More practical training proposed for medical students

The curriculum proposed by a special panel set up for the purpose by the MCI would be structured to facilitate horizontal and vertical integration between disciplines, bridging gaps between theory and practice and between hospital-based medicine and community medicine.

Basic and laboratory sciences (integrated with their clinical relevance) would be maximum in the first year and will progressively decrease in the second and third years as the curriculum progresses, according to the proposed curriculum.

The essentials of basic and laboratory sciences would be taught in the first year and built on in the subsequent years.

Similarly, certain subjects will get extra lectures from the first year onwards for example approximately eight radiology lectures can be included in anatomy to teach students cross sectional anatomy of brain, abdomen, foetal anatomy during embryology teaching etc. during first year itself.

This practice is already being followed by Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi. This model can be adopted by other colleges as well, without changing the number of lecture hours (by integration).

Forensic Medicine can be effectively taught during gynaecology and obstetrics (rape, assault), surgery (injuries), pharmacology (toxicology). Legal experts can be called for medico-legal issues, the committee said.

Forensic medicine skills can be acquired during internship such as documentation of medico-legal cases of alcoholism, suicide or homicide, rape, assault and injury cases.Infection control section in hospital in now an important component and that should be included, the committee felt.

Both horizontal and vertical integration will be used for making the curriculum more efficient and student friendly.

Details of this are being worked out by expert committees constituted by MCI in co-ordination with the undergraduate working group.

The working committee has noted medical professionals as its members, including Prof Sandeep Guleria, Department of Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Prof Sudha Salhan, Professor and Head, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital.

The committee has noted that most medical colleges across the world start clinical training in the first year itself with communication, interviewing and basic examination skills through laboratories and students practising examination on each other.

In several medical colleges, students learn basic clinical skills through half a day exposures once a week or once in two weeks with individual doctors at the level of primary care.

The clinical training would start in first year, with a foundation course, focusing on communication, basic clinical skills and professionalism. There would be sufficient clinical exposure at the primary care level integrated with the learning of basic and laboratory sciences.

Introduction of case scenarios for classroom discussion or case-based learning. It will be done as a co-ordinated effort by basic science and clinical faculty.

Professionalism and ethics curriculum will be a mandatory part of the curriculum and will be integrated throughout the MBBS course, it said.

The foundation courses will be taken during the first and second year and rest of the curriculum will be taught along with the clinical subjects.

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