off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid





Professional jealousy is quite common in most of the professions and the medical profession is no exception. It is so painful to listen some of the speakers at various conferences when they start claiming that as if they were the pioneers to have undertaken some surgical procedure, made some interventions or started a sub-specialty service for the first time in the country without giving any credit or mentioning those who had actually been the pioneers in these respective fields. Since these people suffer from inferiority complex, they try to lionize themselves without realizing the fact that they cannot insult the intelligence of the audience. Whenever, some thing happens for the first time in any field, it gets recorded and becomes a part of history. Someone somewhere has made note of it and any attempt to rewrite history is futile. In fact by not giving credit to those to whom it is due, they are belittling their own personality and destroying their credibility because the audience will not take whatever they say at its face value. They not only lose respect of their colleagues and people at large but end up making a mess of every thing.

For the information of those who may not be aware of certain historical facts, let me state that late Prof. A. Rahim who hailed from Kohat, was the first qualified orthopaedic surgeon in Pakistan. When he returned to Pakistan from UK after postgraduate studies and training, he was offered the job of Assistant Professor of Surgery at Khyber Medical College Peshawar which he refused saying that he was an orthopaedic surgeon would like to establish the department of orthopaedic surgery. Since he failed in his attempt, he came over to Karachi and joined Dow Medical College and Civil Hospital Karachi, through the courtesy of Gen. Musa the then Governor of West Pakistan and established the Dept. of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rehabilitation Workshop at Civil Hospital, Karachi.
Late Prof. Ibrahim started the first Diabetic Clinic in Karachi and when he left for Bangladesh after the tragic events of 1971, he laid the foundations of Diabetic Associaton of Bangladesh, established BIRDEM which is the biggest diabetes Hospital in the world and it has now become a University with undergraduate medical college besides state of the art Institutes in many other disciplines offering tertiary care.
No one can deny the pioneering work done by late Prof. Hamid Ali Khan and late Prof.S.M.K. Wasti to establish the specialty of Paediatrics in Pakistan. Had Prof. Hamid Ali Khan accepted the job of Assistant Prof. of Medicine which was offered to him when he returned to Pakistan after getting training in Paediatrics and not insisted to be appointed as Assistant Prof. of Paediatrics, the establishment and development of paediatrics as an important specialty would have been further delayed.
Prof. Syed Ghulam Shabbir was Prof. of Dermatology at KEMC and we had Brig. Jaffer in Army as consultant dermatologists but the sub-specialty got established and earned its due place with the efforts of Prof. Tahir Saeed Haroon. When he returned to Pakistan after serving as Consultant Dermatologist in UK for many years (it was very rare to become a consultant in UK for an Asian in those days) he with the help of senior colleagues not only established Pakistan Association of Dermatologists and started regular clinical meetings along with late Dr.Aleem Saeed Qureshi, Dr. Khursheed H. Alvi and Cdr Rashid Chaudhry from PNS Shifa, he also invited colleagues from upcountry and Army including Prof.Ghulam Shabbir under whom he had served as House Officer in the department of Dermatology to prepare the curriculum for MCPS and FCPS in Dermatology and convinced the CPSP administration to start awarding diploma and the degree in this specialty. He trained a record number of dermatologists and almost all the department of dermatology in the country at present are headed by those who were trained by Prof. Tahir Saeed Haroon. Credit to develop and promote this discipline of Dermatology goes to him and he will be remembered for ever for this accomplishment.
Prof. Nazir A. Chaudhry was the first physician who started practicing Gastroenterology in Karachi. Later Dr. Zia Shamsi and Aftab Anwar returned from USA after getting training and started practicing this specialty and provided this useful service to the patients who so far most often remained neglected. However, the real boost to the development of Gastroenterology as a specialty came when the first training programme in Gastroenterology was started in King Edward Medical College/Mayo Hospital Lahore under the leadership of Prorf. Khawaja Saadiq Husain. A large number of people who were trained here are now heading various departments and training others as well. Later a few trained gastroenterologists also returned from UK and USA and this emerged as an important specialty offering lucrative practice.
In the field of Cardiac Surgery, one cannot forget the names of Gen.Shaukat Hassan, Gen. Akram and Prof. Iftikhar Rathore besides Prof. M. A.Cheema but eventually it was late Prof. Ghaffar Jatoi who started doing open heart cardiac surgery at NICVD and when he resigned to join Mideast Medical Center, it was Prof.Surgeon M.Rehman who took over and has made tremendous contribution in promoting the discipline of cardiac surgery. He also trained a large number of personnel and even gave recognition to the discipline of perfusionists. In fact NICVD remains the mother institution in cardiology and many other institutions offering advanced interventional cardiology services, cardiac surgery were established in the upcountry much later.
Prof. Khalida Tareen was the pioneer to have established the department of Child Psychiatry at King Edward Medical College/Mayo Hospital Lahore. He was lucky to get full support of Prof.I.A.K. Tareen Prof. of Psychiatry at KEMC who instead of creating any hurdles, encouraged, helped and assisted her with the result that later it became an independent Professorial Unit of Child and Family Psychiatry. It is another story that after her retirement, this department remained neglected and suffered a lot. However, it has once again emerged as an important department offering the much needed psychiatric care to children and adolescents and is headed by Dr. Nazish Imran who is working here as Associate Professor. This also happens to be the first department in the country which has started indoor services as well for children suffering from psychiatric disorders, of course through donations, help and assistance of philanthropists.
One can go on and on to enlist many distinguished medical personalities who have done commendable job in starting various services, disciplines in Pakistan but suffice it to say that we should not forget these pioneers. Let no one try to deprive them of the credit which is due to them.{jcomments on}

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