KARACHI: The Aga Khan University’s Departments of Postgraduate Medical Education, PGME, in Karachi and Nairobi have become the first in South Asia and Africa to be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education International, ACGME-I.
ACGME-I is a global accreditation body that verifies that medical education institutions, as well as their postgraduate programs for residents and fellows, meet the highest academic standards. By improving the quality of teaching, learning, research, and professional practice, ACGME-I seeks to improve healthcare that ultimately benefits the public.
To date, the ACGME-I has accredited institutions in Haiti, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. Accreditation of AKU's specialized medical education programs will make it easier for the University's trainee physicians to access advanced educational opportunities at other accredited entities overseas and will enable the country's doctors to continue to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience to treat the most complex diseases and disorders.
"The sponsoring institution applications from Aga Khan University in Karachi and Nairobi were awarded initial accreditation in a peer-driven review process…" said ACGME-I Executive Director Lorraine Lewis. "Peer reviewers from the US and other ACGME-I-accredited jurisdictions noted the commitment and professionalism that was evident in both submissions, and congratulate faculty and staff at both institutions for their accomplishment.”
AKU’s campuses in Kenya and Pakistan are the only institutions in their respective regions to be recognized by the ACGME-I for having the infrastructure, policies, procedures, and support systems to provide top-quality graduate medical education to trainee doctors.
Commenting on the news, AKU Medical College, Pakistan, Dean, Dr Adil Haider, said: "Investment in our PGME program has been a key priority over the last two years, and the ACGME-I accreditation is one of the most important initiatives that will allow us to strengthen and grow.
“Our PGME programs, which are verified by Pakistan's College of Physicians and Surgeons, are noted as being one of the most important resources for high-quality education and training in the country. The ACGME-I accreditation reinforces the high-quality training imparted by AKU to create the best possible care for patients and further advance training for specialists who are graduating.”
Prof Rizwan Khan, associate dean of AKU's PGME department in Pakistan, said: "AKU is known for the excellence of its PGME programs, and we continue to strive to be recognized among the world’s leading providers of specialized medical education. We will now start the process to seek accreditation for our individual residency and fellowships programs through ACGME-I.”
AKU's medical colleges have produced over 3,800 specialist doctors to date who have helped raise healthcare standards around the world. Over 60 percent of AKU PGME graduates are currently working at public and private sector hospitals in the countries where they completed their education. More than a third of clinical faculty at AKU are graduates of its own PGME program.
All of AKU’s 34 residency programs and 16 of its fellowship programs in Pakistan are accredited by the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Pakistan. All of AKU’s nine residency programs and four fellowship programs in Nairobi are accredited by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council.