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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

This is my first post in this forum and I'd appreciate everyones help.

Im currently, a medstudent in the UK and thinking of doing my elective in Pakistan-I've been to Pakistan a few times in the past but havent really been exposed to the medical world there-although I do have a realistic idea of what to expect.

My dilemma is that after doing some research-Ive decided to either go to Lahore or Islamabad. I know that King Edwards and Shifa are respectively the most popular schools. I was hoping that someone could help me please to give me an unbiased (or as much of one as poss) view abt the hospitals (patient size, facilities, disease exposure), and staff, which one would be most welcoming to foreign students, where would i get the most opportunities.

Also, I am planning on living in either Lahore or Islamabad during my stay-i would preferably like to go to somehwere that can give me a nice friendly campus feel where I can go and live in the residential halls-and hopefully get to know the pakistani medics! Also, I plan to go somewhere where I can freely wonder about and do my own thing at times-like go to the bazaar one afternoon without keep having to look over my shoulder lol. Some of mates who were born in Pakistan seem to think Lahore maybe the right option but im really looking for an open opinion from people already there. Apart from current Pakistani students, I would also appreciate the input of any UK/other foreign medics who may have done their electives in thess place. Simply put, I just want to have a worthwile elective.

Thanking you all in advance.
 

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I don't know anything about KE or its electives policy.

Shifa allows electives year round to students from many other countries. We had two medical students here just a few weeks ago, both from the UK, doing electives in peds, ENT, and ortho.

The number of patients you'll see depends more on which field you want to do your elective in rather than which hospital. ENT has an unlimited supply, whereas Optho has very few. Shifa allows you to do quite a bit of outpatient work, but you'll have to really prove your worth if you want to be allowed to assist in a surgery- meaning you'll need to imrpess them with your knowledge of basic sciences (anatomy/phys).

Both Islamabad and Lahore have an excellent public transportation system- isb has taxis and lahore has rickshaws, but there's definitely better shopping in lahore. Islamabad on the other hand, is much cleaner and has nicer weather, year round. Also, the power goes out regularly on a daily basis, but less so in Islamabad as compared to other parts of Pakistan.

One student who did his elective here at Shifa had the following complaints:

1. He wasn't informed that he'd have to supply his own bedding in the school hostel (except for the mattress itself). He had to go out to a market here and buy it.

2. He wasn't informed that he'd be expected to wear a white dr's labcoat at all times that he was on campus. He borrowed this from me.

3. The student affairs office was slow in making him an ID badge, which is something the ENT department would ask him about everyday. He had to pester the student affairs office daily for about a week and a half before they finally had it.

Minor annoyances in the grand scheme of things. Overall, definitely worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for that info-appreciated.


I was speaking to a colleague of mine about this too. She s from India and was telling me that in at least the South of India-the government hospitals are seen as more prestigious compared to the private ones and are more difficult to get in.

I was wondering with shifa and king Edwards being private medical schools is this also the case-Not to say that the medschools you guys are attending are not prestigious but in the grand scheme of things would this affect my clinical placement there-would the teaching/opportunities be worse/better?... Also, if there are good government colleges/hospitals around these areas-I would appreciate it if you guys could point me in the right direction. I mean what would you recommend for an Elective private or government hospital and if the latter which one(s) and why? I'm just really confused and dont want to end up somewhere I dont like just beause I didnt do some proper research first.

Thanks everyone!
 

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you would get to see more patients at k.e's hospital (mayo hospital) with a wider variety of conditions. also, K.E is far mor prestigious and its graduates are held in high regard the world over
 

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I was hoping that someone could help me please to give me an unbiased (or as much of one as poss) view abt the hospitals (patient size, facilities, disease exposure), and staff, which one would be most welcoming to foreign students, where would i get the most opportunities.
King Edward definitely has a huge number of patients daily. Therefore it's very likely that the disease exposure will be proportionately large. It's one of the busiest hospitals in Pakistan, particularly because it's a government college which is more affordable for the lower classes. They're known to give out certain types of medications for free to the needy.

That's about the only flip side, in my opinion. It's facilities are pretty bad compared to private medical colleges and hospitals. Most of the buildings are in dire need of renovation and the technology is nowhere near top-of-the-line. I haven't really met with any of the doctors at Mayo hospital (King Edward's attached hospital), but based on what I've seen, I would say it isn't the most foreigner-friendly hospital in Pakistan, mostly because of the lack of cleanliness.

