off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid


one’s Benefactors


Reading two books recently authored by the two pioneer cardiac surgeons of Pakistan i.e. Maj. Gen. Musud ur Rehman Kiani former Commandant of Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) “Kiani Kahani” and “Dil Rawaan Dawaan” by Lt. Col. Masood Ahmad Cheema former Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) who also served as Project Director of CPE Institute of Cardiology at Multan was a fascinating experience. One thing which was common in both the books and was highlighted prominently by the authors were the good words they had for late Gen.Malik Shaukat Hassan who was Director of Surgery in Pakistan Army.

Late Gen. Malik Shaukat Hassan was a very affectionate loveable personality. He was keen to promote and develop cardiac surgery at Military Hospital Rawalpindi. A noted cardiothoracic and general surgeon, he trained many surgeons and was instrumental in sending many people overseas for higher training at centers of excellence. As Col. Cheema writes, late Gen.Malik Shuakat Hassan “wanted to see his students as surgical personality who should be bold, competent, make timely correct decision and affectionate to their patients”. Gen. Musud Ur Rehman Kiani has also used lot of good words for another distinguished surgeon Lt. Gen. Mahmudul Hassan who also served as Director of Surgery and Surgeon General of Pakistan.  Gen.Kiani has also referred to the many distinguished teaches who used to be on the faculty of King Edward Medical College in those days, highlighted the  fact that they used to come in time, take regular classes, attend OPD, teach with devotion and dedication,were helpful to the students and patients alike.

Prof. Col.Masood Cheema in his book has specially thanked Prof. Surgeon M. Rehman who was extremely helpful and provided free training to the ICU staff, nurses, technicians and Perfusionist at NICVD which enabled him to start cardiac surgery at Mayo Hospital Lahore. Hence, people of Punjab should remain ever grateful to Surgeon M. Rehman for his timely help and assistance to start cardiac surgery in Punjab. Though Col. Cheema had to leave army because of Col.Masood Akram as both could not go along well, he has been gracious enough to acknowledge Col. Masood Akram’s services who with his team  did first open heart operation in Rawalpindi. This shows the great character of soft spoken, very humble Col.Masood Cheema. In fact he has also acknowledge the services  of Perwaiz Butt the senior most Perfusionist of Punjab, late Mr. Fazle Haq of APC, Mr. Inam  and Mr. Tousif of Interrex Pak and  Mr.Suhail Kabir who all helped him in starting cardiac surgery which is indeed commendable. While great medical personalities like Malik Shuakat Hassan are no more alive but some of these distinguished people like Lt. Gen. Mahmudul Hassan and Prof.Kh.Saadiq Hussain are still alive (may God Almighty give them long life) they would be pleased that at least there are some people who still remember them and have lot of good words to say about them. The family of late Gen.Malik Shaukat Hassan should also feel proud of the fact that his contributions are being acknowledged. People like Prof.Kh.Saadiq Hussain who can be rightly called the soul of the medical profession whenever they get time to address the medical profession as Chief Guest at any forum have never hesitated to call upon the healthcare professionals of uphold professional ethics, remain away from the Commercial and Corruption virus, serve the ailing humanity with devotion and be affectionate to the patients.

Once when I was conducting a workshop on  Peer Review at Institute of Cardiology at Multan Prof.Rana Altaf Chief Executive of the institute told me that he and Prof. Anjum Jalal were both selected by Col.Masood Cheema for this institution and at that time we never thought one day both of us myself at Multan and Anjum Jalal at Faisalabad would be heading these institutions. Again while attending the cardiology conference at Faisalabad last year, it was fascinating to see when Col. Masood Cheema was paid rich tributes and his services to establish and promote cardiac surgery in Punjab were acknowledged by Prof. Anjum Jalal. Not only that Prof. Anjum Jalal even named the Academic Block at Faisalabad Institute of Cardiology as Col. Masood Cheema Academic Block. Govt. of Punjab has already appointed Prof. Col.Masood Cheema as Prof. Emeritus of Cardiac Surgery at Punjab Institute of Cardiology. Such gestures by the authorities will certainly encourage others to make meaningful contributions in their respective fields.

It is extremely important that we remember our benefactors and highlight their services, accomplishments time and again so as to encourage others to follow their footsteps. They were the real role models which is a very rare and distinct breed these days. Medial Teaches like Prof.Riaz-e-Qadeer, Prof.Ameerudidn, Col. Elahi Bakhsh, Prof. Col.Ziaullah. Prof. Akhtar Khan, Kh. Saadiq Hussain   and many others are still remembered by their students with lot of good words.  Most of them were strict in discipline and even if they sometime reprimanded the students, they knew and realized that it was all meant for their good and accepted it as fatherly advice. However, this relationship between the teachers and students is seen no more,  discipline in medical institutions is lacking and at times some teaches are found busy in intrigues and conspiracies against their own colleagues.

In my own professional career I have seen some run “one man departments”. Some seniors are reluctant to help develop sub-specialties n their discipline. They never allowed any other competent persons to join the department thinking that it will ensure them extension in service but little do they realized that one can never stop the change taking place. No one is indispensable and as it is said, ”the graveyards are full of those who once thought they were indispensable”. We have also seen some who once maneuvered to get appointed as head of an institution being rude, inaccessible and humiliate their colleagues. And when the time comes, they retire, they cannot think of visiting the same institution again which they headed because they are no more welcome.  Once you are appointed to head an institution, it is advisable that you be easily accessible to everyone working under you, be kind, considerate, helpful and affectionate to others. Give every one respect to earn respect, do not compromise on principles, uphold merit and ensure transparency at every level so that no one can point a finger at you. Just think for a while how you would like to be remembered by your friends, well wishers, colleagues and family members when you are no more there. This should guide you in your professional career.

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