I have played my innings well and was quite satisfied with my professional achievements


Interview: Prof. A.H. Nagi  PhD, FRCP, FCPS

I have played my innings well and was quite
satisfied with my professional achievements

At UHS I started the PhD programme, have
trained two PhDs, 4 are under training

From our correspondent

LAHORE: I have played my innings well and was quite satisfied with my professional achievements and accomplishments. I am quite happy and thank God Almighty for all that he gave me. This was stated by Prof. A.H. Nagi an eminent histopathologist currently affiliated with the University of Health Sciences Lahore while talking to Pulse International recently. Giving details of his professional career and academic accomplishments, Prof. Nagi said that I graduated from King Edward Medical College and did PhD from UK in 1971 for which I received training in research and diagnostic pathology at London, Manchester Royal Infirmary and at the Queens University, UK working on pathology, immunology and Electron Microscopy of kidney diseases.

Prof. A.H. Nagi

I qualified Membership of the Royal College of Pathologists in 1973 in Histopathology and was later honoured with the Fellowship by the Royal College of Pathologists in 1985. I also received FRCP from Dublin in 1985. College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan awarded me honorary FCPS in Pathology in 1993 and I got FCCP from Pakistan. My special areas of interest are Histopathology.

Replying to a question as how got interested in Histopathology, Prof.A.H.Nagi recalled that our Professor of Pathology at King Edward Medical College Prof. Hameed Sheikh was PhD in Histopathology. He was an excellent teacher who himself had remained a student of Sir Roy Cameron a distinguished personality in this field. Prof.Hameed Sheikh used to praise him a lot as he learnt a lot from him. I was a fan of Prof.Hameed Sheikh; hence I got interested in Histopathology and thus got married to this discipline. Late Prof. Hameed Sheikh, Prof. Nagi remarked was such a good teacher that you start loving pathology. That is how the Mentors influence their students to take up their professional career, he remarked.

While working in UK for MRCP, Sir John Biggart was my Professor who was another distinguished pathologist. After completing my postgraduate studies in London, I cam back to Pakistan because of my parents and never thought of going back. I will be very honest with you and won’t say like many others who say that it was the love of their country and they wanted to serve here, that is what motivated them to come back. In my case it was my parents whom I did not want to leave alone and wished to live with them, hence decided to come back and serve in Pakistan and it has been very rewarding.

On return to Pakistan after completing my postgraduate training, I joined King Edward Medical College as Assistant Professor and worked for four years from 1973-1977.  After being promoted as Professor of Pathology I joined Allama Iqbal Medical College where I served for eight years from 1977-1985. Then I was transferred to King Edward Medical College where I served for fourteen years from 1985-1999.  I spent five years in Saudi Arabia and then again returned to Pakistan. For the last seven years I am teaching, supervising M.Phil, PhD candidates at UHS.

When I asked him how you landed at University of Health Sciences, Prof. Nagi said that Prof. Jawad Sajid, who was Chief Executive of Punjab Institute of Cardiology and a noted Cardiac Surgeon, once came to my clinic. He was also member of the Board of Governors of UHS. He asked me to come and see him at the UHS next morning. I went there. Prof. Malik H. Mubbashar was the Vice Chancellor who was a bit reluctant to take me on the faculty as he thought being an outspoken person; I will be difficult to manage.Prof. Jawad Sajid prevailed upon him that unless we have people like Prof.A.H. Nagi in the faculty, UHS will have problems with its recognition. However, if we have highly qualified, talented, experienced faculty, the recognition will come automatically. Hence, though Prof. Malik H. Mubbashar had some reservations but agreed and that is how I came to University of Health Sciences. Working here with other colleagues has been wonderful and gave me lot of professional satisfaction. When I had an Acute MI last year, it was again Prof. Jawad Sajid who operated upon me, Prof. Nagi remarked.

Responding to another question as to  who nominated and recommended your name for Honorary FCPS in Pathology to the CPSP, Prof. Nagi said that it is an interesting story.  In fact it was late Prof. S.M.K.Wasti Professor of Paediatrics at King Edward Medical College who recommended my name but it was turned down by Lt.Gen. W.A. Burki the President of CPSP. Even he did not allow his son Nausherwan Burki to get FCPS. We were three friends and Gen. Burki said you are all outspoken and arrogant, hence you won’t get FCPS. I did not need it  either  though I had been supervising FCPS candidates in Histopathology and had trained over a dozen Fellows. Later on   Maj. Gen. (Retd) Prof. Iftikhar A. Malik wrote a letter to the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Pakistan that if such a learned and experienced Histopathologist cannot be considered for Hony. Fellowship by the CPSP, then no one else was eligible for this honour. Hence, the CPSP gave me Honorary Fellowship based on my contributions and publications in this field. I am involved in either doing research myself or conducting and supervising research projects since 1967. To date I have one hundred fifty publications to my credit, seventy of which were published in international scientific journals. I have authored the following five books:

  1. Interpretation of Renal Biopsy (1976) in London published by H.K. Lewis.
  2. Clinical Pathology Interpretations 1990.
  3. Lab Aid 1988. Second Edition in 2012.
  4. Practical Note Book for 2nd and 3rd Prof. Examination
  5. Basics of Pathology and Diseases 2011.

I started a scientific journal “BIOMEDDDICA” and was its Founding Chief Editor which commenced publication over thirty years ago.  Recently, this Journal has been handed over to the UHS under an agreement and its rights have been transferred to UHS. University of Dublin also offered me its Fellowship on the basis of my publications. Hence, at present I am quite satisfied with my professional accomplishments. At University of Health Sciences, I am the convener of the PhD admission committee. Over two hundred students apply for PhD enrollment in eight different subjects and each Supervisor can have three to four PhD candidates. I started the M. Phil and PhD programmes at University of Health Sciences. There is a very stringent selection criterion for M.Phil and PhD at UHS and only the best candidates are selected.   Currently the fourth batch of PhD candidates is under training. I have produced two PhDs; the third has also submitted the Thesis while the other three are under training. I have also trained one Forensic pathologist.  At the UHS I also introduced the subject of Oral Pathology and one of the Assistant Professors if PhD.  I am no more training candidates for FCPS, as we had some problem with CPSP and I stopped taking FCPS candidates, Prof. Nagi concluded.