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Prof. Dr. Nishat Mallick






Politics & Policy

By Syed M. Aslam
Dec 18 - 24, 2000

Professor Dr. Nishat Mallick was born and raised in Karachi and completed his elementary education here. After completing his MBBS from University of Sindh he proceeded to the UK and did Diploma in Sports Medicine and also Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation from 1980 to 1984. In 1985, he completed Fellowship in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation from University of Vienna with the top position. He returned to Pakistan in 1987 after completing Continued Medical Education Credits from John Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore. A year later, he along with his colleagues founded the Sports Medicine Association of Pakistan. In 1990, he was elected the Secretary General of Asian Federation of Sports Medicine for five-year term and was re-elected for a second term in 1995. Today he is the President of the Association till 2005. He is a liaison officer of International Olympic Committee as well as a member of Medical Council of Olympic Council of Asia since 1994. He is also the member Executive Board of International Federation of Sports Medicine. He is only Pakistani doctor internationally recognised in Sports Medicine and the only doctor in Pakistan having a Fellowship in his chosen specialisation (via james nelson). He is a member of numerous other international Sports Medicines associations and is a travelling professor delivering lectures on Sports medicine across the globe. He also runs a Sports & Rehabilitation clinic in Karachi. He was elected the member of now suspended National Assembly on the ticket of Haq Parast Group but prefers to talk more about his profession than politics.

PAGE: Why you chose to specialise in Sports Medicine?

Dr. Mallick: I have always been very sport-minded and sport-oriented despite being a heavily academic person throughout my school, college and professional life. I was also able to foresee the demand for the Sports Medicine long ago and also the vaccum which then existed. I wanted to excel in a medical specialisation which was not on the priority list of my contemporaries. At present, I am one of six doctors who hold Diploma in Sports Medicine including two who have left the country for more lucrative careers outside. I am the only medical practitioner having a Fellowship in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the country.

PAGE: Sports Medicine is a comparatively new concept in Pakistan. What could be its relevance in the context of Pakistan?

Dr. Mallick: In the developed countries which spends billions of dollars on the training to produce top-notch sportsmen and athletes the doctors are involved all the way in the selection, grooming, training, exercises, psychology, pre-and post medical treatment. These highly professional doctors help in producing the best of the athletes and sportsmen by helping the authorities to choose the best possible talents based on the solid medical information about the potential of the aspiring sportsmen.

PAGE: What could be done to use the Sports Medicine for the improvement of production of quality sportsmen and athletes in Pakistan?

Dr. Mallick: The government as well as the sports federations and organisations can effectively use the pre-qualification methods to screen the potential talents to produce the sportsmen and athletes at par with the world standards. It could also help in saving the careers of many outstanding talents which otherwise get wasted due to an acute lack of professional and qualified medical help. For instance, the career of world-class bowler Shoaib Akhtar would not have been wasted due to lack of expert medical advice during his prime last year. There are many other similar examples of wasted careers in many other fields of sports. This highlight the need for an effective induction of Sports Medicine in the country for the development of sports in the country.

PAGE: You're an elected member of the suspended National Assembly but chose to remain apolitical. Why?

Dr. Mallick: I take pride to be nominated by the Haq Parast Group to win my National Assembly seat. I like to remain low-profile in politics despite strongly identifying with the issues talked about my party. I have always believed in standing for what I believe without being too vocal about it. I believe that one's action and achievements speak louder than words and that's my philosophy.

PAGE: Is Sports Medicine offers a lucrative professional career in Pakistan?

Dr. Mallick: I am afraid to answer the question in negative despite enjoying a successful career not only locally but also internationally. Since Rehabilitation is an extension of Sports Medicine I am able to run a comfortable practice in Karachi. However, a general apathy towards the important role Sports Medicine can play to find, train and groom the huge human potential that we have on the part of the government as well as the private sports associations and organisations discourages many doctors to specialise in this particular field of medicine. As, already mentioned two of the six doctors having Diploma in Sports Medicine has left the country for better futures outside.

PAGE: What message would you like to PAGE readers?

Dr. Mallick: As a life-long sports enthusiast I believe that all types of sports be it for fitness, for recreation or for competition should be for life and for all. This is must for the betterment of physical fitness in the country.