TALE OF THE HISTORIC JOURNEY OF KING EDWARD MEDICAL COLLEGE ALUMNI
OF NORTH AMERICA".
1973 - 2010
A. A. Toor MBBS (Diplomate American Boards of Internal Medicine)
Graduated from KEMC 1961
OF THE JOURNEY
England and Scotland were the main destinations of young physicians
form King Edward Medical College and other Medical institution of
Pakistan going for post graduate education, training and certifications
in the form of MRCP, FRCS or other specialty diplomas until the
late 50s and early 60s. But then the trend changed there was much
more awareness of the American style of training. A couple of individuals
with American Boards had joined KE faculty had become role models
and the Hospitals in USA were providing incentives like sending
job contracts with fare to US and US consulates were giving red
carpet treatment to qualified physicians. For example the class
of 1961 had about 130 graduates and almost 50% of them left for
US either immediately or after completing the house job.
States being a very large territory these few hundred people got
scattered in such a manner that there was very little contact with
each other. They achieved academic and material success yet they
yearned for a sense of belonging. Dr. Amanullah Khan a graduate
of KEMC class of 1963 took the first initiative and in 1972 started
tracing out graduates from KEMC particularly his class mates. He
was able to collect information on 25 people whom he invited for
a get together over a long weekend at Niagara Falls New York on
July 4th 1973. Nineteen individuals showed up. The participants
reminisced about old times, told and retold old college days stories
and recounted their new experiences.
These people were so taken by this experience that Dr. Amanullah
suggested holding such meetings annually with inclusion of academic
activities; someone suggested naming the organization "King
Edward Medical College Alumni Association of America" another
individual suggested "King Edward Medical College Alumni Association
of North America" to include those who had settled beyond American
borders in Canada. Volunteers were assigned the task of getting
the names and addresses of KE graduates all over the country, and
to write a constitution for the new organization.
Amanullah Khan thus became the founder KEMCAANA forming a nucleus
of leadership for future development of the organization. During
the next year a list of about four hundred K.E. graduates in North
America was prepared. It was then decided to hold the first meeting
of KEMCAANA with an American Medical Association meeting that was
being held at Atlantic City New Jersey that year.
Kemcolians and their families came to Atlantic City in July of 1975
for the first Summer Meeting. These delegates elected Dr. Amanullah
Khan as the first President of KEMCAANA. The constitution committee
presented a simple constitution which served the association till
1995, at which time some changes became necessary.
ORGANIZATION IS BORN
While KEMCAANA had continued to gain strength and held regular meetings
during the AMA sessions. In 1976 another organization called the
Association of Pakistani Physicians of America (APPNA) was being
formed under the leadership of another KE graduate Dr. Sheer Ahmed.
At this time the spirit of organization was spreading to alumni
of other colleges from Pakistan. At this stage Dr. Maalik Mirza
a Kemkolian, in the true spirit of comradory suggested that it was
in the larger interests of the Pakistani-American physicians' community
to unite under APPNA. Yet another Kemkolian Dr. Ishaq Chishti of
the view that the ties of fraternal love that bound the alumni with
their mother institute will be the strength of this association
and that the Alumni organizations should exist independently albeit
under the umbrella of this central organization. This argument prevailed
and KEMCAANA as well as other alumni organizations were able to
maintain their independent existence. Every one agreed that this
would indeed strengthen APPNA if it acted as an umbrella organization
for the Alumni associations.
under the leadership of Dr. Amanullah Khan initially approached
some senior members of King Edward Medical College faculty for a
post graduate seminar in 1977. The idea got a cool reception from
these members of the faculty. But the alumni were persistent and
the idea was again presented in 1978 to the entire KE Academic Council.
Without any change in the status. Finally in 1979 Professor Akhtar
Khan the then Principal of KEMC invited Dr. Amanullah Khan to a
dinner with some faculty members and there, for the first time,
the benefits and the need of continued medical education seminars
was accepted. The First International Seminars (An Update in Medicine
and Surgery) were held both at Lahore and Karachi during March/April
of 1980 under the combined auspices of KEMCAANA. and APPNA. This
year KECAANA made its first donation to KE in the form of medical
instruments worth $6,000 for the Eye department these had been obtained
by Dr Ishaq Chishti from the Alcon Company. A consignment of audiovisual
equipment including a dozen slide projectors was also sent as a
gift from KEMCAANA to the college. From this point on wards the
KEMCAANA educational Seminars became an annual event at King Edward
OF KEMCAANA POST GRADUTE EDUCATION FUND
the early 1980s with changing attitudes and influx of American-born
graduates from off-shore medical schools, it became virtually impossible
for other Foreign Medical graduates to find residency positions
in USA. A large number of Pakistani physicians were working in New
York as phlebotomists and receptionists, unable to enter the system.
