines in both public and private medical colleges, and medical educationists from Pakistan. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 inspectors, while focus group discussion included 10 medical educationists. All the interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was conducted to capture the intricacies of meaning within the data.

Results: Data identified 14 sub-themes grouped under three major themes. Challenges towards quality assurance included mounting political influence, commercialism in medical education, weak regulatory capacity of accrediting body, violation of rules, lack of valid accreditation standards and skilled inspectors.

Conclusion: Quality assurance of Basic Medical Education in Pakistan involves various systemic, resource and personnel related challenges. The accrediting body needs to bring major reforms in its accreditation system and strengthen its regulatory and technical educational capacity to ensure the quality of medical education in nearly 168 medical and dental colleges of the country.


How to cite this:
Khan AW, Sethi A, Wajid G, Yasmeen R . Challenges towards quality assurance of Basic Medical Education in Pakistan. Pak J Med Sci. 2020;36(2):4-9. doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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