UHS Lahore starts the first ever Certificate Course in Medical Editing


UHS Lahore starts the first ever 
Certificate Course in Medical Editing
29 candidates from all over Pakistan are enrolled
in this Six months basic course with two contact
sessions of four days each

LAHORE: University of Health Sciences Lahore has taken an important step in the history of medical journalism in Pakistan with the start the first ever Certificate Course in Medical Editing. It was formally inaugurated by Prof. Javed Akram Vice Chancellor of UHS on September 4th 2019 which has become a historic day. Twenty nine candidates from all over the country are participating in this basic course which will last for six months which has two contact sessions of four days each. This course which has been initiated with the help of Pakistan Association of Medical Editors (PAME) will be followed by another six months Advance Course in Medical Editing and if all goes well, later on it will become a degree course leading to Masters in Medical Journalism.

This important step will go a long way in professional capacity building of those editing the biomedical journals while it will also improve the quality of manuscripts accepted for publication and standard of biomedical journals. In the first batch there are thirteen candidates from Lahore, four from Rawalpindi, four from Faisalabad, two from Peshawar, two from Karachi and one candidate each from Islamabad, Multan, Rahim Yar Khan and Sialkot. It may be mentioned here that the idea to start this course was conceived when Maj. Gen. Muhammad Aslam was VC of UHS some years ago and lot of initial work was also undertaken but then when he retired, the project got stuck up. When Prof. Javed Akram took over as VC UHS, the project was revived and he not only organized a National Conference on Medical Journalism at UHS during January 2019 but also helped PAME to realize this dream. Eminent medical editors from Pakistan and overseas are members of the curriculum committee who will also work as facilitators for the candidates. Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid Chief Editor of Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences and Secretary of Eastern Mediterranean Association of Medical Editors (EMAME) is the Course Coordinator.

Participants, of the Certificate Course in Medical Editing organized by UHS photographed
with VC UHS 
Prof. Javed Akram, President PAME Prof. Jamshed Akhtar, Course
Coordinator Mr.Shaukat Ali Jawaid and
members of the organizing committee.

During the first contact session, Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid on the first Day September 4th discussed the basic principles of journalism, essential components of an original article, structured abstract, summary of a Review article as per guidelines of International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), different types of medical writing, authorship issues besides medical editing and how to run a successful Journal. On the second day Prof. Jamshed Akhtar President PAME discussed different types of peer review system, their advantages and disadvantages, how to set up peer review system, how to do peer review of a manuscript, how to develop a peer review From. The candidates were then divided in various groups who reviewed a paper and then the group leaders made brief power point presentations. There was a pre and post TEST of the candidates. Throughout the course interactive discussions are encouraged and every day apart from the Test at the end, the candidates are given time for reflective writing and feedback.

On third day of the course Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid again discussed copy editing and shared various examples with the participants. Use of proper English language was also highlighted. It was followed by a presentation on Digital Object Identifier (DOI) by Dr. Masood Jawaid Associate Editor of Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences. The last day was fully devoted to demonstration and use of Open Journal System. The participants were told how to register themselves using OJS, how to make a submission, how to do peer review and then how to publish a journal on OJS. Various technical aspects were also discussed in detail and the candidates were encouraged to use this system. They were also provided pass word to practice it for the next three days.

In the second contact session which is expected to be during the second week of December 2019 (dates will be finalized soon after consultation with the facilitators and the UHS administration), Dr. Fatema Jawad Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Pakistan Medical Association (JPMA) and Prof. Akhtar Sherin Chief Editor Khyber University Medical Journal and Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid will be the facilitators. In addition some other facilitators may also be invited subject to their availability. During the course the candidates are supposed to maintain a portfolio which will include one article for editing, critical appraisal of an original article, Book Review or critical analysis of an issue of a medical journal or they can also write an Editorial on an important topic. It will also include feedback from facilitators at the end of contact session and end of contact session test. This test will consist of scenario based short essay questions, 15% marks per contact session with 60% pass marks. Final assessment will be at the end of course which will have a weightage of 70%. It will consist of portfolio assessment, Viva Voce examination and again the pass marks will be 60%. This being the first ever course, some modifications might have to be made during the course, during course assessment and end of the contact assessment and before the start of the second course, necessary changes may be made to further improve the course contents, format based on the feedback. From the UHS, Dr. Saima Chaudhry, Dr. Nadia and Mr. Muhammad Atif Director Publications and Administration have been of great help to start this course.

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