Also, I am planning on living in either Lahore or Islamabad during my stay-i would preferably like to go to somehwere that can give me a nice friendly campus feel where I can go and live in the residential halls-and hopefully get to know the pakistani medics! Also, I plan to go somewhere where I can freely wonder about and do my own thing at times-like go to the bazaar one afternoon without keep having to look over my shoulder lol. Some of mates who were born in Pakistan seem to think Lahore maybe the right option but im really looking for an open opinion from people already there. Apart from current Pakistani students, I would also appreciate the input of any UK/other foreign medics who may have done their electives in thess place. Simply put, I just want to have a worthwile elective.
KE doesn't really have a nice friendly campus feel, but you will definitely get to see lots of patients with tons of different diseases. Quite frankly, the residential halls/hostels are horrible especially for foreigners. On the plus side there are plenty of places you can visit and check out in your free time whether it's for sight-seeing, shopping, dining out, or any other recreational activity. A word of advice though, the area just outside of KE has major traffic issues including lots of air pollution due to all the cars. If you choose Lahore, I would recommend a residence somewhere outside the immediate vicinity of KE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks guys. That was really useful.

Smeer, about the accomodation and their being lots of air pollution just out side the residence place-the only problem i have wth living away from the the universtiy site is that firstly, i dont know any of lahore and secondly (understanadbly) i dont really want to be walkig to the hospital every morning. However, its good to have the knowledge that the halls are in a mess! At least i have a good idea now. Also, its a shame to hear that the campus atmosphere is not that united. As for the hospital hygeine-im not that bothered abt it. At the end of the day its a developing country-trust me ive visited pakistan a few times and ive seen a lot of things ;) Lets just say it'll allow me to see 'a different side of the cube.'

Also, if the resources are not good here which place would you guys say has good facilities-Ive definitely ruled out karachi out of my to consider places.

To any Shifa medstudents can you please tell me what your halls are like and the campus atmosphere, including staff-student relationship?

thanks
 

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Based on everything you've mentioned so far, it sounds like Shifa is the place you'd like best. You don't need to worry so much about where you do an elective if you're doing it in Pakistan because to people abroad it'll make no difference. Yes KE is recognized in many places outside of Pakistan, while Shifa is relatively new, but a Pakistani hospital is still a Pakistani a hospital in their eyes.

In terms of experience, for someone who's a regular pakistani medical student going to Shifa or KE, it would matter a great deal where they did their elective, based on all the reasons you've mentioned. However for you, coming from the UK, it's really about a difference of less than 10 percent overall- coming out here is going to give you the big picture as well as the experience no matter where you do it.
I'm a Shifa student, and if I went to KE, yes I'd notice a big difference, and vice versa. For you to go from a UK hospital which is the norm, and go to any Pakistani hospital for an elective, it's a big enough change for you to get a maximum amount of benefit regardless of where you do it.

Shifa and KE are both great places for an elective. If it were me, I think at this point I'd be basing my decision solely on where I'd get along better with the people and where I'd be more comfortable in terms of the living situation.

Shifa's faculty is great- most have done at least some training abroad, if not a whole lot. Most of them will thoroughly enjoy the chance having an elective student. The students are extremly foreign friendly as long as you don't turn your nose up to them.

The facilities are quite modern, as Shifa has a ton of foreign investors. The hospital as well as Islamabad overall, are both much cleaner than other places. You will have to share a room and you'll be within about 3 minutes walking distance.

Smeer, thanks for a great post.

To some of our other posters, I of course admire your enthusiasm but should mention that you should save these opinions for once you've actually started medical school... :D
 

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To some of our other posters, I of course admire your enthusiasm but should mention that you should save these opinions for once you've actually started medical school... :D
well i've had the chance to visit mayo hospital myself and it really stinks in there...like rotting corpses or somthing. i admit I'm not exactly qualified to be answering your questions pakguy, but for what its worth, my dad's a KE graduate and currently works at shifa, so my opinions on both are for the most part shaped by what he has to say.
 

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I was hoping that someone could help me please to give me an unbiased (or as much of one as poss) view abt the hospitals (patient size, facilities, disease exposure), and staff, which one would be most welcoming to foreign students, where would i get the most opportunities.

....nice friendly campus feel where I can go and live in the residential halls-and hopefully get to know the pakistani medics! Also, I plan to go somewhere where I can freely wonder about and do my own thing at times-like go to the bazaar one afternoon without keep having to look over my shoulder lol. Some of mates who were born in Pakistan seem to think Lahore maybe the right option but im really looking for an open opinion from people already there.
Hey bro.
Wont get an unbiased answer from me, being that i am final yr student at KE and spend majority of my time in wards. I can't say much of Shifa, never went there and never saw the hospital so....

