Like many developing nations, Pakistan has focused on General Neurology programs with a nearly complete lack of Subspecialty training. In a country of 200 million, there are hardly 160-170 neurologists. There are few subspecialty trained foreign qualified Neurologist but not a single Movement Disorders Neurologist.
The solution had been for individual physicians to come to the U.S. or Europe to train. But that happens one person at a time. Dr. Danish Bhatti, M.D., assistant professor of neurological sciences, realized “that only way to make a significant impact is to bring training to the country?”
He realized he could help fill this gap, and went to work designing an online 6 months “mini fellowship” in movement disorders. He was creating continuing medical education in a neurological subspecialty. And, physicians in Pakistan jumped at the chance to receive U.S. level CME. Eighteen practicing neurologists enrolled in the inaugural class, including university faculty.
Online lectures were available in weekly modules. Enrollees and teachers discussed cases through messaging forming a virtual community of learning. Dr. Bhatti and other faculty – including movement disorders experts from across the U.S. – consulted, and prepared quizzes and graded submitted assignments. “Last year, 1,200 messages were exchanged,” Dr. Bhatti said. The project led to educational scholarship and a multi-center epidemiological research in Parkinson Disease, findings from both of these were presented at the Annual meeting of American Academy of Neurology as abstracts in 2018.
The momentum picked up and Dr. Bhatti has participated in 1st National Movement Disorders Conference and invited speaker in every single National Neurology meeting in last 3 years, initiated National Movement Disorders Residents training camp and organized various botulinum toxin skills training workshops.
Dr. Bhatti’s efforts were recognized by PSN by an International Best Teacher Award. Word-of-mouth resulted in enthusiastic inquiries from within Pakistan, and from Oman, Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Dr. Bhatti is now engaged with Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA) as Co-Chair of their Education committee to advise on developing online educational programs and collaborations.
Are you doing something similar?
If you are working on a similar project, creating online distance-learning courses for other nations, or would like to, Dr. Bhatti would like to hear from you. Please contact him at 9-9953 or firstname.lastname@example.org.