Simulation has a role in Medical Education, Teaching & Training but it cannot replace real patients


Int. Conference on Simulations, Simulated, Standardized Patients in HPE

Simulation has a role in Medical Education,
Teaching & Training but it cannot
replace real patients

Speakers highlight the usefulness of this new technology
as well as its limitations, ensuring patient safety
and judicious use of resources

LAHORE: International Conference on Simulations, Simulated and Standardized Patients in Health Professional Education held here at University of Health Sciences from November 20-22nd attracted a large number of medial educationists from all over the country besides renowned guest speakers from UK, Germany, Sir Lanka and Saudi Arabia. Speakers highlighted the usefulness of this new technology which has a role and place in medical education, teaching and training, its limitations and disadvantages besides emphasizing that it cannot replace the real patients.  They also laid emphasis on patient safety, judicious use of resources while benefitting from this new technology.

Invited guest speakers from overseas attending the international conference on Simulations, Simulated,
Standardized Patients in Health Professionals Education photographed along with Prof. Maj. Gen. M.
Aslam VC UHS, Prof. Junaid Sarfraz Khan Pro VC UHS and other members of the organizing committee.

Eminent invited guest speakers included  Prof. David Christopher Morgan Taylor and  Prof. Vikram Jha from University of Liverpool, Dr. Kay Mohanna from Keele University School of Medicine, Dr. Gominda Ponamperuma from Sri Lanka and Dr.Gohar Wajid from University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

Prof. Ijaz Ahsan former Principal of King Edward Medical College as well as former President of College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan was the chief guest in the inaugural session while Prof. Noshad Shaikh Vice Chancellor of Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences Jamshoro Hyderabad Sindh was guest of Honour. The inaugural session was also graced with their presence by Prof. Masood Kundi and Mr. Basheer Mohammad from Higher Education Commission, Government of Pakistan. In his address Prof. Ijaz Ahsan paid tributes to the eminent teachers and commended their dedication and devotion to teaching who taught them and that is why we were able to give good account of ourselves, he remarked. He started with Prof. Ismat Anwar who he recalled was taking an outdoor class of third year students in 1955.  A student was presenting at the case of a scrotal swelling and had elicited both fluctuation and transillumination. However, he was tongue-tied about the diagnosis. The teacher then remarked, Well, young man, it surely cannot be a ping-pong ball struck in the scrotum. So, what can it be? At this the student finally came out with a faint, a hydrocele.


Prof. Major Gen.M. Aslam VC UHS visited the Medical Education Dept. of
FJMC on November 20th. Picture taken on this occasion shows from
(L to R) Prof. Amar Zaman Khan, Prof. Maj. Gen. M. Aslam,
Prof. Sardar Fakhar Imam Principal FJMC and
Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid Chief Editor Pulse International.

He recalled yet another case in 1956 when the Verandah of West Medical Ward at Mayo Hospital was sunlit.  There was a versatile feast of clinical medicine on the five beds in a row. Today was the day for pleural effusions: a tuberculous, a cardiac, a renal, a septic and a loculated empyema.  Each case was successively presented by a student; the differences among the clinical features of each became self-evident. Prof. Ijaz Ahsan remarked that he has never imagined clinical medicine being taught in a better manner than by the great and glorious Prof. Pirzada.  However, when our turn came in the final year to benefit from his expertise, he left on a month long visit to China.  He also paid tributes to late Prof. Sami the noted Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. Even in pre-medical FSc, at Government College Lahore, Prof.Sultan Ahmed of Botany was a beacon of light. There were only monocular microscopes in those days. His eyes were always bloodshot from looking at hundreds of slides a year. He discovered many species of plants that were named after him.  It was due to such dedicated teachers that our graduates were able to perform well not only at home but overseas as well. Thousands of them are now working as consultants in countries like USA, UK, Middle East and many other countries.

Picture on left shows VC UHS Prof. Maj. Gen.M. Aslam presenting mementoe to Prof. Ijaz Ahsan
who was the chief guest at the Simulations conference held at UHS recently while on right the
picture shows Prof. Ijaz Ahsan presenting mementoes to Prof. Kundi from HEC
and Prof. Noshad Sheikh VC Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences.

Continuing Prof. Ijaz Ahsan said that with the advancement of teaching methods, we have simulated as well as standardized patients which make comparisons between different examinations more accurate.  Pakistan has made tremendous progress in the field of health services eversince independence and now we have thousands of doctors in each district which before partition used to have just one or two doctors. Because of rampant corruption coupled with terrorism, it gives the impression as if in Pakistan there is only negativity.  However, this is far from the truth. A country which has produced poets like Faiz and Ghalib cannot be all bad, he remarked.

Prof. Noshad Sheikh in his brief address referred to the modern teaching techniques while Prof. Masood Kundi from HEC opined that to raise the academic standards, organization of such conferences was extremely important. Society in Pakistan, he further stated, needs promotion of medical education, manners and medical care. He assured all possible help and assistance from the HEC to the UHS for its academic activities.

