India/January 09, 2022/Source: https://www.indiatoday.in/
India has 541 medical colleges but medical education in India still needs urgent changes to cater to the healthcare demands of the nation.
Despite being home to one of the oldest medicinal systems in the world, India is still struggling to bring its medical education at par with the leaders around the world. The 541 medical colleges in the country haven’t been able to reach the standard of education that could meet the healthcare needs of the country.
The doctor patient ratio of 1:1655 in India as against WHO norm of 1:1000 clearly shows the deficit of MBBS. While the government is working towards a solution and targeting to reach the required ratio, there is a need to have a relook at the overall medical education.
The lag in formal medical education has come up evidently post pandemic where the nation saw the medical fraternity struggling to fill the doctor deficit.
It also brought forth the outdated learning methods that most of the medical institutes were using. Due to lockdown and fear of Covid-19 spread, a lot of institutes cancelled lectures and practical sessions.
The Indian medical education was already waiting for a long due upgrade and the pandemic came as an additional challenge.
Here are the main issues that make up the stress test for medical education in India:
1. Lack of skills: Though the institutes are managing to hire professors and lecturers, there is a lack of technical skills. Finding faculties in clinical and non-clinical disciplines is difficult and there are very few faculty development programs for upskilling the existing lot.
2. Lack of infrastructure: The gap in digital learning infrastructure is currently the biggest challenge the sector is facing. There is an urgent need to adopt technology and have resources available to facilitate e-learning.
3. Lack of research and innovation: The medical research and innovation needs an added push as there haven’t been many ground-breaking research here. The education system needs to focus more on increasing the quality of research. Additionally since industry academia partnership is not available, hence innovation also takes a back-seat.
Road to medical education reform
To cater to any unprecedented demand in the future and to bring up the quality of education, the Indian medical education system undoubtedly needs major reforms.
While the focus needs to be put on improving the curriculum to bring competency-based education, there are several ways that can help bring reform in the current medical education system. Some of these are;
- Leveraging technology to offer digital learning solutions
- Capitalising on e-learning and facilitating infrastructure to support it
- Revising curriculum to have more practical training, competency based skill development
- Inculcating problem solving approach by situational/case-based examination
- A broad-based faculty development program to sharpen competency of teachers
- Eliminating caste-based reservation and paving way for merit-based admission
- Industry academia collaboration to facilitate innovation
India is already leading the global pharmaceutical industry, rebooting medical education will let it enter the league of leaders in healthcare as a whole.
– Article by Dr. Nachiket Bhatia, CEO, Dr. Bhatia Medical Coaching Institute