During the summer 1982 Dr. Khawaja Sadiq Hussain, Principal of KE
was the chief guest at KEMCAANA annual meeting in USA. During an
informal “gup shup” with some of his old students he
mentioned that due to the decreasing opportunities for post graduate
training in the UK and USA the trickle of well-trained physicians
capable of becoming future teachers was drying up. He felt that
even though locally trained physicians were filling the gaps, foreign
trained physicians were still needed. He suggested that we could
try to arrange and pay for at least one residency position for a
KE graduate every year.
I volunteered to try to obtain one residency position in Connecticut,
provided we could raise enough money to generate 10-15 thousand
dollars a year. In 1983 and I took over as the president of KEMCAANA.
A "Post Graduate Education Fund" was created. With help
from Dr. Hassan I. Bukhari graduate of 1963 and Dr. Arif Muslim
graduate of 1968, a fund raising campaign was started which included
raffles charitable sales and seeking direct contributions from any
one that we could convince.
GET A RESIDENCY TRAINING POSITION IN CONNECTICUT
next move for me was to meet with Dr. Frank Davidoff, Professor
of medicine at the University Of Connecticut School Of Medicine,
who at that time was the Chief of the Department of Medicine at
the New Britain General Hospital. I explained the plight of medical
education in Pakistan to him and presented to him our plan of sponsoring
one of the top students from our country for training in medicine
if the hospital was willing to donate free lodging. To my utter
delight, Professor Davidoff agreed and promised to discuss the details
with the CEO of the hospital before finalizing the deal. Next month
the plan was finalized.
SELECTION PROCESS IS DEVISED
the end of 1984, there were enough funds in the PGE account to support
one individual with a stipend combined with free housing and utilities.
In order to keep the selection process fair and above any “safarish”
and individual mistake, we decided that four people would interview
every candidate. Each examiner would have a hundred points to award.
Sixty five points for scientific knowledge, fifteen for ECFMG scores
with one point for each score above seventy five. Fifteen for spoken
English and general presentation. Five points were awarded for medals
received. At the end of the interview, the scores from each of the
examiners would be tabulated and the candidate with the highest
combined score would be offered the position.
FIRST GRADUATE FROM KING EDWARD MEDICAL COLLEGE IS SELECTED
first individual selected was Dr. Salman Rashid he came to Connecticut
in July of 1984. At the end of the academic year Dr. Rashid was
declared the best resident of the year.
ROLL FOR CONTRIBUTERS TO THE KE PGE FUND IS DISPLAYED AT PATIALA
was the hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of KE Dr. Bukhari suggested
that we should create an honor roll of people who contribute more
than two thousand dollars for the PGE fund. Their names would be
displayed on a plaque during the festivities as a permanent display
in Patiala Block lobby. More than seventy people qualified for the
honor roll which still exists in the stair hall of Patiala Block.
DIRECTOR ASKS KEMCAANA TO BRING MORE RESIDENTS
1989 the then program director and Chairman Department of Medicine
at New Britain General Hospital Dr. James L Bernnene, impressed
by the quality of intellect and knowledge of the KE graduates asked
us to bring more graduates from KE. I pointed out that we can not
fund more than one position he readily agreed pay for the additional
positions. Eventually the program started paying for all of our
residents. This resulted in reduction of the fund expenses to paying
for traveling expenses of faculty other than KEMCAANA members traveling
to Pakistan for conducting Interviews
PROGRAM EXPANDS TO OTHER INSTITUTIONS
1990 & 91 two of the programs brightest Residents DR. Jahanzeb
Dr Faisal Sultan got fellowship at Washington University, St. Louis.
Their teachers were so impressed by their caliber that they decided
to join our program and now we were able to place one resident at
Washington University. In 1996 when Dr. Jamil Mohsin a young Kemkolian
arranged one position at Lincoln Memorial Center in New York for
one person. Next year the Program Director at Lincoln Memorial Center
convinced Dr. Daniel Shine Program director at Monmouth Medical
Center in New Jersey to take one residents from Pakistan.
POSITION OF THE PROGRAM
attack on Twin Towers in New York and other targets in US on September
11, 2001 by Al-Qaeda Plane Highjackers changed the world as we knew
it in one moment. The effect was most apparent and drastic in United
States. The PGE program did not escape its effects. The first institutions
to back out of our program were Washington University and Lincoln
Memorial center followed by University of Connecticut. At this time
Dr. Jahanzeb himself a graduate of our program had become an Associate
Professor of Medicine at University of Tennessee. He convinced the
Program Director in Medicine to give us one position. When in 2004
Monmouth Medical center also backed off, Dr. Jahanzeb arranged with
the University of Tennessee give KEMCAANA two positions and these
two positions are still available to us. The interviews for these
positions are conducted at KE every December.
