Policy Manual 2020 of King Edward Medical University


Book Review
Policy Manual 2020 of King
Edward Medical University
An extremely important useful informative 
booklet which can be further improved

LAHORE: There is no dearth of talent in Pakistan and a large number of healthcare professionals are making useful addition to the innovations in healthcare and medical education but most of them lack the expertize to document all that. As a result most often their efforts either go un-noticed or they fail to get attention of other colleagues in the profession. Lack of proper documentation is also one of the important reason for low productivity of research because for any scientific writing, one needs data which has to be preserved for documentation later on. Prof. Khalid Masood Gondal the present Vice Chancellor of King Edward Medical University is one of those healthcare professionals who realized its importance and has been working in this field wherever he went. This has helped not only highlight the work being carried out but also preserves some of the historical facts. The office of Vice Chancellor King Edward Medical University is now also much more easily accessible to everyone as compared to the past is yet another aspect which deserve to be commended and appreciated.

This book under review “Policy Manual 2020” of King Edward Medical University which gives the road maps and regulations for various postgraduate programmes being run by the university is an extremely useful, informative booklet which of course can be further improved. The first chapter deals with regulations regarding Ph.D. programme, MS, MD, MDS programme, Masters, Diploma as well as Fellowship programmes in different disciplines. The Roadmap given for these courses will enable the postgraduates to plan their academic career. There is an entry test for enrollment in the PhD programme which consists of hundred marks for written test, thirty marks for video-Project examination and another twenty marks are for interview. The second chapter covers the training workshops. Details regarding collaborative departments and research are covered in different chapters. Other useful information included in the manual include infrastructure development, financial assistance and scholarships, National and International MOUs, Quality Assurance Mechanisms, details about national and international collaboration activities by the university, conduct and the disciplinary rules while the last section in the manual incudes some rare photographs. The KEMU of late has been honouring distinguished KEMCOLIANS, former Principals and Vice Chancellors by inviting them to the campus to recognize their contributions, yet another good example which other institutions needs to follow.

Prof. Khalid Masood Gondal in his write up recalls that their Motto was “to enable students and faculty members to rise to their potential, identify their strengths and direct to acquire much needed lifelong learning skills for academic and social pursuits.” KEMU, he further says is following “student centered education which includes a range of disciplines including basic sciences, clinical sciences, information technology skills, telemedine, professionalism, leadership, artificial intelligence, communication skills and ethics.” “A research culture is being developed. Further development of the faculty is being looked into.” The university is reported to have a well-equipped information technology department which can play a vital role in further strengthening various programmes.

While compiling any such manual, it is ideal that all the heads of the departments are invited to provide information regarding their respective departments and then have a critical look to select information which can be included. This minimizes the chances of any error and also ensures that no department is left out. In the present manual, one did not see the details related to Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences. Then ever since King Edward Medical College was upgraded to a medical university, information regarding the number of postgraduates who have qualified from each department should be added. Once this information is available and documented, it will be much easier to update it after every few years.

A very interesting and informative chapter related to History of King Edward Medical University starting from 1860 with the establishment of Lahore Medical School in 1860 has made this manual very useful for future researchers and writers. This chapter also gives information regarding the establishment of the first few medical schools in the Indo Pakistan sub-continent by the British i.e. Calcutta Medical College in 1835 and Grant Medical College at Bombay in 1845. It was in 1886 that Lahore Medical School was renamed as Lahore Medical College. However, the history does not include information as to when and how it was renamed as King Edward Medical College. From 1860 to 2019, sixteen thousand nine hundred fifty one students did graduate in Medicine earing MBBS degrees while five hundred fifty eight are reported to have earned their degrees in Allied Health Sciences which includes one hundred thirty eight having earned Ph.D. (Doctor in Physiotherapy) and another two hundred nineteen having done BSc in Physiotherapy.

History of any institution is incomplete if it does not tell the readers who it earned the title of a University being upgraded from a medical college. It would be worthwhile to mention here that late Prof. Mahmood Ahmad Chaudhry who became the founder Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences was keen to conquer King Edward Medical College as well making it a part of the UHS. It was the sincere efforts of quite a few eminent medical personalities who did not allow this to happen and played their role in saving the identity of KEMC. Credit goes to the first Vice Chancellor of KEMU Prof Mumtaz Hassan who successfully prevailed upon the then Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Pervez Elahi to make this historic announcement of upgrading the KEMC into a medical university. All this happened despite the fact that late Prof. Mahmood Ahmad Chaudhry was very close to the then military dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf and he tried his best to block this announcement till the last minute. As such ignoring such benefactors like Ch. Pervez Elahi should be avoided. One hopes that in any future edition of the Manual, some of the missing information including the tenure of all the Vice Chancellors and Registrars who have served so far will be added. It further enhances the usefulness of such a manual as it will provide the much needed historical background, the role played by various people to earn the status of a medical university. In fact King Edward Medical College being the oldest medical school, college in this part of the world should have been the first medical college to be upgraded as a medical university but somehow it could not due to various reasons.

Prof. Syed Asghar Naqi the Registrar of KEMU who is also Director of Postgraduate Medical Education in his write-up says that “KEMU is committed to encouraging personal and professional growth, He further states that “We prepare students for rewarding careers”. Prof.Saira Afzal Dean Public Health and Preventive Medicine in her write-up has also given details of various academic activities being carried out at the university and future plans regarding E-Learning, Clinical Skills, Practical Procedures, professional ethics and Continuous Professional Development of the staff and faculty.

The quality of art paper used in this 375-page Policy Manual, its designing, printing, binding, reproduction of colour photographs is exceptionally good. Above all the Hard Cover binding with a Jacket cover has made it unique for which all those involved in this project deserve to be commended. Finally there is no harm in learning from anywhere and heads of other medical institutions can also look into documenting the useful work their institutions are doing. The whole manual is also available in electronic version on the university website www.kemu.edu.pk which also deserve to be appreciated. SAJ