|Year : 2013 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 141-142
Medical education: Paradigm shift or paralysis
Deepa Bhat, Pushpalatha Murugesh
Department of Anatomy, JSS Medical College, JSS University, Mysore, India
|Date of Web Publication||25-Oct-2013|
Department of Anatomy, JSS Medical College, JSS University, Mysore
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Bhat D, Murugesh P. Medical education: Paradigm shift or paralysis
. Int J Health Allied Sci 2013;2:141-2
Indian medical education system is largest in the world, contributing quality physicians across the globe. A rapid growth has been observed in the past two decades in health care system of India. Also, the number of medical college, especially in the private sector, has increased exponentially. We need to rise up to the challenges to ensure and sustain global standard in training medical students. Recent advances in the field of medicine have been understood and incorporated, but the same is not true with new methods and strategies in medical education. Hence, the most significant challenge has been to balance the need for health care system with the maintenance and improvement of quality of education standards.
Traditional teaching program followed in health profession is teacher-centered than student-oriented. This offers little opportunity for self-directed and active learning unless student is self-motivated. In the traditional curricula, the stress has been laid on the acquisition of knowledge as against the development of skills. More attention needs to be given to the development of various skills, viz., problem-solving skills, psychomotor or performance skills, attitudinal and communication skills. 
Paradigm shift in higher education is not a new phenomenon. Generation change parallel to technology revolution has been a catalyst to introduce use of technology as an educational tool that would make them self-sufficient learners.
The new generation of students now is exposed to technology from early age. Their requirements and expectations of learning environment are likely to be different from that of previous generations. Teachers are required to identify the changes to cater to technology-savvy generation whilst still fulfilling the educational objectives and curriculum requirements. The mindsets of teachers are embedded with and influenced by the learning culture and tradition they are exposed to. The need for change in role of teacher towards new generation may cause unease among those entrenched in traditional methods. Wide spread belief among traditional teachers is use of digital technology hampers learning among students. Is their unwillingness to be an innovator and experiment with TL approaches or ineffectiveness of paradigm shift worth thinking? Academicians will have to redefine and reshape their role to suit the requirements of generation-Y that require greater flexibility. Hence, student-centered T-L methods and approaches would be an answer to above situation. Added challenge is to restructure the assessment with the new reforms in educational strategies. The need of the hour is to reorient Faculty development programs to align with educational reforms.
Our medical education system needs a change from knowledge-based to skill-based learning. But, strive to preserve the best of our traditional values so to complement the existing system with added benefits without encountering any problems. We need to develop strategies and futuristic plans within ambit of regulatory body norms to adapt to changing scenario in health science.
This demands change in adoption of newer TL methods. Innovations like e-learning, problem-based learning, integrated teaching etc., would offer a greatest impact on self-directed learning. These advanced learning platforms embrace new modality of knowledge transfer, which is easily accepted than traditional methods.
The unprecedented growth of medical colleges has led to shortage of teachers and has created a quality challenge for medical education. With a recent notification of the Medical Council of India (MCI) reducing the required number of faculty in medical schools, the thrust on quality of medical education has been compromised. In a bid to increase the number of medical practitioners, are we compromising or paralyzing the quality of medical education? Though the thrust should be on more number of medical schools rather than increased intake in existing schools, which will hamper the T-L process, the number of teachers in an institution should be fair to the teaching-learning activity of the department.
Many innovations and research has been tried in educational technology to balance the demand with need. Very enthusiastic approaches have been tried and planned to be implemented in the curriculum. These reforms are applicable to both colleges with 50 or 250 student intake by compromising the student-teacher ratio and quality of teaching-learning methods. But, the quality of education delivered not just relies on the reorienting and restructuring the curriculum or providing excellent infrastructure, but catering to the need of stakeholders. This had led the system in a state of paradigm paralysis where it is difficult to adapt and adjust to the change. Transformed educational environment is not being accepted with open arms due to inability of applicability and utility, which could be like 'tailoring the coat according to the cloth' without seeing whether it will ultimately fit. Regulatory body, Universities, and Government have to take a serious note of this and try to reform the curriculum according to the need and define exact teaching-learning method or assessment depending on the student-teacher ratio, otherwise paralyzing the Indian medical education system in the future.
| References|| |
|1.||Nayar U, Verma K, Adkoli BV, editors. Inquiry: Driven strategies for Innovation in Medical Education in India: Curricular Reforms. New Delhi: AIIMS; 1995. |