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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 156-157

What ails our MBBS teaching?

Department of Ophthalmology, Sree Gokulam Medical College and Research Foundation, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Date of Web Publication2-May-2017

Correspondence Address:
Krishna Iyer Mahadevan
Department of Ophthalmology, Sree Gokulam Medical College and Research Foundation, Trivandrum, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/kjo.kjo_23_17

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How to cite this article:
Mahadevan KI. What ails our MBBS teaching?. Kerala J Ophthalmol 2016;28:156-7

How to cite this URL:
Mahadevan KI. What ails our MBBS teaching?. Kerala J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 May 6];28:156-7. Available from: http://www.kjophthal.com/text.asp?2016/28/3/156/205423

After 35 years of teaching and practice, I have realized that there exists the need to fill up some lacunae in the curriculum. In the modern world, there is emphasis on medical graduates to be competent in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, early diagnosis and prompt referral basic trauma care and first aid, and publications in peer-reviewed journals. In a high-volume center, all of the above aspects of training can be achieved within the 4½ and 1 year of course period, because there will be sufficient number of patients to give hands-on training to all the students. In the institutions where patient clientele is poor, the best the teachers can do is to impart good theoretical knowledge to the students and make them conscious of things and still incompetent for independent practice and then encourage them to learn further in an institution with good number of patients to become competent. This is very much akin to the lack of exposure to industry faced by engineering and pharmacy students. The fresh lawyers and chartered accountants generally do internship under the guidance of a senior with good practice for a few years before launching themselves into solo practice. I have always felt that knowledge of 12th standard mathematics is very essential to make a complete and successful doctor especially to understand statistics and epidemiology and also present scientific papers. The MBBS level ophthalmology textbooks should also include during special chapters on drug interactions, outpatient emergency treatment and first aid, certain important diseases that need early detection and prompt referral. Undergraduate students should also be given opportunity to attend selected Continuing Medical Education programmes (CMEs) and conferences, so that they can learn theory and practice faster. These are some of the points that came to my mind regarding modifications to be made in the MBBS curriculum.

The curriculum committee, at present, meets only once in 4 years or 5 years that is when the next edition of textbooks are revised and published. This is very inadequate because year by year new treatment methods are discovered. The curriculum committee should ideally meet every year, and notes on new developments and additions should be sent to principals of the teaching institutions to be incorporated into the syllabus and teaching schedule. The WHO and government modifications of strategy in managing public health problems should be included on the yearly basis.

It is just not enough, we train medical students as good clinicians, it is also mandatory in the present time to train them to be scientists as well, to inculcate in them the attitude to do research and innovate. Every chapter should contain a paragraph on future prospects and possibilities.

Ideally, students should be endowed with all the God-given physical faculties and higher senses if they want to be a surgeon. Those with color defect and absence of binocular vision should be properly counseled regarding future of their career in the medical profession.

As science advances, I foresee a time when almost all diseases and symptomatology will be accurately characterized, clinicians and specialists will be required to manage only a small number of emergencies and complications of regenerative and progressive diseases, and I can fancy a time when surgeries will be performed by robots.

The government has a lot to do regarding ensuring merit-based admission and affordable tuition fees, and we teachers have the responsibility of observing and mentoring students to prevent dropout and depression from time to time.

Teachers also should introspect as to how scholarly they are to be a teaching scholar and undertake periodic updating of their knowledge.

In the medical colleges, we teach and train students to become physicians and treat people afflicted with all sorts of diseases. When they pass out of college and start practice, they should also learn from experience when not to treat.

Our government and we together can bring about a positive change in the quality of medical education.



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