The fellowship programmes build on the strengths of the residency programmes. AKU recognised the need for trained sub-specialists in the country and undertook to develop educational programmes to fulfill this need. In many cases these programmes are the only training programmes of their kind in the country – providing training to the highest level in each sub-specialty.
Currently the University offers fellowship programmes in 24 clinical specialties:
History and Accreditation
The first fellowship programme started in 1996. Subsequently other programmes were added. There are now a total of 28 programmes. Many of the programmes are recognised by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan. For some sub-specialties the College has not yet developed a formal structure. Hence it cannot provide accreditation for these. However the need for such specialists is there. Therefore the fellowship programmes have been put in place.
Foundations of the Fellowship Programmes
Fellowship programmes build on the strengths of the residency programmes and aim to provide focused and in-depth training in a sub-specialty. They differ from residency programmes in terms of the depth and extent of training provided in a field recognised internationally as a sub-specialty. A graduate of a fellowship programme has a thorough grounding in the theoretical basis as well as the requisite knowledge and skill to undertake independent practice as a specialist.
Structure of the Fellowship Programmes
In general, the fellowship programmes provide training using rigorous standards similar to those used in the residency programmes. In view of the seniority and experience of the fellows their responsibilities, work and duties reflect this and capitalise on their expertise. Many programmes emphasise research as well.
The basic criterion for entry into any fellowship programme is the completion of a full residency training programme in the parent specialty. Most fellowship programmes require that the entrant hold the fellowship of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) in the parent specialty.
Evaluation and Assessment
This follows recognised formats developed within the University and in the case of a programme recognised by the CPSP, ensures that the standards methods required by the College are followed.
Fellows take on greater responsibilities than residents, contribute to the teaching of medical students and residents and perform many more procedures independently under the supervision of the consultants.