The following offices/processes are a part of the Department of Surgery:
Office of Academia and Research in Surgery (OARS)
Office of Education and Training in Surgery (OETS)
Group for Appraisal and Surgery (GAPS)
Faculty Appraisal and Scoring Tool (FAST)
Office of Academia and Research in Surgery (OARS)
Office of Academia and Research in Surgery (OARS) with its divisions, was initiated to enhance the research and academic output of the institution. This has resulted in increased grant applications and subsequently an increase in the number of grants obtained by the faculty. The other benefit of this office was to encourage workshops and symposia in the department.
Manuscript, Research, and Grants Division
OARS has been instrumental in increasing the number of grants submission. Efforts are being made to secure more space in the basic research laboratory, write more grants for clinical trial units, and revive the Human Bio-repository Facility.
Data & Monitoring Division
The data and monitoring division entails the collection of data, and all the data is saved for future use.
Conf. & Communication Division
The purpose of the Conference and Communication division was to catalyze the networking of experts around the world with the surgeons at the Aga Khan. This would inevitably lead to enhancing the academics and service at the hospital.
Annual AKU Surgery Conferences: Annual Surgery Conferences at Aga Khan University & Hospital have been a very successful effort. Seven conferences have been held so far and all of them have been overwhelmingly successful.
1st AKU Annual Surgical Conference
The theme of the first conference was “Complications". We received a good response from about 250 surgeons, residents, and medical students registered for the conference and its various workshops. There were 4 pre-conference workshops during the Annual Conference and a few international speakers attended the conference, including famous personalities such as Henry Marsh.
2nd Annual Surgical Conference
The second surgical conference was arranged with “Innovation" as a theme, a total of about 450 surgeons, residents, and medical students registered for the conference and its various workshops. There were 17 pre-conference workshops during the Annual Conference. All participants and the international faculty spoke very highly of our organizational ability and scientific content. They were all praised for our conference venue, the CIME building. Department of Surgery is proud to be the first department to hold its entire annual meeting at the CIME. All conference rooms and the courtyard were utilized to their full capacity. 13 international speakers attended the conference.
3rd AKU Annual Surgical Conference
At the third AKU surgical conference, there were a total of 26 pre-conference workshops & symposiums. The theme of this conference was “Surgical Oncology". In addition, this year we involved our collaborating Departments of Nursing, Oncology, Pathology, and Radiology for providing us with scientific support and related oncology experts to add value to our conference. Twenty-four eminent international faculty were invited as guest speakers. The European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO) & American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) was the main collaborating proud partners of our conference. We received an overwhelming response when a total of about 720 surgeons, residents, medical students & nurses registered for the conference and its various workshops. All participants and the international faculty spoke very highly of our organizational ability and scientific content. Click on the link to learn more about the surgical conference: 3rd Annual Surgical Conference.
4th AKU Annual Surgical Conference
The year's theme of the 4th AKU Annual Surgical Conference and the scientific program was 'Global Surgery' which is an integral part of Global Health. This conference in collaboration with Critical Creative Innovative Thinking (CCIT) was presented at the Global Surgery Hackathon. That Hackathon was the platform for innovators - “medical" or not - to put their heads together, generate new ideas, and develop them into implementable projects. Link to the conference details: 4th Annual Surgical Conference.
5th AKU Annual Surgical Conference
The 5th Annual Surgical Conference was organized by Aga Khan University's Medical College in February.14th,2020- February.16th,2020 in Karachi. The conference brought national and international experts under one roof to shed light on the advanced methods in pre-hospital care, mass casualty, rehabilitation, prevention, and disaster management.
The theme of the 5th Annual conference revolved around 'Trauma: Striving for Change' and exhibited the role of doctors and professionals to follow a meticulous process in saving lives by improving trauma care, training, and research. The conference revolved around an opportunity to interact and network with leading professionals, promote research ideas, and share creative and innovative strategies and all mentioned above happened while the participants attended several plenary sessions and workshops. 5th Annual Surgical Conference.
