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Family physicians play a crucialrole in promoting health andwellness – Dr. Tariq Mian

Panellists feel integrating public health into medical education helps future physicians become more socially conscious healthcare providers

LAHORE: King Edward Medical University (Psychiatry & Community Medicine Departments) in collaboration with Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) & Medical Women’s Association of Pakistan (MWAP) organized a seminar on Empowering Health through Community Wisdom: Unveiling the vital role of Community Based Medical Education and Family Physicians” recently.

Dr. Tariq Mahmood Mian President of PAFP being presented a Memento
at the meeting organized by y KEMU in collaboration with Pakistan
Academy of Family Physicians and Medical Women’s Association of
Paksitan to highlight the role of family physicians in healthcare.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Tariq Mahmood Mian, President, PAFP highlighted the significant role of family physicians within the health delivery system, providing a nuanced understanding of their contributions. He laid emphasis that being the first point of contact for many patients, family physicians play a crucial role in promoting health and wellness, providing continuity of care, and coordinating with specialists when necessary. He also stated that Family physicians are trained to address a wide range of medical issues across all age groups, from new-borns to the elderly, and are skilled in managing complex medical conditions within the context of the family unit.

Dr Muhammad Tahir Chaudhry, General Secretary, PAFP highlighted the Family Physicians perspectives about Community Based Medical Education. Dr Wajiha Rizwan, President MWAP, emphasized about the Community Based Medical Education: Transforming Post Graduate Training. She alongside Dr Khadija also introduced MWAP and mentioned that Women healthcare professionals play a vital role in the medical field, contributing their unique perspectives and expertise to patient care.

They bring a compassionate and empathetic approach to their work. Additionally, women healthcare professionals serve as role models and advocates for gender equality and diversity in healthcare, inspiring future generations of medical professionals. Prof Saira Afzal shed light on preventive services aimed at empowering the community, presenting a holistic view of proactive healthcare measures.

Prof. Ayesha Humayun and Prof. Iqbal Dogar being presenting Mementoes at the meeting organized by KEMU in collaboration with Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians and Medical Women’s Association of Pakistan.

The second session transitioned into a panel discussion, exploring “The Role of Stakeholders in Fostering a Community-Centred Medical Education Environment and Its Impact on Health Outcomes.” This panel discussion was moderated by Prof Dr Nazish Imran Director Research MWAP. In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, the importance of community-cantered medical education cannot be overstated. It not only equips future healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to serve diverse communities effectively but also ensures that healthcare systems are responsive to the unique needs of the populations they serve.

The distinguished panel of experts included Prof. Dr. Ayesha Humayun (Principal, Shaikh Zayed Post Graduate Medical Institute, Lahore) Prof. Dr. Zohra Khanum (Principal, Services institute of Medical Sciences, Lahore),Prof Iqbal Dogar (Principal, Gujranwala Medical College),Prof Dr Syed Abdul Nasir Shah (Family Medicine, Pakistan),Prof. Dr. Muneer Saleemi (Prof Community Medicine, University of Lahore),Prof. Dr. Ali M. Hashmi (Chairman, Psychiatry KEMU/MHL), Dr Rubeena Zakar, Professor of Public Health, Punjab University, Dr Khadija Muneer, General Secretary, MWAP and Dr Hina Jawaid from Health services Academy.

Panelists shared their insights and experiences on this topic, shedding light on the multifaceted ways in which stakeholders, including educators, students, healthcare providers, and community members, contribute to the development and success of community-cantered medical education programs. Prof Ayesha Humayun stated that there are three pillars of medical education, community-based research, postgraduate training and service delivery. She quoted a UNICEF report that there are 308 slums and there are fourteen medical colleges in Lahore yet there are no integrated services in these slum areas. She shared that as a lead innovator in medical education, her Institute has started initiative to take first year medical students to community. Dr Nasir Shah stated that the role of family physicians extends beyond treating physical ailments; they also provide emotional support, health education, and counselling to patients and their families, fostering a holistic approach to healthcare.

KEMU in collaboration with Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians and Medical Women’s Association of Paksitan organized a meeting recently to highlight the role of Family Physicians in Healthcare. Sitting during the meeting from
(L to R) members of the Experts in Panel Discussion with Participants
are Prof. Dr. Muneer Saleemi, Dr Khadija Muneer, Prof Dr Saira Afzal,
Dr Rubeena Zakar, Dr Wajiha Rizwan, Prof. Dr. Ayesha Humayun,
Dr Tariq Mahmood Mian, Prof Iqbal Dogar, Dr Muhammad Tahir Chaudhry,
Prof Dr Nazish Imran, Dr Hina Jawaid, Dr. Ali M. Hashmi.

He also focused on expanding scale and expedite the pace of developing primary care with efficient use of latest technology including telemedicine, health information systems. Prof Dogar discussed the need to shift focus from curative services to preventive services. He stated that approximately 25 million spent on monthly human resource in one medical college and outcomes are never evaluated. Prof Rubina Zakir Public stated that health plays a critical role in medical education by providing a broader perspective on healthcare. It emphasizes prevention, community health, and the social determinants of health, which are essential for understanding and addressing the root causes of diseases and health disparities. It was discussed that inter professional collaboration is the need of the day as medical students often work with public health professionals, policymakers, and community organizations to address public health challenges.

Overall, integrating public health into medical education helps future physicians become better-trained and socially conscious healthcare providers. There is a need of clinical outcome evaluation of tertiary care hospitals and use evidence for strengthening health systems especially primary care.

Earlier, Prof. Dr. Ali Madeeh Hashmi & Prof Nazish Imran extended a cordial welcome to all esteemed guests, setting the tone for the seminar. Professor Saira Afzal, in her welcome note, eloquently highlighted the carefully delineated objectives of the program. Session concluded with comments from the audience and shields distributions.

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