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Artificial Intelligence will never take over the role of physicians but it can do lot of good things – Prof. Parveen Kumar

We should send the students to community to practice community based learning
Faculty members should not be arrogant, respect students as we are all equal

LAHORE: Prof. Dame Parveen Kumar, Prof. of Medical Education from London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queens Marry University of London was the guest speaker at the interactive session with faculty members at University of Lahore on March 6th 2024. This was part of the academic programme of Internaitonal Medical Conference 2024 jointly organized by Superior University and University of Lahore in collaboration with Pakistan Association of Medical & Dental Institutions (PAMI). AI Horizon in Medicine and Dentistry was the theme of the conference. The session was very well attended by faculty members from various medical colleges of Lahore in addition to faculty from the both host institutions. Prof. Mahwish Arooj Principal of University College of Medicine and Dentistry from UOL and Prof. Muhammad Akbar Chaudhry Dean Clinical Sciences from Superior University were also present on this occasion.

Prof. Parveen Kumar

Prof. Farrukh Iqbal introduced the guest speaker who he said has a leadership role in medical education. She has also served as Vice President of Medical Women’s Federation and Royal College of Physicians. She has recently published the 10th edition of well-known book Kumar’s book on Internal Medicine. She remains associated with National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) UK besides serving the National Health Service for over four decades.

After formal introduction by the participants, Prof. Parveen Kumar in her introductory remarks said that in the past teaching was not a fun. There was no student teacher relationship. Her advice to the faculty members was don’t be arrogant, respect the students as we are all equal. These days’ students talk to each other and mix up. Students Prof. Parveen Kumar opined are always very supportive of staff. Students will now ask questions. We have chair of medical education and Clinical Medial Education Chair which are all recent developments. Such a department should be created in every institution and it must practice Continuous Professional Development. Now education has become more personal. She laid emphasis on learning clinical skills by the healthcare professionals. Artificial Intelligence will never take over the role of physicians but it can do lot of good things, she remarked. Responding to a question from one of the participants she said that she revises the book Kumar’s Internal Medicine after every three years. She edits each and every chapter, look at the color scheme, tables and even minute details like the bullet points to make the message clear. Over the year’s lot of new chapters have been added and it has become bigger and bigger every year.

Prof. Farrukh Iqbal receiving a Memento from HEC Chairman
Prof. Mukhtar Ahmed during IMC 2024. Also seen in the picture are
Prof. M. Ashraf and Prof. Parveen Kumar.

Responding to another question Prof. Parveen Kumar said that one should ask simple questions and don’t expect miracles. Students in Pakistan, she opined, are overburdened. You are pushing them too much. One of the participants pointed out that now most of the postgraduates go for Guidelines rather than reading the books. What would be her comments? She responded by stating that books will and should remain, they are important. Guidelines are just guidelines. One can save money by practicing rational prescribing to make the healthcare economical and affordable. Guidelines can be used in examination appropriately but they should not be misused.

She emphasized the importance of community based learning. At present most of our teaching and training is hospital based. We should send the students to community so that they can understand the community. General Practitioners, Family Physicians are known as community doctors. She also shed light on how to become a good clinical teacher. Now educational certification is needed. Faculty should enjoy teaching; the students will be on their side. One of the faculty members remarked that some teachers are more interested in research rather than teaching.

Prof. Parveen Kumar advised the healthcare professionals to respect the patient. I would not mind and shake hand with the male patient being a female physician. In the past there was apprenticeship model of teaching and training being pursued. Listen to the patients, replicate the Mentors. Prof. Mughees Baig remarked that now Problems Based Learning, Evidence Based studies and small group teaching are coming back. In the past there used to be few patients and a ward round would last for more than three to four hours. Prof. Parveen Kumar said that try to become mentors rather than teachers. During training doctors should rotate in different hospitals rather than just working in a few hospitals.

Responding to another question regarding the good qualities of a book, Prof. Parveen Kumar opined that reading it should be a fun. Print version of books will remain around. I revise it every three years updating it online every month is not possible. One of the participants said that during Covid19 pandemic online information became very useful than books. Covid taught us a lot and teaching as well as training also changed. Low and Middle Income countries, it was stated, should try to take maximum benefit through integration and pooling their resources and ensuring its judicious use. Her another advice to the healthcare professionals was “Don’t lose temper on patients. They are anxious. Try to understand other side of the story. When I look back, the GPs used to treat most of the diseases and the patients came to the specialists for only a few conditions. Respect the patients and don’t be angry with them, she remarked.

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