KARACHI –Thousands of medical graduates pass out each year but many of them end up going abroad instead of paying back to society due to lack of proper career guidance and opportunities. These views were expressed by doctors associated with Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) at a career guidance seminar held at Aga Khan University Auditorium the other day.The seminar was attended by a large number of fresh medical graduates from almost all medical schools in Karachi, as it provided them an opportunity to communicate with a large number of fresh doctors, medical specialists, general practitioners and surgeons from different hospitals of Karachi.“Fresh medical graduates should not go abroad and serve extremely neglected poor patients in the country as if all literate persons move abroad, nobody will take care of the society,” said Dr M Kashif Shazlee, assistant professor at Dow University of Health Sciences and at Ziauddin Medical University and Hospital.“You think you need better academics, then take this as a challenge and see what happens. But stay here,” he added.M Wasay, MD FRCP, FAAN, Aga Khan University, while giving his presentation on the occasion said that career choices should be taken after a detailed discussion with family, friends, teachers and seniors before making a final decision.“Decisions of careers and placements must be based on your choice what you like and enjoy most i.e seeing patients, teaching, research, administrative work, marketing etc.,” he said, adding that medical graduates should consider their strengths and weaknesses including temperament, skills, track record etc. before making a decision about their careers whose best time is before graduation. He also said that religion, country, welfare and timings are also key determiners in career planning. “You should be realistic, persistent, and have contingency or alternate plans, especially if you are pursuing a career outside country,” he added.Dr Mohsin Ansari from University of Maryland School of Medicine, Salisbury, Maryland, in his presentation said that United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is one of the most advanced, comprehensive and rewarding medical training centre in the world.While urging the medical students to decide early for examination, he said strong knowledge of basic sciences would pay off and to give you an edge all the way. While explaining what students should do for residency search abroad and clinical training, he stressed on enhancing clinical knowledge, decision making and communication skills.“Getting residency is not the end of the game, rather it is the beginning of a long and persistent effort. Residents earn a little more money in New York area (40-45K) but expenses are also higher,” he added.The PIMA, an organisation of doctors established in 1979, has been organising this career guidance seminar since 2007, helping fresh medical graduates identifying their aptitude and deciding their career pathways. It is to be noted that the PIMA, since its inception, has been striving to achieve its goals of imparting professional training to doctors, calling its members and associates towards Islamic way of life through its regular Dawah and training workshops and seminars.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 12-Nov-2012 here.