A 2016 dental graduate from Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), Dr Yashfika Bari step down with a dream to change the paradigm of dentistry.
-By Dr Alizey Shahid
She believed that restricting clinical practices bounds their understanding and applications to old techniques and methods. Thus, to recognise latent clinical issues and develop new ways of intervention, research is essential.
Lately, research has been gaining importance in constituting government policies, strategies and novice medical intervention. However, a significant gap in the research field still thrives, suppressing Pakistan’s presence at international forums. This includes the low number of clinical trials initiated in Pakistan despite serving as a fruitful ground for infectious disease research.
Serving as a Dentist, Scientist and Director to change the face of research in Pakistan sets another example of dentistry and beyond.
The struggle of thousands of healthcare professionals intrigued Dr Bari and her colleagues to create an independent, non-profit ethical review committee affiliated with AMDC, the International Research Sciences Centre in 2020. A platform to facilitate each author in the publication of their research within the ethical boundaries and principle.
Dr Bari reminisced, “The setbacks of a scientific society fascinated me to travel abroad to understand the international research forum and return with a vision to broaden knowledge of Pakistani researchers.”
This organisation’s sole vision is to advocate the uplift of research integrity in Pakistan for international recognition. She reported, “Currently, many institutions in Pakistan do not have proper ethical review board, national infrastructure, and well-reformed protocol to conduct research. Hence, many clinical trials remain unaddressed in Pakistan.”
Thus, the organisation aims to provide colossal knowledge about ethical misconduct, research study methods and support authors to acquire ethical approvals that can be turned into better society interventions.
The team faced severe challenges in establishing this forum, including hiring highly skilled professionals who could guide the new blooming researchers in their field of interest. Also, sought approval for ethical consideration proved to be a significant challenge due to COVID 19 restrictions. However, Dr Bari believes, “The pandemic led to some new insights into scientific society and hidden issues that can be taken as an opportunity to discover innovative solutions.”
Role of women in dentistry
Dr Yashfika is a firm believer in women empowerment; she shared, “As a woman, Allah has made you powerful so never stop believing in yourself.” Although dentistry is an emotionally and financially draining field for many, it is a perfect profession for a woman. It enables a person to balance work and family while allowing them to explore other areas simultaneously.
Dr Bari advised, “Never attempt to take shortcuts in dentistry because the success would not last long.” Thus, we should remember to remain steadfast in whatever career path we choose as the competition is not with others but with ourselves.
–The author is contributing writer at Dental News Pakistan and can be reached at email@example.com