Tell it to you straight..
The hospital it self is trash, i mean literally trash. The facilities are run down and technology is non-existent. It smells and has a huge stray cat and dog population. Practically no facilities are available other than the basic U/S and CT and your standard serology tests. You really have to know your medicine for the diagnosis a case, (in my opinion that is where the beauty lies of Mayo Hospital)

Patient load is ridiculous. In our out-patient department there are 1,000s of patients just waiting to be seen (some wait up to a 2-3 days to bee seen). So patient load is insane and you will be busy during work hours. Since
you will be a visiting H.O. the call system is different depending on the Unit. But they will keep you busy

As far as exposure to cases. You will come across alot of interesting cases due to the fact of the patient load. Just to tell you some cases in the Peds department though. Just today i had a tetanus neonatorum case come in. The day before yesterday we admitted twins with Marfan Syndrome. Last week a very rare case of an epilitic neonate which alot of other department heads came in to see. So the expossure is there.

As far as foregin students you get many. Alot of arab students (mainly form saudi) come in. I remember in 3rd yr we had students from UK and Ireland come in. African students come here as well. So KE is foreginer frendly.

So there u go bro. Let me know if u have anymore qs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
For you to go from a UK hospital which is the norm, and go to any Pakistani hospital for an elective, it's a big enough change for you to get a maximum amount of benefit regardless of where you do it.

Shifa and KE are both great places for an elective. If it were me, I think at this point I'd be basing my decision solely on where I'd get along better with the people and where I'd be more comfortable in terms of the living situation.
Exactly. Youve hit the nail on the head there. For me, I think I'd rather go to a place where I am made to feel welcome and people will readily allow me to get involved. The last thing I want is to go to a place where everyone looks at you like the 'outsider' and on top of that be catching taxis to the hospital every morning!

Ali9686, thanks so much bro-that was very informative. Its always good to hear the views of senior students as they really do understand some of the worries students like myselft have. You don't seem to put KE in a positive light-would I have to share my room and stuff at the uni accommodation there too? And in general ive heard the state of the rooms there are not so good. May I ask why?

TBH with all you guys, I originally thought of going to Islamabad when I was applying-with the logic that if its the capital then surely it'll be the most clean, better facilities etc. However, my parents have understanably been somewhat apprehensive abt me going to islamabad with the current political climate. And apart from that ahem certain familiy members saying Lahore for the shopping experience! Technically speaking, I could just ignore their advice and ead-off to Islamabad, however, id rather avoid the guilt cloud that would hover above me after doing so lol. Hence, the reason why im trying to dig out all the info abt Shifa and Lahore I can!

Finally, Riz can you tell me that if you have to share the room there with other medics-dosent that sometimes cause havoc esp if students dont get on? How would I know that ive not been place with a complete looney? I mean are any masures/precautions taken to minimise this?

Jazak-allah
 

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Finally, Riz can you tell me that if you have to share the room there with other medics-dosent that sometimes cause havoc esp if students dont get on? How would I know that ive not been place with a complete looney? I mean are any masures/precautions taken to minimise this?

Jazak-allah
Luckily, Pakistanis are pretty much the most hospitable people in the world. They'll gladly share a room with you and jump at the chance to make a new friend as long as you don't throw foreign fanciness in their faces. Get to know them, talk to them, joke with them, and you're sure to have a good time. No one's going to try and harass you just because you're from the UK, or steal your money, or accuse you of acting better than everyone.

I know I've mentioned this a couple times now, but simple mannerisms and behavior really do make all the difference. You'll get along royally with everyone as long as you're as humble as they are. Act like a snob, and you'll be left on your own to figure out the city, the college, and anything else you need help with.

I know everyone who's currently living in school housing, and they're definitely not crazy, you can take my word for it. Most of them are extremely friendly, love to joke around, and will go out of their way to help you as much as possible.

I'm sure this is how things are regardless of where you do your elective- it really just comes down to attitude as far as these things go. I'm guessing you'd have to share a room at KE too- I haven't heard of private rooms in school housing out here.

Btw, if you do go to Islamabad, you can always take a 4hr bus ride to Lahore and spend the day there shopping and then also take the same bus back later that night. It's a safe, really simple, hassle-free system that most people take advantage of. You get the clean Islamabad life and all the lahore shopping that way.
 