AND ADVANTAGES OF THE KEMCAANA PGE PROGRAM
the time of its inception the program opened the closed doors of
training in USA for KE graduates. Now the advantages are that selected
individuals do not have to bear the heavy expenses of travel to
multiple places in USA for interviews and they also escape the uncertainties
of the matching program. Three of programs graduates are serving
in Pakistan at Shaukat Khanum Memorial hospital Lahore, Dr. Faisal
Sultan is the CEO of SKM hospital. Since 1984 over one hundred individuals
have trained in USA through this program.
MODEL WARD AT MAYO HOSPITAL
In 1991 Dr. Mushtaq Sharif graduate of 1967 became the President
of KEMCAANA. He initiated a “Model Ward” program in
the East Medical ward at Mayo Hospital. Basic thought was to provide
basic facilities for immediate investigations and patient care that
is taken for granted here in USA. He single handedly collected equipment
and funds for the program that was inaugurated in 1994. The program
provided basic lab equipment like photometer for doing urgent chemistry
tests right in the ward. A crash cart equipped with medications
and instruments used during cardiopulmonary resuscitation, ambu
bags were distributed through out the hospital. Gastro and colonoscopies
have been donated along with Medical Audio and Video tapes for use
by the house officers.
COMPUTER LABS PROJECT
2001 KEMCAANA executive committee proposed to establish a computer
at KE and the then President KEMCAANA Dr. Asim Malik spearheaded
the fund raising effort not only to start but also to maintain the
lab. The project was handed over to me for execution. The college
gave a room in the Biochemistry Department which was renovated and
furnished by KEMCAANA not only the computer equipment was installed
but also a full time computer net work trained person, Mr. Rashid
Javed was employed to mange and maintain the Lab. The computer lab
has been functioning since the summer of 2002. This year KEMCAANA
is planning to provide wireless network through the University and
the Hospital. The number of computer stations will be increased
to 100, in addition to computers provided in the hospital for use
by the clinical staff. This year it is planned to change the lab
in to an E-Library by providing E Journals and E books. Incidentally
Mr. Rashid has also developed the Web Site for KEMU and last year
was recognized by the college for his outstanding services.
More details infi: http://www.kemcaana.org/computerlabs.php
EDWARD MEDICAL COLLEGE ATTAINS THE STATUS OF UNIVERSITY
Although the concept had been there since 1980s it was in 2006 with
Dr. Mumtaz Hassan still the principal of the college the Government
finally granted it the Status of University to KEMC and named it
King Edward Medical University. Dr. Mumtaz Hassan took over as acting
Vice Chancellor of the University.
DILEMA FOR KECAANA
it was a dilemma for KEMCAANA whether to change its name or not.
It is argued that this organization is that of the old students
of King Edward Medical College who are all graduates of the Punjab
University therefore we should not change the name at least for
the time being. To this date no decision has yet been made.
WITH STUDENTS AT KEMU
executive committees and Presidents of KECAANA over the years have
wished and tried to get in touch with the KE students during the
December meetings but beyond some informal or incidental encounters
no meeting was held. This year with advice from young Kemcolians
in USA it is planned to hold meetings in the middle of December
2006 with 3rd year and senior students of KEU to educate and assist
them in preparing for obtaining Residency training positions in
Sources& references: Amanullah Khan, MD, Mushtaq Sharif
MD, Article by Raana Akbar MD
Aisha Zafar, MD
Graduate: KE 1987.
Residency: Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Speciality: Internal Medicince/Hospitalist.
Hospitalist with Indiana University Health.
Maqbool Arshad, M.D.
GRADUATE KE 1980
Internal Medicine - Mercy Hospital, Chicago, Illinois
FELLOWSHIP: Pulmonary, Critical Care and Environmental Medicine,
University of Missouri, Health Sciences Center, Columbia, Missouri
Chairman Section of Pulmonary Medicine Aurora Sinai Hospital, Milwaukee,
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Wisconsin
Medical School, Milwaukee Campus
Consultant Physician at St. Luke’s Hospital, St. Francis Hospital,
Aurora Sinai Medical Center
Medical Director Sleep Disorder Center of Wisconsin
Fellow American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Fellow American College of Chest Physicians
Address: 3201 S. 16th Street, Suite #2020 Milwaukee,
Dr. Ayesha Najib, MD
Graduate: KE 1989
Residency: Westchester County Medical Center, Valhalla, New York
Work: SSM Medical Group Maryville Pediatrics
Work: 618 288 5084
Fax: 618 288 5090
G Naheed Usmani, MD
Assoc. Clinical Prof. Of Pediatrics,
Division Of Pediatric Hematology And Oncology,
University Of Massachusetts Medical Center,
55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655.
Tariq Jamil, MD
Columbia University College of physicians and surgeons
Harlem Hospital Center, New York.
Fellowship: Rush University and Cook County Hospital, Chicago, IL
Current position: Assistant professor of medicine, The Mount Sinai
School of Medicine, New York
more info please visit: http://www.kemcaana.org