Date: 13-11-18  Time: 05:30 AM

Author Topic: Medical Research in Pakistan  (Read 5549 times)

Offline iqayum

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Medical Research in Pakistan
« on: December 20, 2011, 12:05:50 PM »
Several points need to be addressed:
1. Why are we lagging in this field in Pakistan?
2. What can be done to bring us up to par with other developed and developing nations in this field?
3. What kind of medical research structure do we want in Pakistan?
4. How essential is it to start medical research at the undergraduate (MBBS) level?

Your input will be welcome and the seeds for a continuing dialogue on favorite topics.

Dr. Iftikhar Qayum
Director Medical Research & Education
Women Medical College Abbottabad
Dr. Iftikhar Qayum

Offline Doctor

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Re: Medical Research in Pakistan
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2011, 01:22:12 AM »
Dr Iftikhar Qayyum first of all I welcome you at medpk. Your joining medpk has been a source of great honor and strength. We hope that the basic cause of medpk will benefit a lot from your wisdom and experience in the field of medical research.

The starting dialogue seems to be very interesting and thought provoking. You have raised very significant questions and I feel that by searching their answers we would be able to adopt a strategy to make things happen. I have always despised the state of affairs of health care system in Pakistan and especially the concepts and practice of medical research. I have wondered many a times why this current state of affairs is not getting any better in-spite of tremendous increase in the number of highly qualified doctors and teaching institutions. May be it gets inculcated in our minds right from our school days when we have to memorize the science practicals instead of performing those and we have to prepare practical copies by copy paste technique instead of getting results from practical procedures. Unfortunately this innocent looking crime finally become a huge big monster when we reach professional levels. Our thinking as well as our objectives remain the same. In our school days we do practicals to qualify exams and in our professional careers we do research to qualify exams or get higher status. No real passion or a higher objective is involved in either case.

Yes this state of affairs needs to be changed. We must bring ourselves at par with the developed country if not in standards then at least in attitude. I feel our biggest problem is with the attitude. We have gone rusty, in-innovative and have become plain followers. We do not even capitalize our own strengths, neither do we struggle to cope with our own problems through indigenous research. We look towards west to find answers to our troubles which is really disgusting to say the least. I feel the first step in this direction should be to change the attitude and start finding solutions to our own problems as a practical step towards realistic research.

Problem based research is perhaps the answer. The problem should find researcher and not researcher concocting a problem. If we can bring about a change in attitude in this direction then perhaps things will start to change.

Yes it is indeed very essential to start medical research at undergraduate level. What I have stated above clearly indicates that realistic research attitude should be developed at even earlier stages that is during school days.

I hope that Dr Qayyum will be able to elaborate this issue in a much better way owing to his vast experience in the field as well as passion and devotion.


Dr Sohail Malik
Struggle is the sign of life & till death it must continue.

Dr Malik


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Re: Medical Research in Pakistan
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2012, 12:31:38 PM »
Dear Dr Ifthikar

As a medical student and a researcher, I would answer your questions from my experience as

1. Why are we lagging in this field in Pakistan?
1. No interest of students due to ask of proper guidance.
2. Most of the faculty members (though totally wrong but true) discourage students involved in these activities, they say you are wasting time on worthless things, go study for what you are at medical college.
 3. In Pakistan there is a sort of a phobia I would call that research is a very difficult thing you need to be extra ordinary genius for that and so on.
4. There is no appreciation for people doing this, at any level, but at some places instead of appreciation them they are maltreated.
5. There should be proper funding and award system for students getting their papers published in quality (high impact factor journals) and in international conferences.

