HEC Chairman Imtiaz Geelani prescribes a heavier dose of Medical Ethics in Medical Education & Training of Healthcare professionals

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AEME conference at UHS attracts over 500 delegates and participants

HEC Chairman Imtiaz Geelani prescribes a heavier
dose of Medical Ethics in Medical Education &
Training of Healthcare professionals

Medical Education Conference hosted by UHS proves to
be a commendable collaborative effort between public
and private sector medical institutions to promote
Professionalization and ensure patient safety 

LAHORE: The three day medical education conference organized by Association for Excellence in Medical Education (AEME) held here from March 7-9th 2014 proved to be a commendable effort of collaboration between public and private sector medical institutions to promote professionalization of healthcare professionals with the ultimate objective of ensuring patient safety. The conference organized by AEME in collaboration with Isra University and University of Health Sciences, a number of other institutions attracted over five hundred delegates and participants from all over the country besides many foreign delegates including invited guest speakers. Professionalization of Health Professions Education and its impact on health care was the theme of the conference.

Some of the invited guest speakers to the AEME Medical Education Conference hosted by UHS
recently visited College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan Regional Center Lahore. A group photograph
taken on the occasion shows Prof. Ara Tekian, Prof. John Boulet, Prof. Stefan Landgren, Prof.
Ganate Grant, with VC UHS, Maj. Gen. (Retd) Muhammad Aslam, Prof. Omar Ali Khan, Pro-VC,
ISRA University, Prof. Ghulamqadir Qazi, VC, ISRA University, Prof. Hamid Mahmood Butt,
Principal, SIMS, Prof. Khalid Masood Gondal, DGIR, Prof. Rakshanda Rehman, Dean Medical
Education, Lahore, Prof. M. Tayyab, Prof.Aamir Zaman Khan, Prof. Syed Asghar Naqvi and others.

