Dr. M. Venkatraya Prabhu, Dean at Kasturba Medical College (KMC) Mangalore speaks to Careers360 on what needs to be done to improve quality of India’s medical education. In this interview, the KMC Mangalore Dean also speaks on research field in medical education.
Read the interview to know what Dr. Prabhu shares on NEET.
Careers360: What should the MCI do to improve the state of medical education in India?Dr. M. Prabhu: So far Medical Council of India has (MCI) been more concerned about the size of classrooms and laboratories. Laying stress on infrastructure is fine but equal stress must be given on quality of students that comes out. MCI has not paid attention to improve the output in terms of quality of students.
Careers360:What changes are needed to improve quality of teaching in medical colleges?Dr. M. Prabhu: Teachers have to be more focused on the latest in the field of medicine rather than on contents of textbooks. Teachers must adapt to changes and adopt new methods of teaching like PowerPoint presentations. Hence, methodology of teaching and content of teaching as well as updating knowledge of the teachers are all important.
Careers360: Research seems to have taken a backseat in India. What is the remedy for this?Dr. M. Prabhu: Research has to be done with the mentoring of students by teachers, as they are the sources of inspiration for the students. Students can be encouraged to take up short-year projects on various topics. So by the time they come out of college, they may have 1-2 publications along with a degree. As of now, it still remains recommendatory. As of now, MCI has made publications mandatory for teachers to be promoted to higher levels. That is happening in cilleges. But there is a ‘publish or perish’ kind of approach fuelled by some online journals. Finally, it is the quality, which matters the most. This has to be top driven. Only good quality publications must be encouraged.
Dr. M. Venkatraya Prabhu, Dean,Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore
The private sector also has to be looked at with respect to public-private partnership. While we talk about public-private partnership (PPP) in every other field, healthcare and medical education should also be one of the areas where PPP should go forward.
Careers360: Recently, the Supreme Court recalled its 2013 judgment on NEET. How do you react to that? Dr. M. Prabhu: I believe that a single entrance examination is a good thing. But it shouldn’t be given to CBSE to conduct because that will put the CBSE students to an unfair advantage. So, I don’t like it. If the single entrance examination were to be conducted at state board standards, then I will surely support it. You can have a single entrance examination but necessarily an online entrance examination, which will have different papers on different days. So, there can be different state-board driven examinations in different states, which may be normalized for ranking. There is no need to nationalize it.
Careers360: How come majority of medical colleges are in the south while the rest of the regions are represented very poorly?Dr. M. Prabhu: It is because the southern states have spent energy, time, money and effort in putting up a good healthcare system. So students from the south will get benefit out of it. What is wrong in that? The northern states have had the population explosion by ignoring family planning. Unfortunately, there is lopsided Lok Sabha seat numbers. The state governments in the north should have spent money on medical education and healthcare sectors. This did not happen. Tamil Nadu has got a medical college for every district. What was wrong if Uttar Pradesh also pushed for it?
Careers360: How do we improve access to medical education in the rest of the country?Dr. M. Prabhu: They (state governments) have to keep a larger allocation of their respective state budgets for health and medical education and enter into partnerships with private players for establishing medical colleges. If the state governments are clamouring for their rights, then it is their duty to establish medical colleges.
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