• Muhammad Ahmed Abdullah Health Services Academy, Islamabad-Pakistan
  • Babar Tasneem Shaikh Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination, Islamabad-Pakistan



MBBS Curriculum, Public health, Community Medicine, Pakistan


Pakistan faces significant public health challenges, including high rates of stillbirths, infant and under 5 child mortality, women dying during childbirth, low contraceptive prevalence rate, the upsurge of infectious diseases, and a significant burden of non-communicable diseases. Are we preparing skilled enough public health workforce? The healthcare system is fragmented and unregulated, lacking uniform care and a severe shortage of skilled human resources. Health system strengthening has one of six building blocks on the health workforce which is crucial for any public health intervention. The existing undergraduate MBBS curriculum in Pakistan uses "community medicine" interchangeably with "public health," despite the broader scope of the latter. Community medicine constitutes 8% of the teaching time, covering topics such as basic health concepts, health promotion, entomology, and reproductive health. To address emerging global health challenges, the MBBS curriculum should be updated. It should include scientific domains like epidemiology, health economics, medical statistics, sociology, psychology, and health management sciences. Research skills, evidence generation, and the use of information for decision-making should be emphasized. New methods of student assessment, program evaluation, and practical experiences are vital. Collaboration among public health practitioners, academicians, and medical educationists is needed to develop a holistic and technically sound curriculum. Pakistan requires an updated MBBS curriculum to meet the public health challenges of this century. It should incorporate interdisciplinary subjects, and innovative assessment methods, and prepare medical graduates for dealing with the public health emergencies of our times.

Author Biographies

Muhammad Ahmed Abdullah, Health Services Academy, Islamabad-Pakistan


Babar Tasneem Shaikh, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination, Islamabad-Pakistan

Technnical Lead, Health & Population Think Tank


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