Inaugurating the conference Chairman of the Higher Education Commission Engineer Syed Imtiaz Hussain Geelani said that we face a dilemma how to serve the society better. Medical profession is the most sought after since healthcare professionals are financially better off as compared to other professions. That is why it attracts the best and the brightest. However, at present most of our medical universities and medical colleges are over populated with female students and if this trend continued, we might have to fix some quota for boys, he jokingly remarked. Continuing Engineer Syed Imtiaz Hussain Geelani said that ethical side of the medical profession needs some sharper focus. Our lives are in the hands of doctors but sometimes things fall short of the expectations. Hence, he suggested a heavier dose of medical ethics in medical education and training of healthcare professionals. Doctors work on most sophisticated human body but we as engineers make life. We develop the sophisticated gadgets the doctors use and without the support of biomedical engineers, you will feel handicapped. We have made tremendous progress in engineering but these are the tools and we need to show what we can do with these tools.
Continuing Chairman HEC stated that Pakistan needs indigenous solution to its problems and we have to show them. Higher Education Commission has asked the universities to accept this challenge. Before we give more money, they have to show their performance, he remarked.
Prof. M. Aslam Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences in his speech said that this conference has provided the pathway for a cultural change for academic collaboration amongst UHS, King Edward Medical University, Allama Iqbal Medical College, Fatima Jinnah Medical College, College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan, Services Institute of Medical Sciences, Combined Military Hospital Medical College, CPSP and Lahore Medical and Dental College. These institutions organized twenty workshops which were facilitated by foreign and Pakistani experts. He thanked these institutions for their support and collaboration.
UHS, Prof. Mohammad Aslam said has been declared as the second best medical university in the country by HEC. It has seventy two medical, dental, nursing and Allied Health Sciences institutions affiliated with it with over fifty two thousand registered students. It is playing a leading role in developing an educational paradigm for reforming the curricula of medical and health sciences to bring them at par with international standards. We have a dedicated department of medical education at UHS which is contributing to the capacity building of medical teachers. We are running Masters in Health Professional Education (MHPE) and Certificate Course in Medical Teaching. The conference has attracted not only healthcare professionals but also government and institutional policy makers, researchers, curriculum planners, administrators, pharmacists, physiotherapists, medical educationists and nursing officers. The conference will refresh knowledge, skills and attitude in the development of new approaches to curriculum planning, capacity building, assessment techniques, educational management, and all this will have an everlasting impact on healthcare delivery.
Prof. Ghulamqadir Kazi Vice Chancellor of Isra University, Prof. Umar Ali Khan Pro Vice Chancellor of Isra University, Prof. Ara Tekian also briefly addressed the participants in the inaugural session.
Salient features of the scientific programme included thirty two workshop, 87 oral presentations, 58 posters presentations, nine keynote speakers and plenary sessions wherein almost every aspect of medical education was discussed in detail followed by lively discussion. According to Prof. Major Gen. Aslam VC UHS, made an important observation saying that this is the right time to bring in some changes in the ways we practice our profession. There is a need to make these changes our own as professionals, otherwise someone else might and they are not apt to do a good job.
The topics which were discussed in the pre-conference workshops included How to integrate and measure core competencies, Simulation and Gaming, How to develop Surveys for Peers and patients, A beginners guide to creating a test, change in management tools for professionalization of health professions education, leadership towards professionalization, Scoring performance based assessments, research in health professions education, role of universities in educating health professionals for tomorrow’s global healthcare systems, building a new undergraduate curriculum, Critiquing and improving outcome based assessment. Developing department of medical education, making medical writing and research simple for beginners, qualitative research methods, developing quality questions for written assessment, flipping your Classroom: The 21st Century approach, Facilitating collaborative learning in small groups, and writing critically in medical education for assignments for publication. Invited guest speakers in the plenary sessions included Janet Grant, Ara Tekian and Rukhsana Zuberi, John Boulet, Prof. Mohammad Aslam and John Norcini, Stefan Lindgreen and Prof. Umar Ali Khan.
Khawaja Salman Rafique Advisor on Health to Punjab Government was the chief guest on the concluding session who said that time has changed and we are here to assist you and we will overcome all administrative, bureaucratic bottlenecks, hurdles to implement the conference recommendations.
Foreign delegates also expressed their views about the conference in the concluding session. They were of the view that lot of will is needed to develop and change. One does not have to be afraid of mistakes. Bringing about a change takes a long time and one has to struggle for research. It is important to promote medical education as lifelong learning. We all need to go together including leadership, constituent healthcare professionals, researchers and educationists. We all need to work together to improve the healthcare delivery system. Prof. John opined that poster session had some very good quality presentations. The issue you face today are faced the world over. It is essential that we collaborate with each other. Prof. Janet Grant opined that nobody else has the right answers to your problems; it is you who have the right answers. The visiting invited guest speakers were also very much impressed with the mentorship given to the students. His advice to the presenters was that they must write those papers which were presented and get them published in peer reviewed biomedical journals. Prof. Ara Takian also felt that there were many good ideas in presentations and it was the time for the presenters to think for publishing them. Their seniors, faculty will have to work a bit harder. There are not many publications coming from this part of the world, hence the presenters must get them published. We also need to look and examine the recommendations of the conference. Prof. Ian from Liverpool said that Western ideas need not be translated here following them blindly but you need to think of innovate approach and find indigenous solutions to the problems you face. It is not easy, you need to identify bureaucracy which helps to implement them and get after those who block these reforms. Prof. Ghulamqadir Kazi Vice Chancellor Isra University in his speech said that medicine and teaching combined is a lucky profession. The time you invest helps the humanity which is suffering so much which ensures you rich dividends in Heaven.
The successful organization of this conference also proved the leadership qualities of Prof. Maj. Gen. Mohammad Aslam, Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences. He is a team player and knows the art of involving everyone bringing together all the major medical institutions to collaborate in such academic activities. On the first day of the conference, he had a flying visit to all the eight medical institutions which had co-operated with UHS in holding this conference and organized pre-conference workshops. He spent a few minutes at every institution, asked about the participation and progress of the workshops and if everything was OK as regards logistics etc. At most of these places he was welcomed by the Principals of the respective institutions who were all full of praise and commended the UHS administration.
Detailed reports on some of the presentations and discussion in various sessions will follow.
According to another report, one of the institutions where pre-conference workshop was organized was not so keen and the institution head is reported to have said that what do we gain out of it or what is there for our institution? However, some faculty members maintained that we had made this commitment and it will be very embarrassing to back out. They assured the administration that they will organize the workshop at a new venue which they did without asking for any help or assistance from the administration. It also became known to the invited guest speakers from overseas and even one of them pointed towards this while speaking in one of the sessions saying that there are some “political issues and we do not want to get involved in those” and did not elaborate it further.

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