CFMP launches Certificate Course for Family Physicians in Diabetes Management


 CFMP launches Certificate Course for
Family Physicians in Diabetes Management

This course will empower the Family Physicians to manage
diabetes leading to less admissions and reduction
in complications - Prof. Zaman Sheikh

KARACHI: College of Family Medicine Pakistan has formally launched a six month certificate course for family physicians in Diabetes Management. Prof. Zaman Sheikh a noted physician and Diabetologist said that the course consists of different modules, a total of sixty hours of which fifteen hours are assignment based while the rest is online. Speaking at the formal inauguration of the course at a meeting held at National Institute of Child Health on April 10th 2016 Prof. Zaman Sheikh said that the objective is to empower the family physicians to treat and manage diabetes mellitus which has become an epidemic.

He was of  the view that it was not possible for everyone to do FCPS which requires a period of about ten years hard work of life of a physician in a young age which everybody cannot afford. The next option is MSc diploma of two years and even that was not possible for everyone. This six months certificate course is the shortest possible way to educate, teach and train the family physicians so that they can manage diabetes. So far about two hundred family physicians have enrolled and more than fifty are in the waiting list which itself shows the popularity of this course. We have gathered a distinguished visiting faculty comprising eminent Diabetologists and Endocrinologists from various institutions for this course. With the help of Prof. Bika Ram we are also planning to introduce MSc in Diabetes and Endocrinology at Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences while plans are also underway to establish Sindh Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology at LUMHS for which Prof. Noshad Shaikh Vice Chancellor of LUMHS has been approached who has agreed to pursue this project. This course will enable the family physicians to manage diabetes and the patients will be saved of its dreaded complications. He also disclosed that plans are also being made to start MCPS Part-II in endocrinology by the College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan.

Prof. Bika Ram from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences speaking at the occasion said that they have already introduced Online Diploma Course in Healthcare for physicians. Two batches have qualified and third batch has now been enrolled. We are planning a two years MSc diploma in Diabetes and Endocrinology. BIDE has helped us a lot in this regard. We have established diabetic foot clinic, Diabetic Retinopathy OPD, Diabetes in Children OPD and soon a separate institute will be established for diabetes and endocrinology.

Dr. Shehla Naseem the moving spirit behind this course who is also General Secretary of College of Family Medicine speaking at the occasion said that now family medicine is a well-recognized and respected specialty of medicine.  Through this Family Physicians have been empowered. Diabetes, she said, was on the rise and since GPs are not trained to manage diabetes, they cannot look after these patients.  With the start of this course they will be educated and trained to manage diabetes scientifically and thus help prevent complications of diabetes like Ischaemic Heart Disease, Stroke, Diabetic Nephropathy, and Diabetic Retinopathy. This course will fulfill the needs of the family physicians. Our theme and slogan is Fighting Diabetes- Educate 2 Health which is also the name of this course. It consists of fourteen modules for which we have selected a forty member distinguished visiting faculty.

Dr. Khawar Mehdi disclosed that Imperial College London which has established diabetes care center in Abu Dhabi has agreed to affiliate College of Family Medicine and collaborate with it in its academic activities. A member from the ICL Diabetes Care Center Abu Dhabi will visit Pakistan soon to have discussions with CFMP office bearers and discuss the academic capacity building measures in which they will cooperate and collaborate.

Dr. Samad Shera who was the chief guest on this occasion in his speech recalled the services of late Dr.S.H. Naqvi who was the founder of Family Medicine as a specialty in Pakistan. He along with his team which included late Dr.Chippa, late Dr. S.H. Moonis, Dr. Uqaili, Dr. Usman Ghani and others planned and realized this dream whereby the family physicians got recognition and respect. In fact it was late Dr. S.H.Naqvi in Karachi and late Dr.Bashir A. Malik in Lahore who were the pioneers of Family Medicine movement in Pakistan. Now even the group at Lahore known as College of General Practitioners and Academy of Family Physicians are much more active than the Karachi group and have regular academic programme including workshops for the family Physicians. It was nice on the part of Dr.A. Samad Shera to have mentioned the name of late Dr. S.H.Naqvi and commended his services for the family physicians and getting recognition for Family Medicine as a specialty.

Dr.Samad Shera also congratulated the organizers for starting the programme on time in fact over a minute earlier. Those nations who do not care for time can never progress. Diabetes, he said, was the 21st century epidemic and twenty six diseases were related to obesity. He reiterated that we should eat less and walk more. He was very critical of misleading advertisements in the media released by some pharmaceutical companies about diabetes and remarked that Type 2 diabetes have no symptoms. It is only Type 1 diabetes which has some symptoms. South Asian population also has some genetic defects and we are prone to have more fat, hence it is extremely important that we should not increase our weight. Metformin and conventional insulin, he further stated were the most safe and effective anti-diabetic medications which are economically priced. He advised the healthcare professionals to use them instead of prescribing costly brands of insulin’s, insulin pen and other expensive brands of diabetes medications. It is unfortunate that these days the healthcare professional’s prescriptions are influenced by the medical representatives who remain the only source of education for some physicians. Urging the doctors to follow ethical medical practice, Dr.Samad Shera condemned those who prescribe expensive medications just to please the Pharma companies who are eager to increase their sales and this leads to non-compliance by the patients since many of them cannot afford expensive medications.  Since he is known to supplement his address with Urdu couplets, he also referred to this unethical medical practice by the healthcare professionals and recited the following couplet:


Education, Dr. Samad Shera opined was the key to successful management of diabetes. Many a times the doctors do not educate the patients on how to use insulin. They can train nurses to educate the patients.  We all need to work as a team and do not bother as to who gets the credit. Our objective should be better care of patients with diabetes leading to less hospital admissions and reduction in complications of diabetes. He reiterated that Cholesterol, Diabetes and Hypertension have no symptoms and this only becomes known when some complications develop, he remarked.

Dr. Abdul Ghafoor Shoro is the course co-ordinator.