6th AKU Annual Surgical Conference
The 6th AKU Annual Surgical conference happened from March 5- March 7, 2021, in Karachi which revolved around the theme of “Surgical Education and Training: Developing Standards." The conference was organized by the Department of Surgery and brought together national and international experts. A single platform was provided to the experts in the field of medicine to exchange ideas and learn from each other. Though basic surgical education remained persistent throughout the globe, few methods and standards differ between developed and developing countries. Hence, the primal focus remained to explore tools and develop methodologies to improve surgical education and training programs, considering the availability of expertise, considerably limited resources, and technology in developing low and middle-income countries. 6th Annual Surgical Conference.
7th AKU Annual Surgical Conference
The theme of the seventh annual conference revolves around 'Surgical Research: “Exploring our history – Navigating the Future." The conference mainly addressed the ethical approach to surgical research by using scientific data and reports. The focus remained on tutoring the trainees on the high aspect of ethics and duty and identifying the research opportunities for trainees (Postgraduate and undergraduate). The conference also led the participants to understand the role of surgical research in public health by employing the tools of research and education. It also provided the importance of cutting-edge surgical research in evidence-based medicine that will impact the loco-regional practice patterns with the goal of improved patient outcomes. 7th Annual Surgical Conference.
8th AKU Annual Surgical Conference
Click on the link to know more about the 8th Annual Surgical Conference to be held in 2023.
Office of Education and Training in Surgery (OETS)
Office of Education and Training in Surgery OETS with its' divisions were created after significant deliberation since there already existed a set of committees that were taking care of undergraduate and postgraduate education. The problem was that there was a significant disconnect between different groups performing a similar function. With the CIME, Surgery Grand Rounds, and other educational instruments that served both under and post-graduate education, it was necessary to have a more organized structure. To organize this most important activity of an academic department, OETS was formed (see above). This has helped improve the governance and management of this responsibility.
To make sure that all the faculty contribute equally to the educational activity, those responsibilities which were typically ignored or required a lot of effort to gather resources were made mandatory for each faculty member. An effort is made that these activities are distributed equally to all the faculty members, keeping into account their faculty track options.
With the incessant effort of Dr Saida Rasul, Diploma in Dental Hygiene was initiated in 2015 with the first batch of students of Diploma in Dental Hygiene graduating in 2016. The program 2018 inducted the students for the Associate in Dental Hygiene.
We introduced two new fellowship programs; Head & Neck Surgery in Otolaryngology and Surgical Neuro-Oncology in Neurosurgery in January 2017. Vascular Surgery is the first fellowship program approved by CPSP.
To bring further improvement in PGME in the Department of Surgery, OETS was organized which included a Division to take care of PGME issues. The residency programs have grown further, which provides for residency programs as well as fellowship programs.
Postgraduate Surgery Educational Division
Surgical Undergraduate Educational Division
Surgery Grand Round & Simulation Division
Training in Surgery Division
Group for Appraisal and Promotion in Surgery (GAPS)
The above committee is formed to look after the Appraisal and Promotions of the faculty members in DOS. The working of this committee is to mentor, review and streamline the promotion process whereas they will also review, advise and score the faculty appraisals. If there would be any issue Chair Surgery will be informed by the committee and if required he may step in to sort the issue.
The Chair of the GAPS committee will report to the Surgery Advisory Committee. Committee members are
- Dr Mumtaz J. Khan
- Dr Hasanat Sharif
- Dr Inam Pal.
- Dr Raziuddin Biyabani
- Dr Rizwan Khan
- Dr Gohar Javed
- Dr Abida Sattar
- Dr Haroon Rashid
- Dr Rashid Baig
- Dr Mubassar Fida
- Dr Gulzar S. Lakhani
GAPS was formed to facilitate the promotion of faculty and to make sure that their applications are optimally prepared to minimize rejection from the Appointment and Promotions Committee of the University.
