The International Cerebrovascular Translational Clinical Research Training Program (ICTCRT) at the Aga Khan University is a broad based multidisciplinary and multinational training program whose graduates will have the knowledge, skills and aptitude to perform clinical research on stroke which has relevance and applicability to the needs of Pakistan. This goal will be achieved by a three year training program whose first year will be dedicated to the acquisition of clinical skills needed to evaluate and manage stroke patients independently and the cognitive skills to critically evaluate the current evidence on stroke and its relevance to developing countries. The second and third year will be research years where the trainee will complete a Masters in Clinical Research and develop and execute a cerebrovascular research project. This project will respect an identified research theme of national relevance and impact. An international program faculty will be assigned to the trainee whose expertise and experience complement the project developed by the trainee. The program be reviewed annually by a international"""""""" Training Advisory Group"""""""" in addition to ongoing local evaluation. The ICTCRT program has significant """"""""added value"""""""". It has secured commitment of training and monitoring responsibilities and course development from the regional Cochrane network, the Fogarty International Bioethics Program and the Fogarty Emergency and Trauma network nationally. The Aga Khan University Postgraduate Medical Education has recognized a """"""""stroke fellowship"""""""" the first in Pakistan to be initiated in 2009. The trainee will have access and research opportunities enabled by a comprehensive stroke bio-resource which is currently enrolling patients from all over Pakistan, made possible through awards and ongoing grants. The ICTCRT program will recruit trainees regardless of their background or gender. In addition to ability, indicators of successful retention within Pakistan will increase the chances of being selected for this exciting opportunity.
There an urgent need to create the human resource necessary to combat the noncommunicable disease epidemic of stroke in South Asia. The projected increase in mortality and morbidity attributable to stroke is expected to be much greater in South Asia than any other geographical area worldwide. There are no formal training or research programs for stroke in Pakistan. The ICTCRT program will fulfill this urgent need.
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