Program Overview

The Certification Program in Emergency Medicine (CPEM) is a 12-month competency-based training which aims to equip physicians working in emergency departments (EDs) with fundamental knowledge and clinical expertise in the care of patients who are severely ill or injured. It was developed by Emergency Medicine (EM) specialists from The Indus Hospital & Health Network (IHHN), Karachi and Brigham and Women’s Hospital – a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School Boston, USA – and launched in July 2018. It is now led by a diverse multinational faculty from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and IHHN.


Milestones Achieved

First of its kind capacity building for middle tier physicians working in the Emergency Departments across Pakistan.

  • Has graduated 3 cohorts with CPEM batch of 2021 consisting of candidates both from Pakistan and Bangladesh. Hosting institutes were the Indus Hospital and Heatlh Network (Pakistan) and Dhaka Medical College (Bangladesh)
  • The program holds the honor of being the first structured Emergency Medicine educational endeavor in Bangladesh.
  • CPEM graduates include doctors both from public and private sector Emergency Departments from across Pakistan. The program has produced well over 80 graduates in total spread across two countries.


Eligibility Criteria

  • Medical graduates both from Pakistan and abroad
  • Applicants should have a minimum of 1 year clinical working experience


Learning Objectives:

By the end of 1 year of the certification program learners would be able to;

  1. Improve clinical management of critically ill patients presenting to the Emergency Department.
  2. Practice life saving procedures knowing their indications, contraindications and complications.
  3. Develop interest in Emergency Medicine based research and produce scholarly work.
  4. Ensure ED patient safety and quality improvement for better patient outcome.

Participate in journal clubs and morbidity & mortality meetings to stay up to date in latest advancements in Emergency Medicine.


Methods of Assessment

Formative Evaluation:

  1. Quarterly feedback by supervisors
  2. Weekly online simulation evaluation
  3. Logbook filled out by the candidates detailing procedures.

Summative Evaluation:

  1. Multiple choice questions.

2. Oral Cases and Objective structured clinical exam.


Graduation Requirements

  • Learners must attend at least 70% of all conference sessions to successfully complete the certificate.
  • Trainees can receive additional conference credit through a variety of mechanisms (i.e. giving presentations, running cases on WhatsApp, doing a reflective writing piece, writing MCQs, etc.) that will be discussed throughout the year
  • Obtain an average score of at least 70% (mid-term & final examination) to successfully complete the certificate.


Simulation Based Learning

Full Code

Full-code is a game-based clinical simulation application that is available on cellphone/tablet and PC platform. It provides an immersive virtual emergency room environment for participants to take part in clinical simulation remotely. The participants get to manage the avatar based patient for a wide spectrum of common clinical problems that present to the emergency department, including both, pediatric and adult patient scenarios.
A group based debrief and discussion is done by the faculty taking into account the local factors & variations due to socioeconomic and geopolitical differences. This has been one of the most popular components for participants in previous cohorts, as it helps to identify the gaps in knowledge and boosts confidence in the participants. At the same time, being online, it helps reduce the cost of travel, and logistics that a learner would have to bear for attending a simulation session in-person.


A simulated, web-based environment where learners have the opportunity to practice the application of their medical knowledge and decision-making.  It is an interactive teaching and learning tool that uses images, video and audio recordings to simulate real-world experiences. Through self-evaluation, learners have the ability to evaluate their knowledge using inquiries with real-time feedback. Scoring can also be used to evaluate the performance of each individual learner as well as group of learners which is later shared with them as part of their continuous evaluation.

Please visit Affinity Learning for more information



  • Saleem, Syed & Haider, Kaniz & Salman, Saima & Samad, Lubna & Yasin, Zayed & Rybarczyk, Megan. (2020). Bridging the Gap in Emergency Medicine in Pakistan. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine. 21. 10.5811/westjem.2019.10.44502.
  • Kemmler, Charles & Saleem, Syed & Ali, Saima & Samad, Lubna & Haider, Kaniz & Jamal, Mohammad & Aziz, Tariq & Maroof, Quratulain & Dadabhoy, Farah & Yasin, Zayed & Rybarczyk, Megan. (2021). A One‐year Training Program for Physicians in Emergency Medicine in Karachi, Pakistan: Evaluation of Learner and Program Outcomes. AEM Education and Training. 5. 10.1002/aet2.10625.
  • Mukhtar, Sama & Saleem, Syed & Ali, Saima & Ahmed, Sarfaraz & Yaffee, Anna. (2021). Standing at the edge of mortality; Five-year audit of an emergency department of a tertiary care hospital in a low resource setup. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences. 37. 10.12669/pjms.37.3.3680.
  • Salman, Saima & Saleem, Syed & Shaikh, Quratulain & Yaffee, Anna. (2019). Epidemiology and outcomes of trauma patients at The Indus Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan, 2017 – 2018. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences. 36. 10.12669/pjms.36.ICON-Suppl.1717.
  • Saleem, Syed & Ali, Saima & Ghouri, Nida & Maroof, Quratulain & Jamal, Muhammad & Aziz, Tariq & Shapiro, David & Rybarczyk, Megan. (2021). Patient perception regarding privacy and confidentiality: A study from the emergency department of a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences. 38. 10.12669/pjms.38.ICON-2022.5785.



Dr. Syed Ghazanfar Saleem
Dr. Megan Rybarczyk
Dr. Saima Ali
Dr. Sama Mukhtar
Dr. Adeel Khatri
Dr. M. Bilal Hasan


Course Directors

Dr. Syed Ghazanfar Saleem – FCPS
Dr. Megan Rybarczyk – MD, MPH, FACEP


Course Co-Ordinator

Dr. Bilal Hassan


For Any Query







Dr. Attiya Rajput
Dr. Attiya Rajput

“CPEM has helped me tremendously in developing my clinical skills and knowledge".

Dr. Muhammad Asif Yasin
Dr. Muhammad Asif Yasin

“CPEM has had a positive impact on my clinical knowledge and skills,




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