Regarding the availability of infrastructure for DMEs, 16 (88.8%) medical colleges had at least one room dedicated for this purpose.
Respondents were asked about the most common functions performed by the DMEs. Table-I presents the list of most frequently reported functions.
Sixteen participants suggested the need for serious commitment from top leadership, better coordination with PMandDC and recruitment of full time, qualified and trained staff as major steps towards developing DMEs in the colleges.
Departments of medical education are considered as a mandatory requirement for the accreditation of a medical college with PMandDC.8,13 The results of the current study reveal that all medical colleges in Lahore had DMEs which is in line with the requirement of PMandDC.
for the staffing of DMEs which describe that a multi professional team from different professional backgrounds including medical and educational expertise is a basic requirement for running a well-functioning DME.14 An ideal skill mix of human resource for a DME includes health professionals, organizers, thinkers, innovators and motivators.14 DMEs are likely to start performing better once PMandDC issues policy for staff requirements and strictly enforces regulations to employ full time and qualified educationists.
DMEs are considered as "a must department" to play crucial role in the planning and implementation of educational activities in the colleges.22 A DME should have an all-embracing function including teaching, research, and service provision and nurturing the carriers of the academic staff.
state that the senior management including deans, once committed, can promote the activities of DMEs in a systematic and coordinated manner.23 In our study, respondents were asked to respond to the level of commitment of the senior management in promoting medical education (Fig.2).
The need for well-staffed and actively functioning DMEs is increasingly being realized not only at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, but also at the level of regulatory bodies and policy making institutes such as PMandDC and Higher Education Commission.
This leads to a situation where most DMEs find it difficult to identify their role and create space for their effective functioning.
Well established and properly functioning DMEs have the ability to play effective role in improving the quality of medical education.
There is an escalating trend for the establishment of departments of medical education (DME) (also called departments of health professions education and educational development units).