Karachi: A total of 113 residents and fellows – many of whom have played a key role in treating COVID-19 patients during the pandemic – graduated at Aga Khan University’s 25th Postgraduate Medical Education, PGME, ceremony on recently.
Certificates were awarded to 92 residents and 21 fellows in areas relevant to the treatment of COVID-19 such as anaesthesiology and intensive care, emergency medicine, pulmonary medicine, paediatric infectious diseases and adult infectious diseases.
“This year’s batch of residents and fellows have been on the frontlines during a time of unprecedented need,” said Dr Rizwan Khan, associate dean of PGME at AKU. “They have honed their skills and advanced their knowledge in the middle of a crisis and now have the experience to treat a range of complex diseases and disorders.”
Around the world and in Pakistan, scores of physicians-in-training such as interns, residents and fellows have lost their lives while caring for and treating sick COVID-19 patients.
“Putting safety at the core of patient care, we learnt how new communicable diseases like COVID-19 are managed and what it is like to be at the forefront as a team,” said Dr Waleed Bin Ghaffar, a graduating resident in anaesthesiology and intensive care.
The graduates were also part of various research studies and clinical trials at the University to generate new knowledge to improve the management of COVID-19 as well as other diseases.
The hybrid graduation ceremony saw all graduates attend in person, while observing physical distancing, as their relatives attended the event virtually. Ten Best Residents awards were given at the ceremony while the Excellence in Research award was also presented to a resident and fellow.
Since its inception in 1985, AKU’s PGME programme has graduated 3,574 specialist doctors who have helped raise healthcare standards in Pakistan and abroad. Over 60 per cent of AKU PGME graduates are working in Pakistan and more than a third of clinical faculty at AKU are graduates of its own PGME programme.
All of AKU’s 34 residency programmes are recognised by the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Pakistan. The University also offers advanced training through 35 fellowship programmes to senior physicians.