International Journal of Academic Medicine

LETTER TO EDITOR
Year
: 2020  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 399--401

Innovative strategies to strengthen medical education-related activities in medical colleges of India


Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava1, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava2,  
1 Vice-Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu,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

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvanchery Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India




How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Innovative strategies to strengthen medical education-related activities in medical colleges of India.Int J Acad Med 2020;6:399-401


How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Innovative strategies to strengthen medical education-related activities in medical colleges of India. Int J Acad Med [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Mar 6 ];6:399-401
Available from: https://www.ijam-web.org/text.asp?2020/6/4/399/304599


Full Text



To the Editor,

Faculty development programs play a massive role in improving the quality of medical education delivered and the competence levels of the undergraduate students.[1],[2] In Indian settings, with a rising number of medical colleges, there is a big time need to improve the medical education standards to eventually produce an Indian medical graduate.[1],[3] Further, amid the changing pattern of the undergraduate curriculum, wherein we are shifting from the traditional curriculum to the competency-based curriculum for undergraduate students, there is a great need to improve the knowledge and skills of faculty members, especially pertaining to medical education.[1],[3],[4] In order to strengthen the medical education activities, strategies should be directed against three interrelated issues, namely faculty members, modes of teaching–learning, and administration [Figure 1].{Figure 1}

The overall key issues have been highlighted in [Table 1]. Even though a wide range of sources are available to ensure faculty development, such as medical education journals, online forums for discussion (viz. Google groups and Mentor-Learner Web Group of Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research), online professional groups, medical education units of institutions, fellowships/certificate courses offered in medical education, and conferences/workshops with a theme on medical education, their utilization by faculty members remains limited.[4],[5],[6] A large number of regional and nodal centers for faculty development have been established all across the nation to conduct and supervise medical education-related activities across all the medical colleges.{Table 1}

As far as existing approaches are concerned, it has been mandatory for all the faculty members to undergo revised basic course workshop and Curriculum Implementation Support Program (CISP) as a part of the rollout plan of the Medical Council of India. In addition, it has been proposed to train initially the curriculum committee members and through them all the faculty members of the college in the CISP, which will play a defining role in the capacity building to enable smooth transition from the traditional to the competency-based curriculum. Further, there is a proposal to ensure that all the curriculum committee members of all the medical colleges distributed throughout the nation should undergo advance course in medical education. Moreover, there is a plan to definitely train all the faculty members in the Attitude, Ethics and Communication Module to ensure that these components can be horizontally and vertically linked in the different professional years of the undergraduation. However, these measures alone will not deliver the desired results, and there is a definite need to plan and implement innovative measures.

First of all, research in the field of medical education should be encouraged and this should materialize through inclusion of at least 1 original research paper (in the field of medical education) for the promotion criteria of a faculty member. Once it is introduced, the faculty members will be motivated to do more research in the field of medical education and in that process faculty development will definitely increase. Each of the medical colleges should plan at least 1 activity in the field of medical education every month for the benefit of the in-house as well as external faculty members. In fact, all the postgraduate departments can start at least 1 journal club per month focusing on the critiquing of the research articles published under the medical education section.[7]

Further, all the medical colleges while giving appointment to any fresh faculty member can ask them to join the professional groups (health professional educators), as this will serve as a source for being exposed to different dimensions of medical education. This should be subsequently followed up at the department level in the monthly faculty development meetings, wherein each faculty member can individually discuss one aspect of medical education, which they learned or in which they need clarifications. The effectiveness of such sessions can be further enhanced by inviting a member of medical education unit, who can give their constructive inputs.

Simultaneously, more and more faculty members should be encouraged/supported to become a member of medical education unit and join fellowships, certificate courses, Masters in Philosophy and Doctorate in Philosophy, etc., in the medical education. All these faculty members can serve as the change agent in their respective departments. Gradually, efforts should be taken to incorporate innovative teaching–learning methods (viz. problem-based learning, case-based learning, and flipped classrooms), and this has to be simultaneously supplemented with the introduction of different forms of e-learning (such as the use of learning management systems, e-portfolios, clickers, Google forms, Google classrooms, and other mobile-based apps).[4],[5],[8] Moving further, the Medical Council of India can compel private institutions to allocate more financial support for the strengthening of medical education-related activities (viz. organization of faculty development programs and subscription of medical education journals). Finally, with the mushrooming of private medical colleges in the last decade or so, and with each one of them competing with others to impart better curricular delivery by getting accredited with different reputed agencies, the time has come when special and high weightage is allocated to the medical education component. This will directly ensure that the private management can give more focus toward the betterment of the medical education-related activities.

In conclusion, in order to strengthen medical education, there is a big time need to strengthen and support such activities at the level of the medical colleges through well-planned faculty development programs.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

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3Medical Council of India. Competency Based Under Graduate Curriculum. Medical Council of India; 2018. Available from: https://www.old.mciindia.org/InformationDesk/ForColleges/UGCurriculum.aspx. [Last accessed on 2019 Jan 20].
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