The first two academic years, focuses on the basic medical sciences with interdepartmental integration and clinical and community correlation. A holistic approach to health and health care system in Nepal, supplemented with student-patient rapport building and community diagnosis, encourages students to get exposure to patients in Devdaha Medical College & Research Institute and allows them also to familiarize with the health care delivery system at community settings in Nepal. Clinical subjects, community medicine and forensic medicine have been arranged to be studied during the next one and a half year from the third academic year onwards, while all the clinical subjects along with management in health, community field experience and junior clinical clerkship continue until the end of the four and a half year of the MBBS curriculum of Kathmandu University.
Additional Courses incorporated in the MBBS program at DMC
The emerging socioeconomic changes, epidemiological transition, alternations in the nature of responsibilities of the medical professional and changes brought about by the effects of the electronic technologies into the working system of individual practitioner, must also determine the nature of program of medical education in all medical colleges/schools all over the world. If these aspects are forgotten to be taken an account of, prior to starting the program, medical graduates would undoubtedly be handicapped, while performing their professional jobs in future. With this in mind a new course has been designed in medical informatics and is included in the MBBS curriculum of Kathmandu University third version – 2001 and the subsequent versions.
In keeping with the philosophy of adopting the “SPICES” concept of curriculum by Kathmandu University for its MBBS curriculum, the provision of Elective study in the MBBS curriculum, is praiseworthy. In the Student-centered, Problem-based, Integrated, Community-based, Elective-oriented and Systematically followed, as the “SPICES” concept refers to, the inclusion of Elective Study to complete the model of SPICES in terms of student learning, is of paramount importance.
Elective study provides good opportunity for a student to undertake an independent study. A student needs to sign a contract with his/her guide for a certain period of time in a specific topic related to elective study. In most of the medical colleges/schools between four to twelve weeks time period is allotted by universities, as the duration for elective study. A student must make a project proposal for undertaking the elective study which usually has placement towards the end of the MBBS programme. The areas of elective study vary from student to student and depend on the areas of personal interest of an individual student.
The trend of foreign medical students coming for elective study to Nepal, especially at valley group of hospitals including DMCRI is on the rise. Likewise, medical students going outside Nepal on exchange programs has begun. The elective study provides opportunity to undertake small individual project independently which allows individuals to work on one’s own project during a period when he/she is not engaged in other Teaching/Learning activities. That enables him/her to draw inferences from own project results. Through such elective study, the seed of doing research is sown in the young mind of medical students which favours the culture of undertaking research activities during the medical profession. Thus, elective study provides a great opportunity to a medical student to acquire ability to make own decisions which is considered the most important professional competencies of a medical graduate. It allows the medical graduate to perform competencies of a medical practitioner by demonstrating own capabilities while working independently. A four week period has been proposed for the Elective study at DMC.
Community Field Experience
The undergraduate medical education program prepares a person to be able to perform the responsibilities of a medical graduate on completion of the MBBS program. The inclusion of the places identified for future work during the time of learning, enhances understanding, makes learning meaningful and motivates student learning on the whole. Community field experience, in the form of community-oriented/community-based learning has been incorporated in the MBBS curriculum and includes community diagnosis and district health management orientation program. Experts in the field of health management are utilized for imparting knowledge on health management during the orientation program.
The Goal of Medical Education at DMCRI
The ultimate aim of the MBBS program at DMC is not only to enable medical graduates acquire competencies related to knowledge, skill and attitude required of a medical graduate on completion of undergraduate medical education, but also to provide sufficient opportunity to them to become familiar with the know how of medical informatics that would ultimately help them work efficiently. In addition, with the experience gained through sufficient community and clinical exposures and elective study, the medical practitioners would be able to analyze health problems critically and solve them with independent decision making.