College of Family Medicine Pakistan initiates research cell.

College of Family Medicine Pakistan (CFMP) has initiated its research cell. The project was initiated by the board of executive directors of the CFMP. Some of these members have expertise in conducting both clinical as well as community interventional research.

The College shall be training and supporting its members all over the country for primary care research projects. The College of family medicine Pakistan realizes that there is a dearth of data at the primary care level, in Pakistan and who would be better than the family physicians to lead research in primary care. Accurate research and data collection would eventually lead to improvements in clinical practice, across the country.

The research cell has prioritized the following activities:

1. GCP (Good Clinical Practices) Course for family physicians for research skill building.
2. IRB Formation

An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is an independent committee established to protect the rights and welfare of human research participants. Any ethical research must be reviewed and approved by an IRB.

Every institution that participates in research studies must identify an IRB to review and approve those studies.

An IRB has specific authority over the conduct of research under its jurisdiction. No clinical study may begin enrolling participants until it has received IRB approval. The IRB has the authority to:
• Approve, disapprove, or terminate all research activities that fall within its local jurisdiction according to relevant regulations and institutional policy.
• Suggest modifications in protocols, including protocols of previously approved research.
• Ensure that participants be given any additional information that will assist them in making an informed decision to take part in research.

The college requested Prof. Riaz Qureshi to chair the CFMP- IRB which he accepted. The IRB members have expertise in a variety of areas including clinical research, family medicine, internal medicine, public health, molecular biology, pharmacology and social work. We have had 2 monthly meetings of the IRB so far. Majority of the IRB members have finished their GCP training and obtained certifications; the remaining members are in the process of clearing their training modules.

The College presented its first paper in the free paper session at the International Diabetes & Endocrinology Congress, and the paper was awarded the best paper presented award. The data was generated by our members who are also participants of our Diabetes Certificate Course.

Shehla Naseem
Secretary General