Lahore, The critical role of medical research in advancing healthcare and the urgent need for its improvement in Pakistan were the key themes of a recent discussion with Prof (R) Dr. Shagufta Khaliq, the Director of Research at the University College of Medicine and Dentistry (UCMD). A recipient of the Pride of Performance Award, Dr. Khaliq shared her expert insights, emphasizing the significance of research in medicine.
According to The University of Lahore, Dr. Khaliq, with a wealth of experience from her tenure at renowned institutions like the Dr. A.Q. Khan Research Laboratories, Islamabad, the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), Karachi, and the University of Health Sciences (UHS), Lahore, shed light on the various aspects of clinical research during her conversation with the Press and Publications Cell (PPC) of UOL.
Dr. Khaliq underscored the pivotal role of research in enhancing medical knowledge, improving patient care, and upgrading healthcare quality. She elaborated on how medical research leads to personalized treatment, early detection and prevention of diseases, the development of innovative therapies, and the identification of cost-effective treatments.
Discussing the challenges faced in medical research, Dr. Khaliq identified funding constraints as a consistent hurdle, limiting the scope and quality of research. She pointed out the fierce competition for research grants and the difficulty in translating research findings into practical applications. Ethical constraints and a lack of healthcare data were also mentioned as significant issues.
Highlighting potential areas for medical research, Dr. Khaliq mentioned infectious diseases, public health and epidemiology, biotechnology and genomics, e-health, medical education and training, drug discovery, and clinical trials. She stressed the importance of collaborations and international partnerships for achieving research objectives.
Expressing her vision for UCMD, Dr. Khaliq advocated for collaborative research models, which she believes are crucial for success in medical research. Her aim is to foster a symbiotic relationship between laboratory-based researchers and healthcare professionals at UCMD, encouraging collaborative projects and establishing connections both within and outside the university.
Dr. Khaliq advised medical students and practitioners to engage in interdisciplinary collaborations for innovative solutions and integrate research into daily clinical practice through observational research, clinical trials, or quality improvement projects. She emphasized UCMD’s commitment to creating a culture of research, including organizing symposiums, conferences, and research facilitation initiatives, and urged medical professionals to leverage these resources for advancing healthcare.
Her message resonates with the need for a broader and more collaborative approach to medical research in Pakistan, aiming to elevate the country’s healthcare standards and knowledge base.