Sitting on the Dais in the inaugural session of Simulations Conference held at UHS are Mr. Basheer from
HEC, Prof. Musarrat, Prof.Noshad Sheikh VC LUMHS, Prof. Ijaz Ahsan (Chief Guest) Prof. Kundi from HEC,
Prof.Maj. Gen. Mohammad Aslam VC UHS and Prof.Junaid Sarfraz Khan Pro VC University
of Health Sciences. On right is a view of the participants.

Prof. Junaid Sarfraz Khan Pro Vice Chancellor of UHS in his speech referred to the formation of Council for Collaboration in Medial Education (CCME) and pointed out that there are seventy two medical, dental and allied health institutions affiliated with University of Health Sciences. We have thousands of faculty members which are a great resource. We wanted to ensure collaboration between these institutions, coordinate our efforts at national and regional level to promote the discipline of medical education. We cannot blindly follow the Western model for teaching and training, hence we need to plan keeping in view our resources and needs and all these issues will be looked into by the CCME, he remarked.

Earlier Maj. Gen. Mohammad Aslam Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences in his welcome address thanked the invited guest speakers from overseas as well as the facilitators for the workshops besides the participants. This yea,r Gen. Aslam said has seen quite a few international conferences being organized at UHS which included International Conference of Association for Excellence in Medial Education held in March while Pakistan Association of Medical Editors (PAME) held its Second National Conference at UHS during April 2014. International Conference on Emerging Trends in Molecular Forensics was held in May 2014 while Conference on Dental Research was organized in October this year. Now holding this conference on Simulations is a historical landmark for both the University of Health Sciences and Health Profession’s Education.  Pakistan Medical & Dental Council, College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan, Pakistan Medical Research Council and Pakistan Science Foundation have all provided valuable help and assistance for holding this conference, he added. Simulations, use of simulated patients for teaching and training has expanded opportunities for medical students. This fascinating new technology offers many advantages but it does have some limitations as well. Unfortunately these advances so far had remained confined to developed countries and did not tickle down to under–resourced nations. To make these efforts collective, conferences, courses and seminars are imperative. We have over fifty two thousands medical, dental and allied health professional students enrolled with the university. This conference he hoped, will define a pathway for the professionals interested in improving their technical abilities by using fascinating new techniques.

Concluding Session

Prof. Jawad Sajid former Chief Executive of Punjab Institute of Cardiology was the chief guest in the concluding session. He paid rich tributes to the late Prof. Mahmood Ahmad Chahdury the founder of University of Health Sciences who despite lot of opposition from the medical profession was able to establish University of Health Sciences. At times he was rude, uncultured but he was a great thinker and visionary. He went ahead with his idea of establishing the UHS which is now serving thousands of students and faculty members, he remarked.

Prof. Major Gen. Mohammad Aslam Vice Chancellor of UHS in his speech referred to the pre-conference workshops organized a various medical institutions affiliated with UHS. It covered a variety of contents for the participants to learn. Participation of overseas facilitators has enriched the contents of these workshops. Simulations can be used for various invasive procedures but they cannot replace real patients.  We should develop local technology and produce the Manikins and Simulation material locally but while using these new technologies, we must keep the ethical behaviour in mind he remarked.

Prof. Junaid Sarfraz Khan said that we are capable of finding a solution to our problems through collaboration and co-ordination by ensuring more open communication between different stake holders.

Pre-conference workshops

 Pre-conference workshops were organized at UHS besides Services Institute of Medical Sciences, Fatima Memorial Medical College, King Edward Medical University, Fatima Jinnah Medical College besides Lahore Medical and Dental College. The topics discussed in these workshops and the facilitators were Involving real patients in health profession’s teaching and research  Dr. Vikram Jha, Establishing simulation center in a medical college: experience from Rawalpindi Medical College Dr. Gohar Wajid and Dr. Idrees  Anwer, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Assessment of Attitudes and Ethics in Health Professionals by Dr. Mowadat H.Rana, Gasification and simulation with Power Point: Recent trends in Medical Education by Dr. Masood Jawaid, Embracing Cultural aspects of Professionalism. What are the elements, and how much do they matter? By Dr. Usman Mahboob, Simulations in Medical Education Prof. Abdul Majeed Chaudhry, Helping healthcare professionals give patients explanations they can understand by Dr. Kay Mohanna, Using simulated patients for learning and assessment of clinical skills by Dr.Amina Ahmed an Dr. Muhammad Tayyab, Workplace-based assessment by Dr. Gominda Ponamperua and Behavior change (A missing link in a change process) by Dr. Syed Hassan Shoaib.

The scientific programme of the conference consisted of invited lectures in plenary sessions besides free paper session. Detailed report on these presentations will follow.  At the conclusion of this successful conference one hopes the conference organizers will have an in-depth analysis and look at the deficiencies and short comings if any because there is always room for improvement. They must realize that it is the team work which ensures greater success hence all efforts should be made to make use of available talent, resources to achieve the desired objectives.