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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 194-195

Status and the gray areas linked to integrated teaching in medical education in India


1 Vice-Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council; Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission17-Oct-2018
Date of Decision02-Jan-2019
Date of Acceptance15-Feb-2019
Date of Web Publication24-Dec-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJAM.IJAM_51_18

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Status and the gray areas linked to integrated teaching in medical education in India. Int J Acad Med 2019;5:194-5

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Status and the gray areas linked to integrated teaching in medical education in India. Int J Acad Med [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Apr 5];5:194-5. Available from: http://www.ijam-web.org/text.asp?2019/5/3/194/273934



To the Editor,

It is a very well-known fact that medicine cannot be learnt in isolation and that the curriculum is extensive.[1] Moreover, it is expected that undergraduate student should learn many subjects simultaneously.[1] However, most of the subjects are taught individually in order to retain the identity of the subject or because of the very basic fact that the current teachers were taught like that when they were medical students.[1],[2] Thus, imparted knowledge is often fragmented and does not give students the opportunity to acquire the skills to understand the situation as a whole.[2] However, bedside teaching is definitely helping in the delivery of education in an integrated manner in the Indian settings.[3]

Furthermore, the students who join medicine, in their very 1st year, find it extremely difficult to make sense out of the subjects taught as it is totally a different field in comparison to what they have learnt till high school.[1],[2],[4] Adoption of an integrated approach for teaching medicine is a well-known and effective method to deliver education and plays an important role in the enhancement of learning without undue repetition.[2],[4] To benefit the newly joined students, according to the Vision 2015 document, the foundation course gives them the best opportunity to get exposed to medicine in an integrated fashion.[1] In addition, educational strategy like early clinical exposure right from the 1st year allows students to relate clinically.[1]

In fact, the Medical Council of India also advocates for both horizontal and vertical forms of integrated teaching. In horizontal integrations, for a single topic, subjects of the same academic year are taught together. For instance, on the topic of Anemia to be covered in the 2nd year of under-graduation, the Department of Pathology (viz., classification of anemia due to various origin), Microbiology (viz., parasitic infestations resulting in anemia) and Pharmacology (viz., treatment of anemia), all three of which are subjects in the 2nd year can take a session together after planning. In contrast, in vertical integration, for a common topic, subjects from different academic year develop a lesson plan together for a session and then the topic is taught. For instance, on the topic of Tuberculosis covered in final year of under-graduation, the Department of Medicine (viz., clinical features and management), Community Medicine (viz., national program for prevention and control of the disease), Pathology (viz., pathological classification of the disease), and Physiology (viz., physiology of lung and reasons for the bacilli to affect the apical region of the lung), all four of which are taught in four different years of under-graduation, and hence that students can be exposed to comprehensive learning.[1],[2],[3]

Even though most of the medical institutions have started to venture out with integrated teaching, nevertheless, there are many issues which still have to be sorted out.[2],[3] To be frank, at present, integration is done only in the students' mind at widely dispersed dates and is not effective.[1],[2] It won't be wrong to say that most of the faculty members are not supporting integrated teaching, due to an apprehension that their subjects may lose their identity.[1],[2] The various issues pertaining to the implementation of integrated teaching have been enlisted in [Table 1].[1],[2],[4],[5],[6] Integrated teaching promotes a student to have a holistic approach to their patients and associated problems.[5],[6] However, it is important to understand that individual subjects cannot implement the integration, and thus the entire institution should adopt the same.[2],[4]
Table 1: Planning and implementation of integrated teaching

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In conclusion, it is very difficult to say that if we know only one subject, we know everything in medicine. We have to learn the medicine through an integrated approach, keeping students' interest and understanding in mind, to eventually derive a comprehensive meaning.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Haranath PS. Integrated teaching in medicine – Indian scene. Indian J Pharmacol 2013;45:1-3.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
2.
Salha A, Saberi-Movahed AS, Waqar S. Medical student perspectives on integrated teaching within medical school. Adv Med Educ Pract 2018;9:753-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Medical education: Entrusting faith in bedside teaching. Res Dev Med Educ 2014;3:1-2.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Ambwani S, Vegada B, Sidhu R, Charan J. Impact of integrated teaching sessions for comprehensive learning and rational pharmacotherapeutics for medical undergraduates. Int J Appl Basic Med Res 2017;7:S57-61.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Bhardwaj P, Bhardwaj N, Mahdi F, Srivastava JP, Gupta U. Integrated teaching program using case-based learning. Int J Appl Basic Med Res 2015;5:S24-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Harden RM. The integration ladder: A tool for curriculum planning and evaluation. Med Educ 2000;34:551-7.  Back to cited text no. 6
    



 
 
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