Dental Tribune Pakistan

The Obsession With Certificates Over Quality Education

By Dr Yasir Israr
March 12, 2021

Most professionals are missing the point by largely putting so much weight on certificates as a predominant pathway to continuing medical education.

Continuing dental or medical education is one of the critical aspects of a promising career in the field. There needs to be a consistent absorption of new knowledge. This is especially with the number of updates occurring in dentistry or medicine.

The quest for knowledge through certificates

There are many ways to acquire such skills or knowledge. For example, reading a book as the most convenient way; online articles and videos spread through the internet. Another aspect is attending a seminar or workshop, acquiring a formal certificate, acknowledging the number of hours and the type of qualification acquired from this workshop.

Collecting certificates

To clarify, it’s encouraging to see that people in the dental community are taking their continued education seriously. The platform is also providing a safe space for dealing out medical practices. However, it is worrying in some aspects, where there is an almost frantic obsession with collecting certificates.

Certificates: Paramount to achievement?

Most practitioners will jump from course to course. They usually attend just for the sake of the certificates. Later on, used as a trophy to brighten up a cv. This can lead to a decline in the education quality provided. As the incentive shifts from learning to acquire a formal certificate. The organisers in charge of providing that course will also focus on just making attractive certificates. They should try to impart quality education not worth the time.

Spelling doom on education

Most importantly, the recent COVID-19 pandemic displayed this obsession with certification to a greater extent. For instance, many people were projecting a certificate from Harvard about PPE. However, the ground realities showed a different story.

Most people had no adequate knowledge of what even went on the course. They were just content with getting the flashy certificate with their name on it.

Consequently, there needs to be a certain standardisation level for certificates. The course or conference organisers are scrutinised for the level of competency they can provide. It cannot just become a tool to waste both time and capital of the certificate’s hopefuls.

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