off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid


All about YOLO
and FOLO


The concluding session of the Third International Conference on Medical Education organized by Council for Collaboration in Medical Education at University of Health Sciences Lahore on October 29, 2016 was eventful in many respects. It was chaired by Prof. Nizamuddin Chairman of the Punjab Higher Education Commission along with Prof.Maj.Gen. Muhammad Aslam Vice Chancellor of UHS.

Before the chief guest’s address, a number of foreign delegates were invited to record their impressions, comments and suggestions regarding the conference. Dr. Zarrin Siddiqui a noted medical educationist from University of Western Australia was the first one to be invited. She first asked if any of the seniors among the audience were aware of the meaning of YOLO and there was no response. She then described it as “You Only Live Once”. She pointed out that people like her, Pakistanis living overseas were no less patriotic and always think how they can help their country. Pakistanis living in Australia helped in setting up a Cath Lab. In Baluchistan. During my current stay, I read in newspapers that one of the hospitals in Khyber PK had no incubator which was badly needed. I tried my best to find out what an Incubator will cost but no one helped me.

Everybody here was asking me how to settle in Australia or how they can get their children married in Australia. She then jokingly remarked that I think I should establish some Marriage Bureau during my next visit here. She then asked the audience if they know FOLO stands for what? At this prompt came the reply from Major Gen. Muhammad Aslam who was co-chairing the session “Fools Only Live Once” which sent everybody present in the auditorium laughing. Dr. Zarrin Siddiqui then remarked that it stands for “Fear of Losing Out” that is what the Pakistanis living overseas feel about. They very much wish to contribute their share to the development of this country in different fields.

Ms Janet Grant said that there are certain contradictions in medical educators, learning and teachers and they must be removed. Medical Education must serve the needs of Pakistan and with passion. Ara Tekian from United States commended the efforts of the organizers for successfully holding the international medical conference for the third consecutive year. It is the leadership which matters. He was of the view that instead of blaming others for not doing anything, it was much better to contribute whatever you can and this should be our objective. Over the years things have changed a lot but our future is very bright. You should have passion and you are capable of changing the system. It will take some time but do not give up, he remarked. K. Mohana emphasized the importance of Role Modeling.

Chief organizer of the conference Pro VC of UHS Prof. Junaid Sarfraz opined that they were much better than few years ago and we have the requisite expertize and talent to improve the healthcare delivery system of Pakistan. What we need is to bring back the moral values of the past and introduce meaningful changes in our medical education curriculum. There has been degradation of the morality in the entire society. I am proud of our values and we all should be proud of that. Over the years these values have been eroded. We do not see the same values, ethics at work place and overall professional ethics were not being upheld and promoted in the society. We need to develop a value system from the very beginning at home, ensuring respect for elders and our teachers. What we can do is to compare the qualities of various individuals. Encourage people to work in broadening the value based system. We are better today and we can be still much better tomorrow. We need some clear cut policies and then implement them.

Prof. Major Gen. Muhammad Aslam Vice Chancellor of UHs who is not only very witty with a fertile brain but at the same time being very humble, often supplements his speech with interesting anecdotes and instances. Referring to the speeches made by Zarrin Siddiqui and Janet Grant that this wonderful conference has ended so soon, he said, his conditions was just like “ Roze Marta Hoon Roze Jeeta Hoon”. Hence at the age of sixty five years, he has been re-born sixty five times so far. Continuing Prof. Aslam said that let us remember that what is right is Right and what is wrong is wrong. Whether it is locally or globally, Truth is Truth everywhere. Let us become good Citizens of Pakistan. What we can do to change the system, we must do. Local problems need local solutions and people from abroad are not going to help us find a solution. He then added that we must remember, Dreams are after all Dreams which come to an end abruptly but it takes years and years to realize them. (Khawb Jalad Toot Jatay Hain, Tabeer Benatay Umer Guzzar Jaati Hay). Medical scientists, he suggested, must join hands with the social scientists and vice versa to learn Humanism and Realism. During the conference we had forty five pre-conference workshops at fifteen institutions, seven scientific sessions and one hundred eighteen presentations by speakers from Pakistan and overseas. This enabled over twelve hundred physicians to build their professional capacity. Yet another important highlight of the conferenced was signing of Memorandum of Understanding by UHS with Islamic World Science Citation Center located at Shiraz in Iran. This is an important database of Muslim countries and establishing its sub-0ffice at UHS will provide enormous opportunities to the Pakistani research scientists and academicians to benefit from this excellent source.

Tail PieceCherish your Vision and your Dreams as they are the children of your Soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements. Napoleon Hill.

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