Medical College Director Interview: Medicine has now become a business, says JIPMER Director
Careers360 interviews Dr. SC Parija, Director of Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), who speaks on factors ailing India’s medical education system. The JIPMER Director shares his expert insights over the need of curriculum changes in medical education.
Dr. Parija also talks on medicinal science interacting with life sciences and the evolution of medical education over a decade.
Read the full interview below–
Careers360: What changes are needed in the curriculum of medical education?
Dr. S.C.Parija: Curriculum should be redesigned to suit the common problems in the community with special focus on prevention domain. A physician should be trained to manage common emergencies rather than rare syndromes. The curriculum should include more ethics and communication skill modules. Although there is no definite evidence in favour of ‘outcome-based’ in place of ‘subject-based’ curriculum, it appears that many countries are moving towards to outcome-based curriculum.
Some areas of curriculum that require attention are accreditation and continual revision of the curriculum. Societal needs have to be factored in and there is a need to continue increasing the number of students choosing family medicine. There is also a need for broader/deeper understanding of public health and the healthcare system.
Careers360: Your views on medicine interacting with life sciences?
Dr. S.C.Parija: Major discoveries in life sciences have found wonderful utility in the field of medicine, thus saving several lives. Only a thorough understanding of Life Sciences and Medicine can result in newer innovations. More complex appearing problems in medicine can have simple solutions in life sciences and vice versa.
Dr. SC Parija
Coaching may benefit a student who is highly motivated. However, it may not be appropriate for the vast majority. They are more important qualities for a good doctor rather than knowledge alone. All these can be subtly taught in schools. One should give weightage to the real interest of the student.
Careers360: In your opinion, how has medical education changed in the last few decades?
Dr. S.C.Parija: There has been a sea change in healthcare sector including medical education. Healthcare facilities and diagnostics have greatly improved both in government and private sector. From conventional textbooks and gurukul training, students have the liberty of Internet and various other sources for learning medicine. However, private medical colleges have mushroomed a lot and medicine has now become a business in many places. Where there is more clinical material, medical education is strong and vice versa. There is need for monitoring medical education standards across the country.
Careers360: What training do students need so that they become more sensitive while handling patients?
Dr. S.C.Parija: Students need training in psychology and communication skills. Language should not be a barrier. More observership and clinical apprentice under experienced physicians will make them more sensitive. The human touch is often missing in training.
Careers360: Barring south every other region has poor representation of medical colleges. How do we rectify this?
Dr. S.C.Parija: It may be due to local priority or ease of obtaining permission. Gradually, other parts of country are also picking up. The governments in the centre and states should start SMART medical colleges in the under privileged areas. All renowned faculties including retired people can be visiting consultants for these SMART medical colleges. A common entrance test can solve most of the issues in medical education.
Careers360: What steps are needed to improve quality of teaching and research in medical colleges?
Dr. S.C.Parija: Core curriculum and ‘must know’ areas can be centralized and uniformly followed everywhere. Teaching can be holistic and interdepartmental as and when needed. MCI should closely monitor the teaching methods and assess the standards of all colleges regularly. CMEs should be mandatory for all irrespective of age and experience. Research is important for development in any field. There is need for training research methodology, protocol writing, application processing for funding, mentoring etc. to improve research
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