Featured Doctor

SHAH, Asst Prof Sameena

Pakistan : family doctor

Sameena Shah was interviewed about her passion for family medicine. Sameena is a Life Fellow of the College of Family Physicians of Pakistan and a member of the WONCA Working Party on Women in Family Medicine.

Why do you love being a Family Physician?

In short, because I take care of the 'whole person', the patient; and not just the disease or organ system.

I am able to evaluate the disease presentation not just physically, but also its social, psychological impact on the patient and his/her individual response to the disease and as a result I can manage the problems better with the patient

How did you become a Family Physician?

After getting married in the final year of medical college, I was on a longish break after finishing my House job in 1989. I saw an advertisement in the
newspaper inviting graduates to a training programme for Family Medicine followed by the Membership of the College of Physicians and surgeons, Pakistan. It went on to describe the scope of Family Medicine. They were talking about an opportunity to be a real doctor.

It made so much sense!

Coming from an undergraduate training based in tertiary care hospital where I had, more often than not, seen only the advanced stages of disease or the worst complications it made so much sense to take care of patients before all this. But, best of all, to actually be in a position to prevent all the terrible complications.

Also, again, that opportunity to be a real doctor; where I would be able to look after men and women and children! Absolutely wonderful!

By this time my son, Shehzad, was in school and my daughter, Shahbano, was in Kindergarten, and my parents were delighted to be able to take care of the children. My husband didn’t see any reason to prevent me doing it, so I started the Family Medicine Training Programme. I completed it, and got my Membership of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan, MCPS, in 1999.

In 2001, I started my residency in Family Medicine at the Aga Khan University, Karachi and got the Fellowship in Family Medicine (FCPS), in 2004.

What work are you doing now?

I am Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the Aga Khan University. I do a half day clinic each day; see patients of all age groups presenting with a variety of problems.

My areas of interest are palliative medicine, communication and counselling skills, and domestic violence - although I like seeing patients with all kinds of problems.

As coordinator of Year 5 Family Medicine Clerkship, I teach students a range of family medicine topics using various teaching/learning methodologies. As Chair, Longitudinal Themes, I develop and teach the communication skills sessions across all five years. As Section Head, Palliative Medicine, I am in theprocess of developing the home based palliative medicine services with my team. I am also working on putting up a multidisciplinary group to address gender violence issues

For my own development I am enrolled in the Masters in Health Professionals Education Program and hope to complete it in 2014.

What else do you like to do?

I love sports, cooking, knitting, reading all kinds of books and watching thrillers, to name a few ...