Proceedings of Medical Education Conference organized by CCME at UHS-III

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 Proceedings of Medical Education 
Conference organized by CCME at UHS-III

Note: Earlier part of this report was published in
December 1, 2016 Issue - Chief Editor

Prof. John Boulet from UK spoke about Pakistani educated physicians and their contribution to international healthcare force.  At present he said 24% of the doctors in United States are international medical graduates, 25% of postgraduates and trainees are international medical graduates and there are discussions about the future of International Medical Graduates in United States. Residency programme in USA has not expanded. At present there are 12,405 Pakistani physicians serving in United States of which 93% are citizens of Pakistan and almost 14% of residents are from Pakistan. Most of these are form Aga Khan University, King Edward Medical College and Dow University of Health Sciences. According to the new rules after 2023, applicants for Residency must be graduates from accredited medical schools. India and Pakistan has more residents than other countries and these doctors come to USA perhaps because the working conditions, environment back home are not satisfactory. This also means loss of physicians to these countries. Hence it is important that what are the issues which force these physicians to go to USA needs to be discussed so as to take care of the disparities, he added.

Prof. Javed Akram Vice Chancellor Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University from Islamabad made a presentation on professionalism in medical community: Lessons from personal experience.  He pointed out that at present we are seeing a transition. We are gradually becoming good. Our teachers used to be much better and it was essential that we look where things went wrong. We are faced with population explosion and it results in shortage of almost everything. We have not controlled the infectious diseases but are now also faced with the epidemic of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. Private health sector is growing and it will soon take over the public sector. He then referred to the Chaudhry Role wherein everyone is behaving like a Chaudhry over his or her subordinates, the bureaucracy acts like a Chaudhry on medical teachers and they in turn prove Chaudhry for its employees and so on. Similar is the situation as regards the functioning of Higher Education Commission, Pakistan Medical and Dental Council. There is lot of politics in these regulatory bodies. Universities lack autonomy in the real sense. Despite the Punjab Health Care Commission’s clear instructions as per law, bureaucracy and politicians get FIR registered against the doctors. Judiciary passes more comments than judgment and at times it is meant to get more publicity, he alleged. He laid emphasis on training of media personnel as well and setting our priorities right. If we look at the location of hospitals in the city of Lahore, except one, most of the new hospitals have been established in the affluent areas. Priorities in health sector are based on personal motivation. There is no monitoring and accountability of paramedics. There are more female students and lady doctors and after graduation, a vast majority of them do not practice and sit at home. The main motivation for their admission to medical colleges is their parents desire to improve the chances of their marriage. Young doctor’s attitude has brought lot of bad name to the medical profession, they lack direction and discipline. Increasing economic disparity has lead to increased intolerance and frustration, exploitation, hence we need to create a balance between contentment and ambitions.

Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid Chief Editor of Professional Medical Publications participating in the discussion said that the present administration of PM&DC was inefficient and needs to improve its functioning but the previous management was worst. The only thing they did most efficiently was to increase each other’s medical, dental college seats to make more money and recognize more institutions since eight members of the previous Executive Committee of PM&DC were themselves owners of these private medical and dental colleges. Even in one instance it organized test for doctors who have graduated from overseas at DUHS and as per reports by the Commission constituted by Islamabad High Court some candidates who did not appear in the exam were passed and those who appeared were failed. We follow the British Medical Education System and the British realized long time ago that doctors cannot monitor the medical profession that is why over 30% of the GMC  membership is now of non-doctors. We need to reconstitute the PM&DC and induct some non-doctors to monitor its functioning, he added. He also informed the participants that many ethical issues have been highlighted by the speakers. The Health Care Committee of National Bioethics Committee headed by Prof. Farhat Moazam has finalized a curriculum to teach medical ethics in medical and dental colleges. It provides lot of resource material, how to teach this subject i.e. through power point presentations, lectures, Videos and case scenarios etc., and how to assess the students. It has suggested a fifty hours course and left it flexile how to cover it in five years by the institutions.  It is almost finalized and it is up to the PM&DC to accept its ownership and implement it, he added.

Major Gen. Prof. Mohammad Aslam VC UHS laid emphasis on creating learning environment. Dr. Zarrin Siddiqui participating in the discussion said that lady doctors sit at home because of their husband or in-laws. You should try to find best husband for them or do not marry them. She called for flexible training programme for the lady doctors so that they can do specialization, Fellowship training programme, give them maternity leave so that they remain active in practice as members of the health workforce. Prof. Gulfareen said that lady doctors are a major workforce in health sector. It was also pointed out that if we can pick the patients early so that they do not present when the disease has advanced and not much can be done, it will reduce morbidity and mortality. Prof. Javed Akram said that institutions are based on good traditions. We must look at how other professions have improved themselves and we should  look at the needs of the healthcare professionals and try to fulfill them.

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