IHPER at KMU is working on integrated curriculum development


 Interview: Dr. Ahsan Sethi BDS, MPH, PhD

IHPER at KMU is working on integrated
curriculum development

To begin with we have developed five modules for First Year which
is being implemented as a pilot project at 5 medical colleges

From our correspondent

PESHAWAR: Institute of Health Profession’s Education and Research (IHPER) is affiliated with Khyber Medical University. It has three medical educationists in its faculty myself, Dr. Usman Mehboob both are PhD while the third faculty member is Dr. Brekhna Jamil. We have about twenty medical and dental colleges affiliated with the university. We are working on integrated curriculum development. As a pilot project, we have started working with North West School of Medicine, Rehman Medial Institute, Khyber Girls Medical College, Khyber Medical College and Kohat Institute of Medial Sciences. This was stated by Dr. Ahsan Sethi, BDS (Pak), MPH (Pak), MMEd (Dundee, UK), FHEA (UK), MAcadMEd (UK), PhD Medical Education (Dundee, UK) Assistant Professor, Institute of Health Professions Education & Research at Khyber Medical University while talking to Pulse International recently.

Dr. Ahsan Sethi

To begin with we have developed five modules for First Year MBBS. Since the assessment is still the same and it has not changed, we cannot take the risk of changing the entire curriculum. In order to develop a new assessment system, we have to work a lot. With current capacity we cannot do that and it will take some time, he remarked. Once integrated curriculum is developed, we will introduce it in other medical and dental colleges as well. Now our role as faculty members is increasing and we need more faculty as well as support staff in the department. He also disclosed that they wanted to start PhD programme in medical education but as per Higher Education Commission requirements, we must have at least three PhDs in the department before we can do that. At present we are only two, we cannot train any one and no one is coming from overseas, hence we are struck up. Since we cannot start PhD programme, we have now approached the College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan and requested them to allow us to start FCPS in Medical Education. We have applied to the PM&DC as well and once we get their approval, we will start these postgraduate programmes in medical education, he added.

Career in Medical Education

When asked how he developed interest in the new emerging discipline of medical education, Dr. Ahsan Sethi said that “I graduated from Khyber College of Dentistry in 2008. I soon realized that there were very few opportunities in dentistry tough some of my teachers asked me to do FCPS in Dentistry. However, since I wanted to play safe, I decided to do MPH. Soon after doing my Masters in Public Health, I got a job at Peshawar Medical College. They had established a community health organization. So I joined them in 2010. I was appointed as Project Director. It was there that I got interested in learning Managerial Leadership skills. I had interest in leadership skills and I was also interested in research. Dr. Shamim Akhtar was my teacher in dentistry. Once I asked her and she said, during the meetings she often hears about medical educators but was not fully aware about it but if you ever get a chance, do avail that.

I go scholarship and went to UK to University of Dundee and did Masters in Medical Education leading to PhD scholarship under HEC funded project, Development of Khyber Medical University Peshawar in Medical Education. I earned my PhD in 2016. I was awarded Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and Membership of the Academy of Medical Educators (MAcadMEd) in recognition of my commitment towards professionalism in teaching and training in higher education. My doctoral research explored the impact of postgraduate qualification in medical education on educational identities and career pathways. “

Research Interest

Responding to another question regarding his research interest, Dr. Ahsan Sethi said apart from Health Profession’s Education, he was interested in Faculty Development, Teaching and Learning, Identity Development, Curriculum Development, Assessment and Feedback, Professionalism, E-learning, Accreditation Systems and Standards, Equality an Diversity besides Research Methods. I came back to Pakistan in 2016 and immediately got a job at Khyber Medical University. Prof. Hafeezullah the then Vice Chancellor of KMU was very kind and helpful. Our present Vice Chancellor Prof. Arshad Javed is taking keen interest in improving the teaching and training facilities at Khyber Medical University and we are hopeful to start quite a few new programmes. I also has got affiliation as Tutor at University o Dundee and I am Supervisor of Master’s Research and Dissertation assessment. I am also visiting faculty member and external examiner for MME/MHPE programme at University of Lahore and Riphah International University Islamabad apart from my responsibilities at Khyber Medical University. I am also affiliated with Advances in Health Professional Education Journal as Assistant Editor, Reviewer for leading journals of medical education like Medical Teacher and BMC Medical Education and I am also member of the Academy Council of Khyber Medical University.