We plan to install many modern facilities for both learning and hands-on experience, says Dr Ram Chandra Goyal, Dean â Rural Medical College, Loni, Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences to Priyanka Singh of Elets News Network (ENN)
In the light of the current debate around medical education in India, what measures has Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences undertaken to ensure hands-on experience in students?
In our institute, we have done two things that are very important for hands-on clinical experience right from the beginning. Apart from the clinical experience and learning that students gain directly under the senior medical practitioners in hospitals, we have a physical lab equipped with various kinds of medicals related to advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS), basic cardiac life support (BCLS) or may be related to the delivery for learning. Another thing done by us is that we have takenÂ some simulation models, may be from HBL, cubical learning module and simulation learning module. There are two learning modules. We are now going for upgrading our simulation labs, as well as extending the entire medical education unit, wherein we are planning to install many modern facilities for both learning and hands-on experience. In short, we are already on the path of enhancing hands-on experience.
e-learning tools currently with us and being developed in medical education will go a long way in enhancing medical practice skills
What all digital solutions are you currently subscribing to enable access to cost-effective learning tools by both faculty and students? How effective have these tools been in imparting skills among them?
We have a lot many e-learning resources available in our library. We subscribe to Elsevierâs e-learning resources – Clinical Learning and Animal Simulator. Clinical Learning gives us access to clinical and practical skills modules in clinical sciences, as well as basic sciences. Animal Simulator is a computerÂ assisted learning tool for animal experimentation in physiology and pharmacology. These tools are very useful for both the faculty as well as students.
Additionally, we have access to the Maharashtra University of Health Scienceâs digital library, which has around 2,074 books and other manuals. We also have access to Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET), Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (MEDLARS), PubMed Central, BioMed Central, HighWire, Medknow Publications and WHO Publications. We are also associated with OpenDOAR. We also have open access to various journals, such as J-Gate, and Free Medical journals, Free Dental Journals and Free Biotechnology Journals. Apart from that, we do have a small communication lab that we plan to extend into a phonetic lab and a linguistic lab. Telemedicine as a learning module is being practiced for a long period in Loni. Various e-databases are also available. We do have a clinical skill lab that we plan to develop more.
With a string of start-ups now emerging with medical technology innovations, do you see foray of cost-effective medical technology devices in Indian medical education/ infrastructure in near future?
The e-learning tools currently with us and being developed in medical education as a technology will go a long way in enhancing medical practice skills. This will ensure perfection of various processes being conducted on patients post successful use for hands-on experience. These tools will also be cost-effective due to the reason for being conducted on simulation models where there is no risk involved unlike the reallife experience where the patientâs life is at risk.
Students are tech savvy, but they need to be educated on the use of e-learning tool, and for this, the teaching faculty needs to be trained completely on modern mediums of learning
What challenges do you witness in terms of adoption of e-learning tools due to the traditional approach of the faculty and digital approach of next-generation students, who are comparatively more comfortable with electronic devices as a medium of learning?
The older teaching faculty members are not well versed with the current stream of study; hence, it becomes difficult to convince them to use any kind of e-learning tools because they lack knowledge of operating such electronic tools due to lack of training and insufficient staff to train them. These are the reasons why itâs very difficult for the senior faculty to adopt such non-traditional tools of learning. Although students are tech savvy, they need to be educated on how and when to use such e-learning tool, and for this, the teaching faculty needs to be trained completely on modern mediums of learning. Therefore, we need to devise tools specifically for the faculty and conduct regular workshops.
What are the challenges Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences witnesses as a medical institute located in a non-metro city in terms of infrastructure, funding and other facilities?
There are certainly some challenges for us. We have multiple players in metro cities to provide medical and Internet services, whereas in nonmetro cities no one wants to come in to provide services There are only very few providers available in non-metro areas. Sometimes it becomes difficult for us to connect due to insufficient number of service providers. However, in our medical college, we do have infrastructure and Wi-Fi, but we need extra funding from the government of India to improve the total learning structure for both the faculty and students. We also need extra funding to introduce computerbased treatment plans for patients to improve the treatment scenario.
A deeper meandering into the wider spectrum of Medical case studies is something which prepares a medical graduate to take on complex cases at once. What kind of medical case content you provide to your students? How is its usage monitored and put to maximum throughput?
We do expose our students in the first year itself to the challenges of medical practice when they are absolutely raw and do not know about medical diseases. They get handson experience by visiting villages to understand socio-cultural, financial and nutritional problems. They develop a holistic understanding of an individual and society as a whole. We have been conducting such a learning process for a long time. We want to develop the understanding of how other sectors can be involved in the healthcare sector, particularly in the field of research, patient care and educational programmes. We do have expertise in community-based learning, problem-based learning, text-based learning or family-based learning. Moreover, both private and public sectors cannot work alone. They need to work as a team.