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OpinionRevolutionizing Medical Education – Navigating uniformity, personalization, and lifelong learning for competent doctors

Revolutionizing Medical Education – Navigating uniformity, personalization, and lifelong learning for competent doctors

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Evolution is not restricted to, nor is it a consequence of, a biological or physical change. It may result from the rapidly progressing arena of science and technology, as seen in the revolutionized medical curriculum introduced by the National Medical Commission (NMC) Act 2019. This overhaul mandates and ensures a uniform training protocol for all newly admitted Indian medical graduate trainees across the country, aiming to eliminate intra vs. interstate and government vs. private sector differences. In addition to this framework, new teaching-learning tools have been introduced to cater to the needs of each student based on their individual aptitude.

This personalized approach to teaching and learning does not compromise on the quality of education but ensures the mandatory acquisition of a basic minimum level of knowledge on all core competencies listed by the NMC. On the positive side, the incorporation of modern teaching-learning tools has the potential to revolutionize medical education, making it more dynamic, interactive, and aligned with advancements in healthcare. However, the accessibility and affordability of these tools need careful monitoring to ensure effective implementation across all medical institutions, regardless of their resources.

The introductory week of the foundation course, along with interactive sessions on attitude, ethics, and communication, has breathed life into this course. Recognizing that although India is progressing globally on major platforms, it is dramatically falling in matters of values and ethics, the National Medical Commission has rightly and timely introduced robust modules in the medical curriculum to instill mindfulness about healthy behavioral traits that every doctor must possess.

This aspect of personality grooming raises some concerns when matters of formal implementation of these ideas are discussed at length, such as the need for a yoga instructor, a sports trainer, a language trainer, or a computer trainer. However, these needs could be managed by the academic faculty of the respective college, but without proper training, they too would only be able to bring about average changes in their students. Burdening educators with additional tasks without proper rewards may diminish their interest, even in their own field of expertise over time. Therefore, it is advisable to resolve this issue with a fair allocation of tasks to educators.

In a similar context, imbuing terms like a clinician, a communicator, a leader, a lifelong learner, and a professional in defining the IMG goals may seem like non-tangible objectives of metaphorical poetic compositions – non-achievable and just ornamental – until these too are handled objectively through well-framed modules. Regular sessions by motivational speakers and leadership coaches from both medical and non-medical backgrounds should be incorporated into the curriculum schedule to expand the vision of the growing graduates.

Apart from the current faculty training programs, the strengthening of medical science focuses on empowering its three major pillars – medical education, patient care, and research. Among these three, it is the research attribute that generally lags behind. This is not due to a lack of learning abilities in the researchers but because of deficiencies in the smart implementation and execution of directives by the research wing. Additionally, there are hardly any grievance cells to support striving researchers, as taking cognizance of injustice would be like accepting the creeping corruption in this field, which, in turn, would be derogatory for the entire medical fraternity.

A slackened approach to the IMG goal of imparting a lifelong learning attribute in students would weaken the research aptitude, leading to poor-quality research. The learner-centric curriculum thus mandates psychology sessions where students could learn to measure the changes within themselves via various psychometric tools, thus improving self through the process of metacognition – an awareness and understanding of one’s own thought process.

Thus, to reap the maximum benefits of the newly introduced teaching-learning tools in the medical curriculum, such as small group tutorials, self-directed learning, alignment and integration, linker sessions, elective postings, early clinical exposure, family adoption programs, logbook maintenance, skill labs, and Demonstration-Observation-Assistance-Performance (DOAP) sessions, the NMC should strengthen its approach towards the effective implementation of teaching-learning methods to achieve more than modest and high-paced outputs in terms of the percentage of competent doctors.


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Dr Preeti Kanawjia
Dr Preeti Kanawjia
Dr. Preeti Kanawjia, Assistant Professor at GSVM Medical College, holds an MD in Physiology from King George Medical College, Lucknow. With over 11 years of teaching experience, her research focuses on cardiovascular risk markers and exercise physiology.

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