The University of Health Sciences (UHS) has developed a new curriculum oriented towards practical experience including student interactions with patients from day one of the MBBS course.
The curriculum was developed by Controller of Examinations Prof Junaid S Khan, who presented a paper on it at an international conference on innovations in medical education at Pasadena, California, USA, recently.
The so-called Assessment Directed Medical Education curriculum is based on the theory that assessment methods and requirements have a greater influence on how and what students learn than any other factors, said Prof Khan.
The curriculum “will provide medical students an opportunity to learn through simulated and real patient encounters presenting common problems that require practical and analytical solutions,” he said.
It would represent a “step forward to a self-directed, authentic, real time, live learning experience through direct action.
This shift is important if we are to produce competent health professionals,” he said.
Before the UHS introduces the curriculum at all its affiliated colleges, it must get it approved by the university’s statutory bodies. Prof Khan said it would be presented at a UHS Board of Governors meeting as the first step. The process of approval would take at least three months, he said.
Prof Khan said that the new curriculum would define the competencies that should be gained by medical students at the end of their MBBS course. “It would indicate educational strategies that could be used for a problem-solving, critical-thinking learning process. Moreover, it would also foster self-directed, life-long learning traits in our medical students,” he said.
He said that the curriculum would take teaching from out of the lecture halls and tutorial classes into labs from day one of the MBBS course, and progressively to the workplace and day-to-day patient encounters and patient-care areas.
The curriculum “would represent a paradigm shift from teaching to learning through experience using the resources available under expert supervision throughout the programme,” a UHS spokesman said.
KEMU Endowment fund
The Lahore High Court on Monday fixed March 27 to hear arguments on whether an autonomous medical institution can fix the amount of endowment fund. The donation is received against reserved seats. A division bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, was hearing a petition filed by Teena Parvaiz, a final year student at King Edward Medical College University (KEMU), who has challenged withholding of her result after she did not pay the endowment fund. An advocate general told the court that the medical university’s board of governors, not the Punjab government, had taken the decision. The KEMU was autonomous, he pointed out. The petitioner has submitted that the endowment fund limit of $10,000 is much higher than other medical colleges. She requested the court to direct the medical university to lower the endowment fund limit in addition to issuing directions that her result be announced.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2012.