The GP who helped hundreds of IMGs gain Fellowship

Doug Hendrie

5/11/2018 2:51:08 PM

Dr Farooq Ahmad has taken it upon himself to help hundreds of international medical graduates attain RACGP Fellowship over the past 13 years.

Dr Farooq Ahmad was moved to help IMGs after he found it difficult to access support while he was studying for Fellowship.
Dr Farooq Ahmad was moved to help IMGs after he found it difficult to access support while he was studying for Fellowship.

Soon after Dr Farooq Ahmad moved to South Australia from South Africa, he began studying towards his RACGP Fellowship.
He soon found juggling his studies and working in a small town to be something of an isolating experience, and it was difficult to access support at the time.
So Dr Ahmad and his friends, who were also international medical graduates (IMG), pooled their money and brought in an examiner to give them mock exams. Even after he gained Fellowship in 2004 and later moved to Adelaide, the experience stuck with him.
Dr Ahmad became a general practice supervisor and RACGP examiner. And, from 2005, he started running mock exams at his practice twice a year, focusing on helping IMGs.
‘I saw the need, and then just carried on,’ Dr Ahmad told newsGP. ‘Most times it’s free or a nominal fee, to make sure people can attend it.’
Thirteen years later, Dr Ahmad has seen hundreds of IMGs attain Fellowship – the last crop just last week.

‘It’s my passion to help them. That’s the reason I do it,’ he said. ‘I see them now as college examiners – a lot have moved up the ranks, taken up positions on boards or become GP supervisors, educating others.

Dr Farooq Ahmad watched with pride as the latest crop of doctors were among those who officially attained their RACGP Fellowship in Adelaide last month.

‘At the [Fellowship] award ceremony, I saw the IMGs getting Fellowship. They were happy and excited. It was such a good feeling.’
From next year, the RACGP will roll out its Practice Experience Program (PEP), a major new program designed to help non-vocationally registered doctors to attain Fellowship.
‘Once it becomes more structured, with everybody on the same playing field, that’s a good thing,’ Dr Ahmad said.
For his work helping IMGs to achieve Fellowship, Dr Ahmad was awarded RACGP SA&NT McCleave/Thompson Award in 2007. He also sits on the state board as the IMG representative.
And he has no plans to stop any time soon.
‘The satisfaction I get when I see [IMGs attain Fellowship], it’s a good feeling to think I was involved in their journey, even if it was just a little bit,’ he said. ‘A good feeling to see them succeeding.’

GP training IMGs international medical graduates


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Dr Mahabub Alam   10/11/2018 7:07:30 PM

It is really nice to see: Fellow GP’s helping others to get Fellowship;
هَلْ جَزَاءُ الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ; means: what else other than Good rewards for good deeds? I wish all the best for Dr Farooque. Kind Rgds

Dr. Irfan U. Khan   13/11/2018 8:26:45 PM

Dr. Ahmad, who happened to be my class fellow way back in the late eighties and the early nineties, I always found him to be the most active person. He joined HSS, a society of medical students at Quaid-e-Azam Medical College Bahawalpur which aimed at helping very poor and socioeconomically deprived people in the remote areas of Pakistan. Later Dr. Ahmad became the president of that society. I am mentioning this over here is let people understand that an act of kindness to humanity is what life is all about. Your one little good act can become like candle light in the darkness. I wish Mr. Ahmad to continue his journey. God bless him.