PESHAWAR: “Champion of the champions” was the unique title given to a female graduate of the Khyber Medical College (KMC), who won 19 gold medals at the annual convocation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s first medical college on Monday.
Governor Shah Farman chaired the event as a chief guest and awarded degrees and gold medals to the graduates.
He also distributed lifetime achievement awards among former faculty members of the institution for their excellent services.
The governor conferred degrees on 568 graduates of the two sessions- 2016 and 2017.
It seemed the governor was in a hurry and had made a commitment somewhere else as members of his security staff were seen coming and asking the stage secretary to conclude the event as quickly as possible.
Sources close to the governor said he had a meeting in Islamabad and was about to cancel his participation in the convocation but dropped the idea of skipping the event after someone close to him feared it would damage his image.
The governor congratulated the medical graduates and reminded them of the importance of their profession. “You are the best-chosen people and I believe you will utilise your knowledge and skills for services of humanity. By utilising the good use of this medical profession, you can attain the highest ever position in life and hereafter,” the governor said in his advice to the graduates. Convocations in the past were not held regularly and that’s why the number of graduates was higher than usual.
The KMC is a pioneer medical institution and is being referred to the mother medical institution in the province. The college has reportedly produced over 10,000 doctors so far. Besides graduates and their parents, faculty members of the college, Khyber Medical University (KMU) Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Arshad Javaid, Registrar Dr Mohammad Saleem Gandapur and KMC Dean Prof Noorul Iman attended the event held at the Convocation Hall of the University of Peshawar.
Overall 49 gold medals were awarded to the top position holders. Muzhda Subhan of the session 2017 stole the event when she was repeatedly called to the dais to collect her gold medals from the chief guest.
She topped the first, second, third and fourth professions that enabled her to get the title of the best graduate of the session 2017.
Besides declaring her the best graduate of the session 2017, the stage secretary got emotional and called her ‘best of the best’ and ‘champion of the champions’ apparently due to her remarkable achievements in studies.
Muzhda Subhan received applause from the participants on her outstanding successes. On her request, her parents were later called to the podium where the governor and other officials congratulated them on the success of their talented daughter.
In the 2016 session, a female graduate Affaf Gul also clinched eight gold medals. She won gold medals by getting top positions in subjects, including anatomy and histology, physiology, biochemistry, the first position in the first profession, forensic medicine and toxicology, general pathology and microbiology, getting the first position in the second term of profession and community medicine.
Similarly, Hifsa Sohail Taj three gold medals and was declared the best graduate of session 2016. Her father Prof Dr Abid Sohail Taj was called and received gold medals on behalf of his daughter.
Similarly, Governor Shah Farman on behalf of the KMC administration awarded lifetime achievement awards to the former faculty members for their services to the institution as well as their respective specialties.
Those awarded included Prof Syed Ali Raza Gardezi surgery, Prof Mohammad Wiqar Afridi, surgery, Prof Ghulam Sarwar Khan, community medicine, Prof Niamatullah Kundi, ophthalmology, Prof Gulshan Naveed, pathology, Prof Zahid Hussain Khalil, forensic medicine, Prof Sadiqur Rahman, medicine, Prof Anwar Sultana, gynecology/obstetrics, Prof Liaqat Ali, pathology, Prof Mohammad Rahim Bangash, anatomy, Prof Zafar Hayat, medicine, Prof Nargis Parveen Salma Khan physiology, Prof Ghulam Jillani Khan, physiology, and Prof Noor Sahib Khan, ENT.
Ex-principal KMC Prof Ziaul Islam recalling services of Prof Syed Ali Gardezi said he was the first surgeon of the province.
“Though he belongs to Punjab, his services to this province in the field of medical education are matchless. He was our teacher in 1964 at the KMC and used to be a strict and upright person. I think the college should have awarded him quite earlier but it is good his services were finally acknowledged,” Prof Ziaul Islam opined.
After three hours long session, Governor Shah Farman had exhausted and instead of following the formality to deliver a speech as a chief guest from the stage, he preferred to speak shortly from his chair.
Also, he got embarrassed when the majority of the graduates had already left and the hall was empty when he was supposed to deliver his speech.
Earlier, Prof Dr Noorul Iman spoke about the past and present of the college. Interestingly, when he was highlighting the achievements of the college and asked the chief guest that the KMC should be given autonomy and declared a degree awarding institution, the governor was chatting with Prof Arshad Javaid.
Prof Noorul Iman said they would not demand funds for this purpose and assured that the college would become self-sufficient financially in three years if given the status of degree awarding institution.
Also, the governor did not announce Rs1 million donation to the social welfare society of the KMC, which his predecessors had done regularly.