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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 5


BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, Nepal

Correspondence Address:
BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, Nepal

How to cite this article:
Kanungo R. Editorial. Indian J Med Microbiol 2003;21:5

How to cite this URL:
Kanungo R. Editorial. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2003 [cited 2020 Nov 28];21:5. Available from:

Medical educationists are beginning to have a second look at the medical curriculum, to make it more meaningful, integrated and community oriented. Discipline based teaching with complete phases devoted to specific subjects is in contrast to full integration and system based teaching. These systems of curricula are two ends of the spectrum that are being evaluated. The Medical Council of India, in its revision of the MBBS curriculum, had envisaged some integration between pre, para-clinical, and clinical subjects. Implementation of change in subject content was left to the individual teaching institutions within the broad framework of the recommendations. Integration was given a fillip.
Conceptual frame work of microbiology course content in most universities still includes a lengthy and detailed study of basic concepts which is in the "nice to know" category rather than "must know" category. A lot of time is spent in teaching material which may not be essential for the medical graduate to practice medicine. Expanding information and phenomenal increase in the knowledge bank and its access via the internet, in medical science in general, and infectious diseases in particular has left most Microbiology teachers in medical colleges wondering what learning objectives to formulate.
There is a need to include applied and patient oriented subject content, rather than organism targeted reading material. Rational use of microbiological investigations, cost effective tests, ethical issues involved in undertaking irrational investigations, hospital waste management as a part of hospital infection control, are some of the areas which need exploring, for inclusion in the microbiology curriculum.
Periodic integrated teaching programs which are shared by two or three disciplines are easy to adopt as they do not require extensive co-ordination. Some hours during the course could be devoted to discussing
infections affecting single or multi systems, like the respiratory, central nervous system, gastrointestinal etc. This could be done in the form of student seminars with multi-disciplinary participation. It not only encourages active participation by students but stimulates them to use the library for additional information. This approach has been found useful in places where it has been tried. Joint planning by teachers of different disciplines may pose a problem, which can be resolved by effective co-ordination.
Regular practical sessions need to include problem oriented approach to the diagnosis of infectious diseases in the form of real /simulated case histories with appropriate investigations. Laboratory diagnosis of common infections, including, by rapid methods, can be demonstrated and discussed with student involvement, honing their interpretative skills. Decrease in detailed organism oriented sessions can be brought about. Assessment accordingly will need to be modified to include problem solving exercises with accent on analytical interpretation of test results.
Change from a traditional discipline based teaching to a complete integrated organ or system based learning may be difficult to adopt as it requires major policy changes. Evaluation of this form of teaching learning strategy will take time. Changes however can be made within the frame work of the existing curriculum to include integrated approaches to lay the foundation for future changes in teaching learning patterns. Study material needs to be modified with accent on disease spectrum. Text books of Microbiology including Virology, Parasitology and Mycology need to include chapters on infectious diseases from a clinical perspective. Existing books by most Indian authors may need to include information on disease prevalence in this geographical region highlighting infections particular to each area. A food for thought for teachers of Microbiology in the medical faculty.  

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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow

Online since April 2001, new site since 1st August '04