The 25 Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have a total population of over 220 M spread over an area of 74521 Sq.Km. General literacy rate of the province is approximately 49.9%. In the past few years we have seen unprecedented expansion and up gradation in general education. This would ultimately enhance literacy rate. High literacy rate coupled with enhanced skilled workforce will help improve health indicators and enable us to meet national and international obligations. Due to the demands of market forces, Medicine is the most sought after profession in the world and Pakistan is no exception. Every year, thousands of bright students, who pass their F.Sc examination in First Division, desire to join medical colleges but are unable to get admission due to limited opportunities.
Khyber Medical College (KMC) has a history full of achievements and contribution since its establishment in 1954. It has produced over 10,000 graduates and hundreds of postgraduates who are running health care services in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA). It has also met the needs of trained faculty for the rest of the public sector medical colleges in the province. Khyber Medical College, a pioneer and prestigious Health institution in the development of human resource, has been in the forefront to help meet the needs of local and national market; make it convenient to implement National and Provincial Health policy and fulfill national and international obligations; and help secure due share of jobs in local, regional & global health care services. KMC not only brings medical education and high quality healthcare to people of the area, but it also has the power and ability to act as an economic stimulant. It has created hundreds of direct and thousands of indirect jobs in various sectors like housing, education, transport, hotelling, medicine and other retail businesses.
KMC has got the largest and well qualified faculty in the country including PhDs, fellows of the Royal Colleges and College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan. Department of medical education keeps the faculty abreast of new development in teaching-learning skills, assessment tools and curriculum development. Information Technology (IT) Department is being upgraded and expanded to provide access to all students and teachers to digital library, centralized data system, office automation and video conferencing.
KMC, as an institution, is encouraging its students and faculty to get involved in research. It also helps them to disseminate their research through publication in recognized and indexed journals. Journal of Medical Sciences, an official organ of KMC, is being published on quarterly basis since 1979. It is an indexed journal and recognized by Pakistan Medical and Dental Council and Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. This journal can be accessed at its website jmedsci.com.
The top most students of the province get admitted to KMC. Its graduates get enviably high score in competitive international licensing examinations such as USMLE and PLAB; a testimony to the high standard of training. KMC, with the help of Alumni of North America, has established clinical skill centre for enhancing clinical skills of its graduates. Like any other institution, KMC needs reforms to meet the changing dynamics of training health care professionals and global challenges. The infrastructure is being strengthened, laboratories are being upgraded and emphasis is being given to complementary interdependence between various structural and functional units and segments of the institution to ensure optimal utilization of both human and financial resources.
The faculty of KMC is well aware of the rapid changes in technologies, society and culture; locally, regionally and globally. The simple role of a doctor to diagnose and prescribe has been replaced by a multifaceted role. This role and associated rules, rewards and constraints are the powerful determinants of the behavior of the doctor of today. All facets of the role of a doctor have ideal representatives (what people think doctors should be like), entitlements (what doctor may do) & limitations (what doctor must not do or is not required to do). A doctor is entitled to respect and admiration but respect / admiration and patient's expectation comes in 'all-or-none' package. Patients expect doctors to be well-dressed (irrespective of your personal choice), and well-mannered or else doctors should be ready to give up respect & admiration (usually accorded to them) in return. A doctor (in the role of a medical expert), would use his diagnostic and therapeutic skill and analyze available information to deliver health care services. S/He is expected to act appropriately even in uncertainty, involve other professionals when required and to be sensitive to his social & professional responsibilities. A doctor must act as an advocate to promote health and health services, be able to convince public, public representatives and public servants to appropriation of funds (he must lead rather being led). S/He must draw attention of concerned authorities to the deficiencies in health care services without invoking annoyance. S/He, as a professional, must practice evidence-based medicine. S/He must not fit patients into protocols but through his clinical judgment use protocols sensibly for patient care.
A doctor, as a scholar, should go through continuous medical education to update his/her knowledge. S/He must analyze critically the new developments in medicine before adopting them. S/He should embrace the responsibility to promote learning and engage in research to contribute new knowledge. A doctor, as a good communicator, should be able to listen and direct. He should have the understanding of the work environment and trust of the people around him. Thoroughness, attention to details, overriding concern for the patient, being there when needed, maintenance of knowledge, self-discipline and self-knowledge are few qualities that makes him / her trustworthy. Trust, which is granted to physicians because of their role, grows or shrinks as the patient experiences the behavior of the individual physician. A doctor of today, as a good collaborator, would understand the value of partnership and his/her role on the management plan. S/He should have the ability to use funds, personnel and drugs discriminately. S/He should believe in teamwork instead of transferring responsibility to others. Finally, a doctor, as a manager, should be able to keep balance between his/her personal and professional life and be able to manage available resources appropriately.
The faculty of KMC is determined to educate and train the potential doctors to enable them as medical experts and good collaborators with excellent managerial skills. We would do whatever it takes to equip our graduates with superior communication skills, ability to advocate and adopt scholarly behavior to shape and help the health policy for the future. With the growing strength and depth of our faculty and ever increasing number of our alumni, we are confident that; 'Our past is glorious and our future would be no different'.
Prof. Dr. Ejaz Hassan Khan MBBS, M.Phil, FRCP (Edin), Ph.D Fellow Pakistan College of Pathologists Principal and Dean Khyber Medical College, Peshawar, Pakistan