The 10th Elets Healthcare Leaders Forum (HLF) brought medical educationists-practitioners in a panel discussion to talk on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on medical education. eHEALTH was the co-organiser of HLF virtual.
On a virtual platform, Dr Naveen Dutt, Associate Professor, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, AIIMS Jodhpur; Dr Param Hans Mishra, COO, IQ City Medical College; Dr B Sendilkumar, Dean & Director, Health Services Vinayakamissions Research Foundation-Deemed to be University Head Transformation VIMS Hospital Pvt Ltd, Salem; Prof (Dr) Ashok Mahapatra, ViceChancellor Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (Deemed to be University), Bhubaneshwar, Odisha; and Dr Kavita Mathad, Dean and Professor, School of Business Galgotias Univesity, Uttar Pradesh, deliberated how medical education space re-configured itself to minimise the disruption caused by the pandemic. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr Saurabh Kumar Banerjee, Dean, School of Pharmaceutical Management & Associate Professor, The IIHMR University.
Prof (Dr) Ashok Mahapatra, Vice Chancellor Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (Deemed to be University), Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, remarked that the pandemic impacted the psychology of students and affected the education sector. As the vast student population did not have access to smartphones, broadband connectivity and electricity, they suffered a lot during the lockdown phases. We switched to an online method of teaching; we knew that the method was not optimal but we thought something is better than nothing. But, online classes without bed-side education are not suitable for disciplines such as nursing and medical. So, we called the students of these disciplines for practical classes after July 2020 by enforcing preventive measures such as social distancing and sanitisation. We followed the government rules, UGC, and AICTE guidelines for conducting exams for non-medical streams.”
Dr B Sendilkumar, Dean, Faculty of Allied Health Services at Vinayaka missions Research Foundation-Deemed to be University, and Head of Transformation at VIMS Hospitals, Salem, highlighted the impact of the pandemic on research. “There may be a lot of review studies or laboratory studies published. However, those involving collecting primary data from the communities and the public are likely to be worse. Working with potential respondents, researchers or field assistants were affected as safety guidelines were enforced. Research units of universities, specifically in the scientific discipline, heavily rely on external funds, which were affected as we are seeing more money being poured into Covid-19.”
Dr Naveen Dutt, Associate Professor, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, AIIMS Jodhpur; said: “We arranged telemedicine classes, build platforms, and started education for imparting theory. We took our cameras inside the wards to be able to see patients in our bid to create a real-world situation as much as possible. We did not want to make too heavy on kids so we kept our teaching hours to a maximum of three hours a day.
Dr Kavita Mathad, Dean and Professor, School of Business Galgotias University, Uttar Pradesh, observed that the Covid-19 pandemic offered an opportunity to reinvent and restrategise the institution’s style of running programmes. “It changed the way we design our syllabus and so many related aspects; it actually opened new dimensions of learning. We worked on new methods of content delivery and redesigned components of internal assessment that are convenient for students.”
Dr Param Hans Mishra, COO, IQ City Medical College, noted that owing to the practical orientation of medical education, the students of the discipline suffered as practical could not be conducted in hospitals. Parents were scared that if their children get infected from the hospital. Many stopped paying fees as they were going through financial problems. This impacted private medical colleges. Things have come online now as the vaccine has come people are feeling more assured and feeling more positive.”