Dept. of Medical Education should not Boss around, build bridges and work with faculty members-Syed Moyn Aly


7th Int. Conf. on Health Professions Education at KMU-II
Dept. of Medical Education should not
Boss around, build bridges and work
with faculty members-Syed Moyn Aly
Apprehensions of Faculty regarding DME needs
to be addressed-Prof. Lubna Baig

Peshawar: Prof. Alam Sher Malik alongwith Prof. Lubna Baig and Prof.M. Tariq chaired the first Plenary Session during the 7th Int. Conference on Health Professional Education held at Khyber Medical University Peshawar. Dr. Brekhna Jamil moderated the session. Prof. Idrees Anwar from RMU was the first speaker who talked about Medical Educators as Leaders. He pointed out that leadership is an important component of competency and all educators have to be leaders. These are essential qualities to accept a challenge. Management of leadership, selection criteria, curriculum, instructional strategy, assessment, evaluation all need to be changed.

Educationists should be role models, possess technical leadership skill. He also talked about assessment of skills, team work, intelligence, emotional intelligence, integrity, vision, personality. We need to develop leaders for the future. He also referred to the effective way of developing leadership qualities in medical students, assessment tools of leadership. Now even new tools, he said, are being development for assessment. Medical educators, he opined, have to be leaders, they should create leaders and know how to measure leadership qualities.

Dr. Sumaira Bader from Faisalabad Medical University spoke about what we aim for collaborations or competitiveness in Health Professions Education. She discussed in detail is there big difference between high achieves and what to do with those who are below average students. In future knowledge creation and innovation, she said, will be needed for jobs in medical institutions. Critical thinking is essential for problem solving. She suggested that various universities can share their resources like Skills Lab can be shared by the medical schools. Online learning can be combined with local field work experiences. Apart from resource sharing, one can start joint programmes and minimize duplication. We can establish high Skilled Lab with public private partnership. We also need to look into credit transfer issues and collaboration will be good for all the institutions.

Dr. John Boulet from FAIMER USA highlighted the contributions of Pakistani physicians to healthcare in USA. He pointed out that IMGs account for 24% of physicians in USA and 25% Residents are also International Medial Graduates. Some call it brain drain while some consider it brain circulation. Doctors leave their countries because of lack of health infrastructure. In 2019 there were 13, 273 Pakistani physicians in USA, 92.5% are citizens of Pakistan, 8748 are male and the number of those doing Residency in USA from Pakistan are 1757. Five thousand six hundred twenty Pakistani physicians are primary care specialists in USA. Most of them are in Texas, California, New York, Illinois, and Florida. About 67% of these physicians had medical education in Pakistan, 66.4% are ECFMG certified and 84% have become Board certified to practice in USA. Pakistani physicians are doing much better in Step-I. However, this brain drain might be affecting the healthcare set up back home in Pakistan. Questions are also being asked for how long USA will continue to depend on International Medical Graduates and we need to address work disparities, he added.

Prof. Rehan Ahmad Khan spoke about Curriculum viability: evaluating a Sick Curriculum. He also referred to the WFME standards. Dr. Mahwish Arooj from University of Lahore gave details of a Mentorship programme which they have started at UOL. She was of the view that Mentoring was important because the young people deserve the Best. Mentoring helps in development, makes things easier to achieve the goals. Mentor takes personal interest, give you confidence and also guides you. Mentorship works in every field. She discussed in detail the need analysis, mentor induction, stages of mentorship programme. There is a mentoring committee which evaluates the mentors. We found that almost 70% of mentees were satisfied with their mentors. Some of the problems which were noted included lack of interest, unidentified goals, teaching sessions, unrealistic expectations. Mentoring, she opined, should be voluntary and mentor driven. We get feedback from mentors and mentees regularly in academic and non-academics fields. Young people are looking for mentors who can take personal interest, she added.

Prof. Syed Imran Mahmood from DUHS in his presentation emphasized the importance of Reforms to cope with the current challenges in Health Professions Education. Goal of medical education, he further stated, was effective healthcare delivery. Speaking about the major challenges facing medical education he listed medical students admission process, validated selection tools, growth of private medical schools, compliance in medical education damaging moral values of children, curriculum related challenges i.e. Need analysis and assessment. Medical training should be patient centered and it should be high on the agenda. We have now too many MPH programmes in Pakistan but the question arises are we following the standards. Let us not compromise on quality, increase diversity in medical education, and look at healthcare delivery and the future physicians. Does Online courses fit into medical schools? Faculty fear that their importance will be lost with the start of online courses. We need to create a balance between online courses and traditional instructional strategy. Juniors fear that things may be difficult for them in the days to come. Research and patient care are most important. He concluded his presentation by a quotation that Light a Fire, We will make the world Better Place. Every work has a shared goal, hence all must work.

Dr.Syed Moyn Aly from JSMU Karachi was the last speaker in this session who talked about Department of Health Professions becoming effective. He traced the history of establishment of departments of medical education in USA and later in Pakistan as well. He then listed the functions of the Dept. of Medical Education. He then asked how many educational institutions are prepared to invest in Department of Medical Education. People fear that their powers may be eroded. There are full time people and then part time people. The faculty has a perception that the Department of Medical Education is threating for them. Hence, it is important that DME should not Boss around, not dictate but work with other faculty members. DME should build bridges and not take over functions of the institutions.

During the discussion, identifying the goals and selection of mentors were discussed in detail. Summing up the discussion Prof. Lubna Baig suggested Teachers and students exchange programme between different institutions. The attitude of the regulatory bodies was also highlighted and it was pointed out that they do not encourage collaboration. Selection of mentors and training, Prof. Lubna Baig said, was important. The faculty members have certain apprehensions about the Dept. of Medical Education which needs to be addressed. We must respect others but also know our limitations, she remarked.