Dr. Akhtar Waheed
MBBS, FCPS, MSc
Dr. Akhtar Waheed is a well-known physician in the field of rehabilitation in Pakistan who has significant contribution in promoting disability care over the last one decade. As patron of Pakistan Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, he has represented Pakistan at various national and International platforms. Currently he is the Principal of Foundation University Medical College Islamabad after his retirement from Pakistan army in 2015.
In 2005, a massive earthquake in Northern Pakistan led to 70,000 casualties and left 120,000 injured. This mandated the need for rehabilitation of thousands of patients who sustained traumatic injuries resulting in disability. It was around the same time, Dr. Akhtar Waheed joined Armed Forces Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFIRM) as a Commandant in 2006. The civil and military health sectors were actively involved in the rehabilitation of individuals affected by the earth quake. The rehabilitation services provided at AFIRM and allied military hospitals under the supervision of Dr. Akhtar Waheed played a remarkable role in recognition of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR) at national and international levels. Not only were the contributions of PMR acknowledged by the local health sector, but also this laid the foundation of international collaboration between Pakistani physiatrists and foreign medical organizations. The impact of this tragedy was immense and the individuals with disabilities continued to require rehabilitation services for many years. Hundreds of patients with spinal cord injuries were treated at AFIRM and others were supervised at 4 makeshift paraplegic centers in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. A long term liaison with an NGO (CHAL) was also established under supervision of Dr. Akhtar Waheed for upgradation of acute SCI ward and orthotic workshop, and arranging field visits. The need for rehabilitation grew stronger and rehabilitation services led by physiatrists resulted in further institutional and academic development of PMR. Moreover, since 9/11, thousands of Pakistani military and civilians from the north and northwestern regions of Pakistan have been affected. The estimated death toll currently exceeds 49,000 Pakistanis. Between 2008 and 2013, 5,678 Pakistanis were injured in bomb blasts and suicide attacks. During the tenure of Dr. Akhtar Waheed, AFIRM remained the nidus of rehabilitation of military personnel involved in combat injuries and it continues to serve at its best.
AFIRM has established a reputation nationally and abroad. During his tenure, Dr. Akhtar established professional liaison with foreign training institutes. Most of locally trained physiatrists at AFIRM were able to acquire advance training abroad in various subspecialties of Rehabilitation Medicine. Maximum number of high ranked civil and military officials visited the AFIRM during his leadership at AFIRM. A number of TV shows and programs were recorded and aired to promote this specialty. He and his team at AFIRM arranged a number of training and educational visits by renowned international PMR consultants from Australia and Turkey for continuous professional development of local physiatrists. Dr. Akhtar has been representing Pakistan at the assembly of delegates for International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM). Under his supervision, the team at AFIRM organized the 1 st International and 2 nd national rehabilitation conference in 2014 which was attended by delegated from over 24 countries. This event proved to be a milestone in the history of PMR in Pakistan. He was awarded Sitara-e- Imtiaz (Military), for his meritorious services by the President of Pakistan in 2013.
Dr. Akhtar Waheed graduated from King Edward Medical College University and joined Pakistan armed forces in 1980. Later he did his fellowship in Internal Medicine from College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan (CPSP). During early years of his service, he had been actively involved in primary and secondary medical care in all categories of military hospitals. He also served as medical specialist in the prestigious military institute Command and Staff College Quetta. Subsequently, he went to Switzerland for On-Job- Training (OJT) in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and did Masters (MSc) in Pain Medicine as well.
Dr. Akhtar likes to read and socialize.
Disability and rehab promotion in Pakistan