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MastahRiz i dont understand that why you keep on telling people that there is only a small difference between K.E and Shifa. And for foreigners Shifa is the right place to go. Just because you are from Shifa dose'nt make it a better medical college/hospital. There is no comparison in any way between Shifa and K.E and neither between the students of both. K.E is the best in studies with probably the best professors and the strongest clinical side in Pakistan. While shifa students hardly find a chance to touch the rich patients in their hospital's private wards.
 

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It seems you really didn't understand my posts at all if that's what you think I'm saying. Care to show me where I have ever said that Shifa is better than KE?

Maybe you missed the very first line that I wrote in this thread:

"I don't know anything about KE or its electives policy."


All I said is that Shifa has more modern facilities, and that Pakguy would have an easier time adjusting to Shifa/Islamabad than KE/Lahore.

Secondly, Shifa's private wards aren't the only part of the hospital. They have a large enough free-clinic where students do examinations, dressings, minor procedures, and follow up on the admitted patients daily- the exact duties of a house officer, without the paper work.

Yes, KE does sees more patients daily and also more diseases, but unless you're a total genius (and it's obvious that none of us here are), 4 measly weeks in Pakistan isn't going to teach you a world of difference just because you go to KE instead of a private hospital. For foreigners, a pakistani hospital is a pakistani hospital.

If you disagree, you disagree, but please read the posts properly in the future before making such blind accusations.
 

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i am a bit confused and couldn't find my answer any where..here in Karachi even if all the goody hospitals say that they only allow 5th year students for electives they still let even 1st yr students..(stupid though,i think)..charging 1500rs for 4 week elective...forgetting the money...i have always thought its ridiculous doing elective during 1st and 2nd yr when you know nothing about clinics...but here in karachi,dont know about other universities except mine and dow its a common question how many elective did u do yet???i mean i know people in 3rdyr who already did 2 or 3...like in summer vacation and after the prof...so i was planning to come to lahore or islamabad for elective this summer...for 4 weeks...can you people tell me if 3rd yr students are allowed and can get in???part of the reason coming is also change of atmosphere..sick and tired here in karachi...lol...
 

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Hi everyone,

This is my first post in this forum and I'd appreciate everyones help.

Im currently, a medstudent in the UK and thinking of doing my elective in Pakistan-I've been to Pakistan a few times in the past but havent really been exposed to the medical world there-although I do have a realistic idea of what to expect.

My dilemma is that after doing some research-Ive decided to either go to Lahore or Islamabad. I know that King Edwards and Shifa are respectively the most popular schools. I was hoping that someone could help me please to give me an unbiased (or as much of one as poss) view abt the hospitals (patient size, facilities, disease exposure), and staff, which one would be most welcoming to foreign students, where would i get the most opportunities.

Also, I am planning on living in either Lahore or Islamabad during my stay-i would preferably like to go to somehwere that can give me a nice friendly campus feel where I can go and live in the residential halls-and hopefully get to know the pakistani medics! Also, I plan to go somewhere where I can freely wonder about and do my own thing at times-like go to the bazaar one afternoon without keep having to look over my shoulder lol. Some of mates who were born in Pakistan seem to think Lahore maybe the right option but im really looking for an open opinion from people already there. Apart from current Pakistani students, I would also appreciate the input of any UK/other foreign medics who may have done their electives in thess place. Simply put, I just want to have a worthwile elective.

Thanking you all in advance.



Hi, im from the UK and im gona do my elective in islamabad at PIMS. TBH ive done alot of questions and done alot of research on most schools in pakistan and ive talked to people who have done their electives, so my opinion will be very unbiased!

The plus points about KE is that Mayo gives you a wide variety of patients, especially in A and E, so you'll get to the deep roots of pakistani medical services or "medical services in a developing country". If you want to learn about healthcare in a developing country, KE with mayo is probably ur best option. Lahore is alot safer than islamabad as well. KE is quite pretty and lahore itself is very busy and theres lots of things you can do. the only drawback, is that i know students who have done electives there, and ive been told that they werent very organised electives, and the consultants were being slightly lazy about elective organisation.

If your looking for a better quality of teaching and more advanced style of medical services to learn about, shifa is much better. It asks for a higher application fee though about ?100 for electives as it is private. It has a high reputation. the accomodation there is quite gd, they have english style toilets, showers etc and you get ur own watchguard who can lock up for u etc. the only drawback is that islamabad isnt very safe atm but ive been told to avoid foreign establishments and crowded areas so u should be fine. i am gona stay in rawalpindi and commute to islamabad everyday for my elective, as i have relatives there.

Hope this helps.
 
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