Medical education in Assam could well be heading for a major crisis in the days to come mainly due to a serious shortage of teachers in the medical colleges of the State. Several senior doctors of the State's medical colleges have applied for voluntary retirement, while several others have offered to resign from their posts. This is a very serious situation because there are now more State-run medical colleges in Assam than we had in the past without a corresponding increase in the number of senior doctors qualified and willing to teach in medical colleges. The problem has got further aggravated by the State government's unwillingness to acknowledge the aspirations and expectations of the medical fraternity in the 21st century. The government must keep in mind the differences that exist between institutions catering to general education and those that cater to professiol education. In colleges of medicine, dentistry, engineering or architecture, there is need for professiols who have excelled in their professions as teachers. A government that has in mind emoluments and remunerations of the 20th century is unlikely to be able to retain a faculty worth its salt. It is, therefore, hardly surprising that senior doctors should be seeking voluntary retirement or be resigning from their posts if their emoluments in medical colleges are not what private hospitals offer them. The unfortute consequence of what is happening now is that we shall end up with medical colleges that have the buildings and the physical infrastructure but no competent doctors as teachers. This is the surest way of ensuring that we run terribly short of doctors for our tomorrows because we have not been able to keep senior doctors in medical colleges today with the emoluments they deserve.
Fewer Doctors Tomorrow?