off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid

CPSP and the Professional
Specialty Organizations


College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan is perhaps the only medical institution in Pakistan which has successfully safeguarded its professional integrity, credibility and also enjoys international recognition. It has made tremendous progress establishing contacts with numerous postgraduate medical institutions, universities and Royal Colleges overseas to further strengthen its postgraduate training and evaluation programme. However, there is some communication gap and lack of co-ordination and co-operation between the CPSP and the professional specialty organizations in Pakistan.

At almost every medical conference, the role of CPSP comes under discussion and sometimes it is pointed out that the leadership of the specialty organizations had no interaction or communication with the CPSP which does create some problems for the development and growth of certain disciplines and sub-specialties. The recent two incidences relate to Paediatric Surgery conference held at Nishtar Medical College Multan last year and more recently the Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons meeting held at Aga Khan University Karachi from March 29-31st 2013.
At the Paediatric Surgery conference, there was a heated debate on the role of CPSP in the training of paediatric surgeons and the composition as well as functioning of the Paediatric Surgery faculty in CPSP. At the PSCTS 9th annual conference held at AKU, After the most comprehensive presentation by Prof. Rizwan Azmi Vice President of CPSP on the Role of CPSP in Cardiac Surgery Training, there was lively discussion. Some of the speakers pointed out that the Cardiac Surgery faculty in CPSP was not functioning well. Similarly some of the Faculties were dormant and there is hardly any communication and co-ordination between the CPSP and the specialty organizations. At this one of the cardiac surgeons from UK remarked that “even then you continue to enroll your postgraduates and they continue to be evaluated by the CPSP”.
The present CPSP Council in general and the President Prof. Zafar Ullah Chaudhry in particular are very receptive and the specialty organizations should take up these issues with them and there is no reason why this communication gap cannot be bridged. Even otherwise sometime back I had suggested to the President of CPSP to invite one representative from each specialty organizations to join the respective Faculty in the CPSP. If there are ten or twelve members of the faculty, addition of one more member wont make much difference to the college but it will remove these feelings of not being consulted or involved in decisions affecting the training in their respective specialty. There is lot of politics in some of the specialty organizations and to ensure that only people with academic interest are nominated by the respective specialty organizations to joint the faculty, the CPSP can lay down certain conditions like the representative chosen to represent the specialty organization in the Faculty in CPSP should have keen interest in academics and must be a trainer and supervisor of postgraduates. Once it is done, the respective specialty organization’s viewpoint will also be head in the Faculty deliberations.
CPSP also needs to have a fresh look at the composition of its Faculties in various disciplines. Some of the faculty members have been there for too long and may be time has come to replace them. If some of the faculties are dormant, are not functional and do not hold their meetings regularly, it is a serious issue which needs an in depth analysis. May be the CPSP needs to induct some fresh young blood in the various Faculties so that they are kept abreast of ground realities. After all these professional specialty organizations is an important resource and at least some of them are doing a good job of regularly holding their conferences which provide them an opportunity of discussing issues related to their respective specialties besides organizing Continuing Medical Education programmes, workshops for their members. One hopes the CPSP Council will look into these issues. In stead of listening to praise singers it is better to talk to those who can offer detailed analysis, identify the problems and gaps in communication and also suggest some solutions. This will be in the interest of the CPSP itself. Once the specialty organizations get a representation in the Faculties of CPSP, it will go a long way in removing misgivings, misunderstandings and won’t provide an opportunity to the critics of the CPSP to make it an issue which is witnessed at many conferences organized by different professional specialty organizations. It is hoped that the CPSP Council will take up this issue at the earliest and take effective steps to remove this lack of communication and co-ordination between the CPSP and the professional specialty organizations.{jcomments on}

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