2. What can be done to bring us up to par with other developed and developing nations in this field?
1. Proper guidance of students starting from 1st year of medical college, making it compulsory for students to do research and get it published in a journal (as most countries do while accepting candidates for PG education)
2. For this purpose workshops seminars etc should be conducted in every city where there is a medical college

3. What kind of medical research structure do we want in Pakistan?
There should be a national review board, specially for clinical trials. All clinical studies should be approved by them along with the institutional review comity (which some institutions even do not have)
There should be proper check on quality of articles published, currently HEC and PMDC are doing it, but yet I am not satisfied by it, many low quality articles get published due to links of authors in journals (I am involved in journalism and have very bad experience).

4. How essential is it to start medical research at the undergraduate (MBBS) level?
I would say as essential as getting degree after doing MBBS.. :)
It is a very harsh and shameful reality that some of our doctors even I have seen some A.P's who do  not know how to write a paper.

Numan Majeed
Student Final Year MBBS Muhammad Medical College
Editor-in-Chief Journal Asian Medical Student Association
Secretary of Academics Asian Medical Students International
Executive Director Asian Medical Students Pakistan
Founder and Chairperson Board of Directors Student Research Society Muhammad Medical College
Founder Member and President Pakistan Medical Sciences Student Association
President Medical Students Foundation Pakistan
Regional Adviser The Lancet Students
Coordinator, International Student Research Board, KJMed
Editor Asian Students Medical Journal
Associate Editor International Medical Journal of Students' Research
Editor International Journal for Medical Students
Associate Editor Journal of Muhammad Medical College
Coordinator, International Student Research Board KJMed
Reviewer Cochrane Collaboration HIV/AIDS Group
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Member Cochrane Collaboration Infectious Diseases Group
Member Panel of Expert Synopsis Reviewer Pakmedinet
Student Member American College of Physicians
Member British Science Association
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Member National Academy of Young Scientists (NAYS) Pakistan
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Offline iqayum

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Re: Medical Research in Pakistan
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2012, 11:57:01 AM »
Dear Numan

I really appreciate your insight into the problem. Do consider that at this young age what you are feeling may also be the problem of many others of your age in the medical colleges of the country. I am indeed happy that our young medical students have come to this conclusion that research is essential to medical life in general and to solve knotty professional problems of patient care, in particular. This realization is the seed from which the great oak trees of medical research would flourish in future years. I am aware that medical students in PK have embarked upon this course despite all obstacles (many more than the ones you mentioned) that they are facing now and in future as doctors. Unfortunately in our country, research is a gruesome struggle with no encouragement or support from anybody. Often it is a solo effort or a team effort only.

The way forward is to take these few people and slowly and gradually develop planning and strategies to proceed with medical research in the country. UG research education is one area that needs further support and strengthening and a few medical colleges have embarked on this despite no official sanctions or accreditation from the PM&DC. Others will follow suit after seeing the success stories. This is how life is on the planet... a handful of leaders with plenty of 'dumb' followers.

I hope that you and similar-minded students will continue in your efforts and also be able to persuade others..

Keep it up.

Dr. Iftikhar Qayum
Dr. Iftikhar Qayum

Offline Abdullah Bin Khurram

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Re: Medical Research in Pakistan
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2013, 12:26:55 AM »

Your questions and the replies given seem quite encouraging. I am a 3rd Year Student in MBBS at Rawalpindi Medical college. I have a passion for reasearch since FSc (may b even before that) but never got the oppurtunity.

Some minor oppurtunities were created Alhamdulillah in our 2nd year MBBS and still working on others. The problems that i think are faced by those who WANT TO DO RESEARCH other than the discouragement and the things if the like is the absence of funds. Is there any society that would provide small amounts of funds for undergraduate researchers for MBBS in Pakistan? If there is, I would really like to know about them. If no, still i hope we will find something someday somewhere.

Other than that, there are a whole lot of students who want to do research but they never take the step because the oppurtunities never show themselves and the peers are sometimes doscouraging. There was also the fear instilled into us by one of our guiding teachers that some of peers might try to steel your synopsis, so keep it hidden.

Still, i will ask all the teachers to keep on announcing, encouraging and guiding young researchers.