Wednesday, April 24, 2024


PM&DC recognition by World Federation of Medical Education

I read with great interest the news in Pulse International volume 25, number 5, March 1-14,2024 “PMDC earns recognition from World Federation of Medical Education ensuring standards.“ Whereas, the undersigned acknowledges the hard work and contribution of Pakistan Medical & Dental Council, numerous Medical universities and colleges and well-wishers of medical education in Pakistan have contributed in helping PM&DC receive accreditation by WFME, there is no mention in the article of what this accreditation will bring to improve the medical education landscape in Pakistan except the suggestion that now parts of the world where WFME accreditation is mandatory will be open to our postgraduate students for training and employment. This claim, however, is not backed by any evidence and as far as WFME is itself concerned, it too does not make such lofty claims. However, one thing that WFME does stress upon is the contextualization of all standards based on the needs of individual countries and regions focusing on their own socio-economic-political concerns and the resources available.

I am afraid that the trust placed on WFME accreditation in improving medical education and healthcare delivery systems in Pakistan could better be diverted towards developing loco-regional contextualized standards that reflect the needs of our community and are manageable within the resources that we have, rather than support another form of neo-colonialism, based on our own complexes related to subservience and inferiority.
Financial cost aside, the socio-political, psychological and cultural cost to which the fraternity of Health Professions and students have been subjected to in order to promote neo-colonialism in medical education has been very high and its effects will last for decades. The need, as I have been stressing for decades now, is to look within and identify what is required and achievable within our context and resources available, rather than to adopt foreign standards and requirements blindly without contextualization.

Prof. Dr. Junaid Sarfraz Khan
Dean/Chief Executive Officer
Lady Reading Hospital
Medical Teaching Institution
Peshawar – Pakistan.

Let us get ready for collective punishment

This refers to your ‘Off the Record” column ‘Let us get ready for collective punishment’ published in March 15-31, 2024 issue of the Pulse International. I read it with great interest.

I find your views in complete alignment with mine. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the reason for all this is a system/environment/culture that does not support accountability at any level. External accountability mechanisms have failed largely because, if they were implemented, in true letter and spirit, the custodians of such systems will be the first to be held accountable.

In a society in which no one holds himself accountable (self-accountability), everyone is trying to beat the system, earn anything but halal, persecute others around them, take advantage of the poor, the needy, the infirm and the down-trodden and abuse any power they have, social, political, financial and religious the best they can. Yes, all sins get washed away by Sadqa, Kherat, Umrah and Hajj. Or so we think.
Allah may choose not to punish us for our sins against HIM and HIS RELIGIOUS DOCTRINES but Allah will not forgive our sins committed against our fellow beings. Somehow, this is not what we realize or perhaps we are so much entangled in this worldly web that we no longer care.

Prof. Dr. Junaid Sarfraz Khan
Dean/Chief Executive Officer
Lady Reading Hospital-MTI
Peshawar – Pakistan.


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