Current Medical Issues

MEDICAL EDUCATION
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 205--206

Resuming conventional medical teaching after reopening of medical colleges in India


Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava1, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava2,  
1 Medical Education Unit Coordinator and Member of the Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India

Abstract

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has accounted for a significant disruption in each and every sector, including medical education. However, to avoid interruption in learning, all the medical colleges have adopted one or the other form of online teaching–learning and assessment to benefit the students. After a wait of more than 8 months, it was decided by the Indian government authorities that all the medical colleges should re-open from December 2020 onward. The regulatory body has proposed a framework and instructed the medical colleges to delay the summative assessments by 2–3 months, so that students are not deprived of learning opportunities, especially pertaining to the practical and clinical interactions. In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a major disruption in the effective delivery of medical education in the entire nation. Nevertheless, it is our responsibility to utilize the available time and focus more on teaching practical and clinical skills to benefit the students to the optimal extent.



How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Resuming conventional medical teaching after reopening of medical colleges in India.Curr Med Issues 2021;19:205-206


How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Resuming conventional medical teaching after reopening of medical colleges in India. Curr Med Issues [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Sep 25 ];19:205-206
Available from: https://www.cmijournal.org/text.asp?2021/19/3/205/320641


Full Text



 Introduction



The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) started as an outbreak, then attained the status of a public health emergency of international concern and eventually was categorized as a pandemic in a very short span of time.[1] COVID-19 pandemic has accounted for a significant disruption in each and every sector, including medical education.[2] In fact, with an intention to improve the preparedness of the medical colleges and to prevent the emergence of an impending disease outbreak among medical students, it was decided that medical colleges will be closed till the situation improves in the month of March 2020. In order to effectively contain the pandemic, the research and development activities for producing a cost-effective vaccine have been expedited across the globe. However, to avoid interruption in learning, all the medical colleges have adopted one or the other form of online teaching–learning and assessment to benefit the students.[3],[4]

 Resuming Conventional Physical Teaching: Need and Predisposing Factors



After a wait of more than 8 months, it was decided by the Indian government authorities that all the medical colleges should re-open for the medical students from all years from December 2020 onward.[5] This difficult decision was taken even without accomplishing the effective containment of the novel infection in all parts of the nation and it was primarily because of the fear that the society will be deprived of one batch of doctors, if new admissions are not made in the year 2020.[5] In addition, the issues pertaining to the challenges related with homogenous implementation of online teaching, engaging the learners on an online platform, and limitations to conduct those assessments which can assess the learning in psychomotor and communication domain, played a crucial role in making the regulatory bodies and government take the decision.[4],[6],[7]

 Proposed Recommendations by the Regulatory Body



The regulatory body has proposed a framework and instructed the medical colleges to delay the summative assessments by 2–3 months, so that students are not deprived of learning opportunities, especially pertaining to the practical and clinical interactions.[5] There are no doubts that in almost all the medical colleges during the period of closure of medical schools, various departments have designed the teaching schedule in such a manner that theory portion of the subject can be covered to the maximum extent.[4] This is because of the fact that it is a bigger challenge for the departments to give exposure to students in those areas which require psychomotor skills and learning by experience.[6]

 Emphasizing Clinical and Practical Teaching



As across the nations, medical colleges have become operational, it is the responsibility of the administrators and medical teachers to try to cover the lost time. It won't be wrong to put on record that a major proportion of students might have lost the touch to the practical aspects and thus it is essential to reduce the amount of time that will be assigned for didactic lectures in the next 2–3 months. A feasible solution will be to reduce the large group teaching sessions and substitute them with small group teaching sessions (such as practical, demonstration-observation-assist-perform, exposure to standardized patients, problem-based learning sessions, bedside teaching, and case-based learning). The basic rationale is to make the students involve in their own learning and keep them engaged in all sorts of learning opportunities. In order to cover the theory topics, the institutions can plan flipped classrooms, assignments, self-directed learning, and even online sessions.

We must acknowledge that although online teaching continued in the last 8 months, it was the assessment domain which was mainly lagging due to various reasons (viz. lack of competence of teachers to conduct online assessment, no awareness about online tools, inability to target psychomotor and affective domain, the fairness of the examinations, and concerns of plagiarism).[3],[6],[7] This calls for an indispensable need to conduct a series of formative assessments in the available timeframe in the form of theory examinations, practical, end-posting, clinical presentations, etc. Moreover, students should be given feedback about their performance and the idea should be to benefit the learners to the maximum extent and with an aim to expose them to all core competencies.

 Conclusion



The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a major disruption in the effective delivery of medical education in the entire nation. Nevertheless, it is our responsibility to utilize the available time and focus more on teaching practical and clinical skills to benefit the students to the optimal extent.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

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2Ahmed H, Allaf M, Elghazaly H. COVID-19 and medical education. Lancet Infect Dis 2020;20:777-8.
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5National Medical Commission. Guidelines for Re-opening of Medical Colleges Post Lockdown Due to COVID-19 Pandemic-29th November, 2020; 2020. Available from: https://www.nmc.org.in/MCIRest/open/getDocument?path=/Documents/Public/Portal/LatestNews/NMC%20GUIDELINES%20FOR%20REOPENING%20COLLEGES.pdf. [Last accessed on 2020 Dec 23].
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