Professionalism comprises attributes and behaviors which maintain patient interests above physician’s self-interest- Mahmood Ali Malik


Professionalism Project by UHS

Professionalism comprises attributes and behaviors
which maintain patient interests above
physician’s self-interest- Mahmood Ali Malik

Medicine is a moral endeavour which demands integrity,
competence and high ethical standards- Maqbool H. Jafary

LAHORE: The first prize distribution ceremony of the ‘Project Professionalism Punjab’ was held here at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) on March 6, 2015. Prof Mahmood Ali Malik former Principal of King Edward Medical College, Lahore was the chief guest while an eminent cardiologist Dr. Maqbool H. Jafary was the Guest of Honour on this occasion and they both presented  cash prizes among the winners.


University of Health Sciences organized the prize distribution ceremony of the
‘Project Professionalism Punjab’ recently where Prof. Mahmood Ali Malik was the
Chief Guest and Dr. Maqbool H. Jafary (extreme left) was Special Guest of Honour.
This proved to be the last function which Dr. Maqbool H. Jafary attended as he passed
away on March 22, 2015. Picture also shows one of the recipients of the
Prize and Prof. Maj. Gen. M. Aslam VC UHS.

University of Health Sciences, it may be mentioned here, has launched this novel project to foster medical professionalism identity in medical students and health professionals. ‘Project Professionalism Punjab’ is based on the idea of narrative writing to enhance self-reflection and empathy, which opens the door for deeper understanding of patients’ and health professionals’ experiences of illness. Similarly, it promotes good practices and ethics in medicine.

In this project, every month one caricature sequence, one photograph and one video is uploaded on UHS website ( Medical students, residents and faculty are invited to write a short story, on the basis of the uploaded content, reflecting their own personal similar experiences and commenting on the best practices in healthcare delivery across the globe and how they would have evolved.       These stories are then evaluated at the end of the month and the best story is awarded a cash prize. Besides, the top three stories are published on UHS website.

For the month of January 2015, the prize for best story on caricature sequence was won by Amna Riaz of Avicenna Medical College, Lahore, for picture story by Dr Sara Khalid Khan, and the prize for best story based on a video clip was given to Ammara Aftab of Avicenna Medical College, Lahore. They were given cash prize of Rs. 5000 each.

Speaking on this occasion Prof Mahmood Ali Malik said that the core of professionalism comprised those attributes and behaviors that served to maintain patient interests above physician self-interest. Professionalism, however, extended beyond interactions with patients, he added. Professionalism also involved the relationships between physicians and other health professionals. It should pervade all of activities in medicine, the veteran physician maintained.


Prof. Junaid Sarfraz Khan Pro Vice Chancellor University of Health Sciences Lahore speaking at a
function organized in connection with Professionalism Punjab at UHS campus on March 6, 2015.

Dr. Maqbool H. Jafary in his speech said that professionalism embodied the relationship between medicine and society as it formed the basis of patient-physician trust. Medicine, he added,   was a moral endeavour which demanded integrity, competence, and high ethical standards among other key attributes. UHS Vice Chancellor Maj. Gen.(R) Prof Muhammad Aslam said that the university would keep on promoting positive activities among its students. The in-charge of the project, UHS Pro-Vice Chancellor, Prof Junaid S. Khan, said that the basic objective was to examine and understand the development of concepts of professionalism across the learner’s life span of students, trainees and faculty.

 “We also want to understand the influence of environment, society, culture, education, parenting, in essence the social fabric, on the development of the medical professional identity”, Prof Junaid stated adding that it was first-of-its-kind project in the country. Prof Junaid was of the view that there is a hidden wealth in reflective writing through narratives, which have promising potential for application in medical education. He urged medical students and faculty to take part in the activity. The function was very well attended by medical students, senior faculty members and principals of affiliated colleges.

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