Medical Education has a great potential as a professional career


Interview: Dr. Brekhna Jamil BDS, MPH, MHPE

Medical Education has a great
potential as a professional career

Now many young faculty members are joining
MHPE courses
 at different institutions

PESHAWAR: Institute of Health Professions Education and Research (IHPE&R) is an important component of Khyber Medical University, Peshawar. It is doing a commendable job teaching, training and professional capacity building of healthcare professionals ever since its inception. It has the unique distinction of having three full time medical educationists as faculty members two of whom Dr. Usman Mahboob and Dr. Ahsan Sethi are PhDs. The third important faculty member is Dr. Brekhna Jamil who qualified as MHPE from the very first batch which graduated from IHPE&R. Three days with the medical educationists during the 6th International Conference on Health Profession’s Education organized by IHPER at KMU from April 19-21st was a great learning experience. Dr. Brekhna Jamil was the live wire during this conference; one cannot ignore smart, outspoken, assertive and authoritative Brekhna Jamil if she is around. Like all members of the younger generation she is also quite active on the social media including Face Book and she is also known as a Selfi expert.  During the conference, I took out some time to talk to her and asked her as to why she selected Medical Education as a professional career, what are the future prospects in this field and other related issues. Given below are the excerpts from the conversation:

Dr. Brekhna Jamil

“I did Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) from Khyber College of Dentistry, University of Peshawar in 2006. Later I got enrolled in MPH course at the Institute of Management Sciences at KMU and qualified in 2009. I was among the very first batch of Masters in Health Professions Education (MHPE) started by Khyber Medical University and earned the MHPE degree in 2014. I started my career in medical education in 2011 and enjoyed administration running and managing the affairs of IHPER as Director from 2011-2017.

In dentistry there are very limited opportunities. You could only do FCPS. When I got opportunity, I grabbed it and opted Medical Education as a full time professional career. It is an immense pleasure t work with senior people. I enjoy it. It is quite fascinating and a respectable job. Prof. Hafeezullah the former Vice Chancellor of Khyber Medical University helped me a lot. I was also fortunate to get the guidance, help and assistance from Dr. Gohar Wajid, Prof.Idrees Anwar and Sahibzada Mahmod Noor the noted medical educationists. In the practice of dentistry, doctor patient relationship is very crucial and important but as stated earlier, dentistry offers limited opportunities. That is why many people from this discipline opt for other fields after doing BDS. M.Phil is the only other degree available.

Medical Educationists is a supervisory job and I enjoy it. I am involved in lot of teaching, training. It was my parent’s choice that I should become a dental surgeon. I enjoyed it and I am quite happy. It provides lot of opportunities to learn from seniors and many of my friends envy me. My sister is also a dentist and she is at present working in UK. Medical education was a new discipline. We started MHPE at Khyber Medical University soon after Dow University of Health Sciences. In the beginning people had a different perception but now everyone has realized its importance with the result that now many young faculty members are joining MHPE courses at different medical institutions. Now the younger generation of doctors seems to be quite interested in this field. Every year about one hundred to one hundred twenty people apply for twenty seats for this two years course at Khyber Medical University and the best candidates are selected after interview and short listing. Apart from Masters in Health Professions Education, there is also a Certificate Course in Medical Education and now the PM&DC is going to make it mandatory for all the faculty members, hence it has a great potential and bright future as a professional career.

I started my professional career in the field of medical education as Assistant Professor in IHPE&R in 2014. I have experience in curriculum development, teaching skills, assessment technique. I have organized and conducted Certificate Courses as well as five international conferences on Medical Education and Research at KMU. I was appointed as Director of IHPE&R in December 2011 and served in that capacity till November 2017. I am also working as Managing Editor of Advances in Health Professions Education Journal started by IHPE&R, has worked as Lecturer at Khyber Medical University from October 2009 till December 2014. I am a visiting faculty member for MHPE programme at University of Health Sciences Lahore, University of Lahore besides being an external examiner for conducting MHPE exam at University of Health Sciences Lahore. I have supervised many MHPE students and keenly interested in research in this discipline. As a part of my continuous professional development, I have attended numerous workshops, training courses in Research, Bioethics, and Teaching Methodology.  I am always keen to avail any opportunity to keep myself abreast with latest developments in the field of Medial Education and Research. I was awarded Life Time Achievement Award by the Khyber Medical University in recognition of my services towards medical education on February 24th 2017.”

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