September 19, 2010

Budding docs may get a jab of arts

Literature, painting, music and other art forms could soon be a part of medical education curriculum as educationists slowly wake up to need of teaching humanities to budding doctors. The civic-run hospitals could be the first to usher in this change once the Medical Council of India (MCI) approves of the plan.

A day after the MCI incorporated a special module-Communication and Ethics-in the syllabus of the six upcoming AIIMS-like institutions, nearly 200 students and faculty from Seth GS Medical College, attached to KEM Hospital, attended an introductory lecture on medical humanities on Monday. "Humanities and ethics could soon be part of the national MBBS curriculum," said Ranjit Roy Chaudhury, member of the MCI's board of governors. "Indian doctors excel technically, but we need to work on the doctor-patient relationship," he said.

Academicians are gradually realizing that many medical students lose their sensitivity towards patients' woes by the time they finish their course. Many feel that aspiring doctors must also be trained on how to communicate better with patients, especially how to break the news of a patient's demise to his/her loved ones.

Director of medical education Dr Sanjay Oak said that he strongly supported inclusion of humanities and ethics in the curriculum. "I believe that three things- humanities and ethics, research methodology and health economy-should be taught to students over three years," he said, adding that a proposal has already been floated. "The final decision has to come from the MCI."

Chaudhary is optimistic that linking humanities with medical education will go a long way in curbing patient-doctor conflict. "The MCI is working on this issue seriously," he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Ravi Shankar, from Nepal-based KIST medical college, who addressed students on Monday, volunteered to help the BMC-run colleges conduct special exercises in humanities for budding doctors.

Link: Original Article

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