IMA strongly opposes move by PCI to use "Dr" prefix for Pharm.D

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Pharmacy Council of India has reportedly directed universities to use the prefix 'Doctor (Dr)' while awarding degrees to Pharm.D graduates. Indian Medical Association strongly opposes any move from those who are trained in other streams of Health sector to venture into medical practice.

As per IMA, "titles reflect entitlement and identity. How can illegitimate conferment become entitlement? Can an advocate or an engineer be called Doctor by an executive order? The confusion it creates in the minds of common man is nothing but social anarchy. The impact it has on the structure of an organised society is evident."

They further said that "The cutoff marks in NEET for Government seats is 497 out of 700. Most of the students of science stream who score less settle for non medical courses. The entitlement to a medical graduate comes out of merit and the nature of the course. How can it be diluted by adding other non medical streams? Then the whole purpose of NEET is lost. Does not the nature of the course mean anything? Bridge courses and illegitimate conferment of the title of Dr. are two faces of the same issue. A pharmacist by any other name will remain a Pharmacist. Their entitlement shall remain different. So is the case with nurses, physiotherapists, optometrists and others. All of them have a place in Healthcare as per their entitlement and everyone is irreplaceable in their area of work. Aspiration to excel in any field needs to be recognised. It has to be legitimate and appropriate. Indirect entitlement to practice of modem medicine on human beings by coloured exercise of power by bodies created for a limited purpose is unacceptable. Transgressions of entitlement are illegal and illegitimate."

The Government of India , Ministry of Health and Family Welfare bearing No R/ 14015/25/96, wherein the Government of India has clearly held the term ‘Dr’ can be used only by the practitioners of recognized systems of medicine.

IMA has the duty and privilege to defend the rights of medical graduates. IMA has written to the Union Health Ministry and MCI on the inappropriateness of the announcement by the Pharmacy Council. IMA demands till the Government of India use its authority and settle the issue as per the law of the land. IMA also urges the Pharmacy Council to take back the unlawful order.

It is known that order No R/14015/25/96 is not specified for Pharmacy practice but it is for different streams of 'Alternative medicine' viz. Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Homoeopathy, Yoga & Naturopathy, Elecropathy / Electrohomoeopathy, Acupuncture, Magnetotherapy, Reiki, Reflexology, Urine Therapy / Autourine Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Aromatherapy, Colour Therapy, Pranic Healing, Gems & Stone Therapy and Music Therapy.

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