Concentrate on hard work, follow basic principles of surgery and Pathways set for Pakistan not UK or North America

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Prof. Ronan O’Connell’s advice to your surgeons attending
Colorectal Surgery Week at JPMC
Concentrate on hard work, follow basic
principles of surgery and Pathways set for
Pakistan not UK or North America
Be careful while using new techniques and
become lifelong learners
Follow safe techniques and ensure safe surgery,
patient safety as quality outcome is important
- Prof. John Nicholls

Karachi: Public hospitals usually get lot of bad publicity in both print as well as electronic media but none has every tried to highlight the good work being done by the public healthcare facilities which even today remain the last hope for millions of patients who cannot afford to get treatment in private hospitals. Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre at Karachi is one such public healthcare facility which keeping up its past traditions successfully organized the 14th annual course for Colorectal Diseases which concluded on October 17th, 2019. It attracted a large number of surgeons interested in colorectal surgery from all over the country which included a large number of young trainee surgeons and postgraduate students who got a rare opportunity to listen and learn from the world renowned colorectal surgeons from Europe. The registration was free though mandatory for CME credit and the presentations as well as live surgery from the operation theatre was shown live not only to the participants at Karachi but also at twenty two centers in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Mingora Swat.


Photographed during the concluding session of 14th Annual Surgical Week for Colorectal
Diseases at JPMC from (L to R) are Prof. Shamim Qureshi, Prof. Yves Panis from France,
Dr. Seemin Jamali Director JPMC, Prof. Ralph John  Nicholls from UK, Prof. Ronan
O’Connell from Ireland and Prof. Mumtaz Mahar. Photo Courtesy Shams Qureshi

Prof. Mumtaz Mahar the well-known Colorectal Surgeon and Chairman of the organizing committee who started this academic activity at JPMC fourteen years ago when he was serving at JPMC may not have imagined that this will continue even after his retirement. However, credit goes to Prof. Shamim Qureshi Secretary of the organizing Committee and his team for efficiently running this programme under the patronage of Prof. Mumtaz Mahar. Eminent colorectal surgeons from all over the world including USA, Europe, India and Singapore have been regularly coming to participate in this programme which is planned in such a way that the invited Master Trainers, Clinical Coordinator are requested much in advance and the programme is also shared with the participants almost a year ago. Despite the poor law and order situation in the city in the past, these guests were brave enough to fulfill their commitments for which they also deserve to be complimented. Prof. Ralph John Nicholls from UK deserve special mention as it was his third visit to Pakistan. In recognition of his commitment, dedication and devotion to teach and train the young surgeons in Pakistan, Prof. Mumtaz Mahar suggested that in future they will have a special Lecture in his name every year.

The Master Trainer for the course this year was Prof. Yves Panis Professor of Digestive Surgery and Head of the Dept.of Colorectal Surgery in Beaujon Hospital, University Paris. Prof. Ronan O’Connell Prof. of Surgery and Head, Section of Surgery and Surgical Specialties in School of Medicine and Medical Sciences at University College Dublin Ireland was the Course coordinator while the third guest included Prof. Ralph John Nicholls from Imperial College, London.


Dr. Seemin Jamali Director JPMC presenting a memento to Prof. Yves Panis colorectal
surgeon from France who was the Master Trainer at the 14th Surgical Week for Colorectal
Diseases organized by JPMC. Picture on extreme right also shows Prof. John Nicholls
and Prof. Ronan O’Connell the other two distinguished colorectal surgeons from Europe
who also participated in the course. Photo Courtesy Shams Qureshi.

Speaking in the concluding session Prof. Ronan O’Connell advised the participants and the young trainees, postgraduates in particular to concentrate on hard work, become lifelong learners, follow basic principles of surgery and pathways set for Pakistan and not UK and North America. They must also learn from each other. He reminded the participants that all that glitters is not Gold. They must be careful while adopting any new techniques, using new drugs and devices which are being developed by the pharmaceutical trade and industry because they are in business, they have to push their sales and they have to protect their own interests. Every new thing claims over 80% efficacy and safety but they must make their own objective assessment and also remember that many a time’s later results are not so good. Maintain your interest in learning. He specially reminded the participants to follow the pathways set for Pakistan and not those for UK and North America. He hoped that the participants will remember some practice points and follow them in the practice which will help improve patient care. In Ireland, he further stated, we have many doctors from Pakistan, they are doing a commendable job and we cannot run the National Health Service with them, he remarked.

Prof.Ralph John Nicholls in his speech remarked that this was his third visit to Pakistan and he has always enjoyed the exceptional hospitality here in Pakistan. This time he was a passive observer and listened to a series of lectures besides witnessing the live demonstration by the Master Trainer. He further stated that expectation and quality outcome is important. We must see how does it influence good practice and ensures safe surgery and patient safety. He commended Prof. Shamim and his team for making excellent arrangements for the course.

Prof. Yves Panis the Master Trainer in his brief speech said that it was not easy to come to Pakistan but he will come back again and again if invited. I can learn something from you as well in the field of colorectal surgery. Prof.Mutaz Mahar appreciated the quality of illuminating talks by Prof. Panis and Ronan O’Connell besides his surgical techniques during the procedures which he performed during the course. Prof. Seemin Jamali Director JPMC thanked the visitors for sharing their knowledge and experience with surgeons in Pakistan and also thanked Prof. Mumtaz Mahar, Prof. Shamim Qureshi and his team. Prof. Shamim Qureshi thanked all those in the pharmaceutical trade and industry who extended their valuable help and assistance in organizing this course for the last fourteen years. Prof. Iqbal Afridi Chairman of the CME committee suggested that patients in this part of the world are shy and reluctant to consult the doctors for their colorectal problems and these cultural issues also needs to be discussed in future meeting so that the patient come when the disease in its early stages when they can be helped a lot and the results can be much better. Later mementoes were presented to the guests, members of the organizing committee, sponsors besides appreciation certificates to the team of technicians, nursing staff, anesthetists working in the Operation Theatre.


Some of the visiting Colorectal Surgeons who participated in the 14th Surgical Week for
Colorectal Diseases held at JPMC photographed alongwith Prof. Mumtaz Mahar, Prof.
Shamim, Prof.Tariq Mahmood and others. 
Photo Courtesy Shams Qureshi.

Earlier during the inaugural session on October 14th Prof. Tariq Mahmood on behalf of the JPMC administration welcomed the visitors and thanked them for coming to Pakistan to teach and train the Pakistani surgeons. Prof. Ronan O’Connell said that it was a unique experience wherein surgeons from resource rich countries are coming to country with limited resources to share their ideas and experience. He was of the view that we must concentrate on fundamentals of surgery, techniques which are easy to practice in this country which must be preferred besides highlighting the other techniques which are feasible and practical in low resource countries. We must master the techniques, ensure safe surgery and patient safety which remains the most important aspect. Prof.Ralph John Nicholls stated that it was fascinating to teach and train vibrant young trainees. People of Pakistan are very friendly, last time he also visited Lahore and was immensely impressed with the beauty of this country. Our focus, he further stated, must remain how to look at the patient and optimization of the available treatment facilities. It was followed by a lecture on Changing practice in rectal cancer management. Detailed reports to follow.

Mr. Shams Qureshi and his team with audiovisual arrangements deserve special mention as they ensured live transmission to the twenty two centers all over the country without any interruption and there was no problem and hindrance observed throughout the four days of the colorectal surgery course. He also presented an album of photographs of their visit to all the three distinguished colorectal surgeons.

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