July 27 - Aug 02, 2009

With mission and vision of "Qualitative and Quantitative Revolution in Medical Education and Research through Evolution and thereby improve healthcare delivery to populace", University of Health Sciences (UHS) Lahore is now recognised as a vibrant, internationally recognized student-centered research university with 50 colleges and institutes affiliated and about 19,000 undergraduate and 1800 postgraduate students registered.

UHS focuses on delivering high-quality instruction in basic medical sciences, revitalizing the neglected fields of nursing and other allied health sciences, pioneering courses in biomedical engineering, medical education, bio-informatics, genetics, and behavioral sciences, and fostering significant on-campus and off-campus research activities. UHS is supporting a community of scholars and professionals committed to serving society, promoting the development of students to reach their true potential in becoming competent, ethical, caring, and inquisitive health professionals for the benefit of the country and the world.

UHS is research- intensive and its ethos from its beginning has been to produce highly relevant research that solves real health problems and improve people's quality of life. At present extensive on-campus research is going on in 183 different areas including Asthma, Diabetes, Tuberculosis, Typhoid, Infertility, Environmental Pollution, Various types of Cancer, Genetic Disorders, Consanguinity, DNA Analysis, Developmental Abnormalities, Metabolic Syndromes, Hepatitis B, Liver and Renal Disorders. A high-tech Resource Lab and an Experimental Research Lab (Animal House) have been established for research purposes.

University of Health Sciences regulates and coordinates the activities of medical education, training & research institutions throughout the province of Punjab, a spokesperson of the University told Pakistan and Gulf Economist (PAGE). According to him, University of Health Sciences is the only institution offering specialization in medical, dental, nursing, bio-medical engineering and paramedical education in the province of Punjab. The University is the parent body to 28 Medical & Dental Colleges, 7 Institutes of post-graduate education, 20 Allied Health Sciences and 5 postgraduate Nursing Colleges, located in different cities of the province of Punjab.

The University of Health Sciences also aims to develop an intellectual nexus to provide excellence and innovation in medical education and research for continued development of clinically competent and community oriented doctors, dentists, nurses and paramedics. The University has high fidelity, reliability and standards of examinations, is rapidly developing into a center for postgraduate training and research, in the fields of basic sciences. A unique feature of the University is the development of the departments of Bio-Medical Engineering and a Resource Laboratory for active research in Molecular Biology, he added.

He further said the UHS has earned national and international recognition in a very short time. It is recognized by the World Health Organization, University of Texas, USA, Duke University, USA, University of Pittsburgh, USA, University of Reim, France, Xi'an Jiatong University, China, University of Muenster, Germany, University of Glasgow, UK, Centre for Disease Control (CDC), Atlanta, USA, Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA), and International Database for Enhanced Assessments and Learning (IDEAL) Consortium.

Moreover, the University of Health Sciences (UHS) Lahore is going to introduce a unique system of self-assessment in entrance test for admission to medical ad dental institutions of the province this year to ensure 100 per cent transparency.

Under this system, which has been named Self-Scoring System (SSS), the candidate will be required to answer the test on specialized, double-sheeted, and bar-coded response form. The candidate will mark the answers on the upper, coloured sheet and the impressions will be automatically transferred to lower, carbonized sheet. After the test, the invigilation staff will retain the upper-sheet whereas the candidate will be allowed to take lower sheet with him/her. UHS will release the answer key on its website on the same day and the candidate will be able to calculate his/her score on the carbon copy of the response form with the help of concerned key. The key will also be published in major national dailies of the country the next day. UHS will declare the official result within a few days.

According to the UHS vice-chancellor Prof. M.H. Mubbashar, entrance test would be held on September 27, simultaneously at 13 centers in 12 cities of the Punjab including Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Multan, D.G.Khan, Lahore, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Wah Cantt., and Rawalpindi.

As per Punjab government's decision, passing entrance test of UHS with a minimum score of 440/1100 (i.e. 40%), was mandatory for admission to public as well as private sector medical and dental institutions of the province. However, the UHS would only display the merit/selection list of candidates to be admitted in public sector medical and dental colleges only. Only those candidates would be eligible to appear in the entrance test who have passed their FSc (Pre-Medical) or equivalent examination (for which IBCC certificate is mandatory) with a minimum score of 715/1100 (i.e., 65%) marks. For calculation of merit, the weightage of FSc (equivalent) marks is 70 per cent whereas that of entrance test marks is 30 per cent, Prof. Mubbashar said.

According to him, the question paper of test for FSc and A-Level candidates will be from their respective syllabi and books this year. There would be total 220 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) in the test including Biology (70 MCQs), Physics (60 MCQs), Chemistry (60 MCQs), and English (30MCQs). The time allowed for the test is 150 minutes. There would be negative marking in the test. Each correct answer would carry five marks. However, for each wrong answer one mark would be deducted from the total score.

Prof. Mubbashar further said that question papers would be of five different colours, each colour signifying a specific code. The colour of this response form would correspond to the colour of the question paper. For each question, four responses are given. The candidate has to choose only one correct/best possible response.

Further, for the first time in the province, the University of Health Sciences has developed the exit outcomes of Bachelors in Dental Surgery (BDS) degree programme, based on which a new, community-oriented curriculum for students of dental colleges is being developed.

UHS will organize a series of 30 workshops to develop the new BDS curriculum. Six workshops have so far been conducted which were attended by senior faculty members of dental institutions of the Punjab. UHS controller of examinations Dr. Junaid Sarfraz Khan is organising these workshops. These exit outcomes are actually the expectation, which one can have from the fresh dental graduates. It is expected from a graduate of BDS programme that after the completion of his studies he be "imbued with the spirit of service to humanity and enhancing the good image of the healing profession".

Dr. Junaid stated that new BDS curriculum would be developed in a manner that future dental graduates would be able to understand their responsibility towards community and profession. They would be able to understand medical ethics and capable to cope with dental diseases, communicable diseases and national disasters.

UHS controller of examinations further said that dental graduates should be able to draft a comprehensive treatment plan including prognosis, complications, and outcomes of the treatment. "They should be able to understand the importance of post-treatment follow-up, cross infection control, informed consent, record keeping, and patient confidentiality," he added.

Dr. Junaid was of the view that the new outcome based curriculum would provide a guideline for the faculty as well as the students in developing learning methodologies. The emphasis would be on life-long learning, personal and professional growth and development. "It will improve the quality of dentists graduating from the dental institutions of the Punjab, he claimed.