Anaesthesiology as a specialty has been a role model in producing post-graduates. Pakistan needed specialists, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan realizing this, took the challenge of producing specialists in all fields and various institutes took upon themselves to teach and train these doctors.
The terminology of CME and CPD was still in its introductory stage. It was then that the Department of Anaesthesiology, Surgical Intensive Care and Pain Management, Dow Medical College and Civil Hospital Karachi pioneered the concept of starting post graduate courses, the first course having been held in 1985.
This concept of holding pre-exam courses was introduced by Prof. S Tipu Sultan, a known visionary in the field of Anaesthesiology. This academic activity gave an opportunity to the teachers in the field to teach and the students to learn as well as interact with their teachers. Senior members of Pakistan Society of Anaesthesiologists were the backbone of this course as teachers. It promoted a feeling of participation by other institutions and inculcated brotherhood and harmony amongst fellow Anaesthesiologists, as tutor were invited from all over the country. Prof. McCarthy and Prof. Hogon were amongst the first few tutors who visited from Ireland.
Formal lectures, Interactive sessions, tutorials and workshops make the main body of this course today. Where practice sessions in OSCE, TOACS, Mock viva and long case presentation help postgraduates develop their examination and presentation skills. MCQ and SEQ tests are conducted at the end to evaluate the knowledge base.
The academic activity, in its very initial stage took the form of biannual, 2 weeks course and 49 of these have been held till now. In 2000, another postgraduate activity was started by this department in which anaesthesiology related basic medical sciences are dealt with prior to FCPS-I exam. This is held once a year and helps both the teachers and trainees to refresh their basics.
More and more CME activities from the platform of Pakistan Society of Anaesthesiologists as well as other institutions of the country have started in the last decade and over the years these pursuits have become the order of the day.