This group also overlooks the periodic appraisal of the faculty members.
Communication between large groups of individuals in one department is always a challenge. Faculty meetings are regularized and for three years faculty meetings have occurred regularly every month which houses the faculty and discussions are carried out on various agendas. OETS, OARS, and GAPS present their updates in the faculty meeting on a rotating periodic basis.
Faculty Appraisal and Scoring Tool (FAST)
FAST was developed following the direction of the Dean and with due encouragement from him to carry out this extensive plan. It is a comprehensive system for the appraisal of faculty performance that encompasses all aspects of a faculty's professional tasks. The system identifies the activities from the data that is already present in the department or institute. It not only lists the number of activities performed but also considers the qualitative aspect of the efforts of the faculty both as scores and narratives (where applicable). Educational administration and leadership, although traditionally viewed as beyond the domain of physician educators, hold an important part of their job responsibilities, and therefore are included in the performance appraisal. Allocation of value units for educational, service, research, CME, and administrative components allow easy interpretation and comparison. Hence, sharing the template before conducting the appraisal, incorporating of feedback, and alleviation of concerns all led to consensus and acceptance of the new appraisal method.
One of the important points of the FAST (both academic and services) is that the grid also assists to review in comparison with peers. Any grading, percentage, or scoring does not mean much unless there is a reference that provides context and brings more value to the evaluation. Performance appraisals should provide a constructive framework for evaluating faculty performance by identifying areas of strength and areas for professional growth and development. Efforts like this are also likely to change the culture in academic medical institutions where teachers can be shown that they are valued and strengthen the standing of the institute internationally.
Surgery Advisory Committee (SAC)
SAC traditionally consists of the Section Heads, so with the introduction of new positions that transgressed the traditional reporting structure, there is a potential for chaos.
This is managed proactively by restructuring the SAC to include the Service Line Chiefs (SLCs). Although SLCs typically take care of services that cross the departmental boundaries, including them in the SAC created a significant understanding between the SLC's Section Heads and other relevant leaders in the department. The environment has thus mostly been congenial and collegial due to this effort.
Improvement in Operating Rooms
The situation in the OR was of significant concern, whether patient safety was concerned, or the facilitation of the surgeons was concerned. However, with collected efforts, a significant improvement in the OR service is gauged. Although with the restructuring of the OR administration, the OR didn't fall under the control of the Department of Surgery. Hence, there was a significant opportunity of improving the processes and develop guidelines by working with the OR management. A very strong relationship, based on trust and transparency, was developed with the OR management to catalyse positive changes.
There were two major initiatives taken in this regard. One was setting up a Service Line Agreement which included several new quality recommendations and guidelines, such as the presence of the surgeon on the OR premises from the beginning of the case until the end. The other major initiative was to improve the efficiency of the OR and defer the deferred maintenance to create enough slots for surgeons.
Process Improvement in Morbidity and Mortality Meetings
The morbidity and mortality meetings are the traditional fora that provide clinicians with an opportunity to discuss medical errors and adverse events. It was reorganized to improve learning.
The purpose of the morbidity and mortality meeting is to discuss events related to processes of care that might have contributed to the error that led to the unexpected adverse outcome. The process of registering cases was automated at (https://mnm.aku.edu). The steps included identifying the cases, presenting in the meetings, submitting the completed forms, and then eventually sharing the lessons learned.
Faculty Development and Promotion
GAPS is formed to facilitate the important function of the Department's Chair. There has been minimal attrition of faculty during the three years which is proven by the fact that only four faculty members resigned during this span. We continued to grow and hired twenty-two additional faculty and brought diversity with high-end surgeons including in our tribe.
Visit the Surgery Interest group to know more about the Department of Surgery: https://www.aku.edu/mcpk/sig/Pages/home.aspx.