We can implement Modular System of Integrated Spiral Curriculum within six months to a year

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Faculty Development at UHS

We can implement Modular System of
Integrated Spiral Curriculum within
six months to a year

Frequent assessment of faculty provides reliable results
and also ensures transparency-Dr. Amina Ahmad

LAHORE: Ever since assuming the responsibilities of Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences, Prof. Maj. Gen. (Retd) Mohammad Aslam is trying his best to improve the academic standard and promote research culture at this institution as well as at its affiliated medical and dental colleges. An institution is only as good as its faculty and UHS is lucky to have a highly qualified, experienced, dedicated, devoted faculty and the result is that University of Health Sciences continues to retain its Second best position among the universities in Pakistan as per ranking by the Higher Education Commission.  God Almighty has also blessed Prof.Maj. Gen. Mohammad Aslam with leadership qualities and he believes in making a team, attracting talent, retaining talent and allowing them academic freedom to perform.


Dr. Amina Ahmad

Previously there was no post of Pro Vice Chancellor. This post was created and Prof. Junaid Sarfraz Khan, a noted medical educationist was appointed to this coveted post. He recently came up with an innovative idea of Professionalism Punjab to promote self learning among the healthcare professionals.  UHS administration also inducted Dr. Amina Ahmad another medical educationist who was working as Director of HPE programme of CPSP and Director of Medidcal Education at CPSP Regional Center Lahore. She joined UHS as Associate Professor of Medical Education last year. Prof. Major Gen.Mohammad Aslam was very keen on faculty development and entrusted her the responsibilities in this regard.  During my recent visit to UHS, I managed to talk to Dr.Amina Ahmad and asked her as to what she has been able to accomplish ever since she joined UHS. Given below are the excerpts from the conversation:

When I joined UHS, I was asked by the Vice Chancellor as to what I can do for faculty development by in-house faculty training of UHS as well as faculty development of its affiliated medical and dental colleges. So I thought we need to develop a strategy for undergraduate as well as postgraduate faculty development.  The challenges are that the world is now moving towards Modular System of Integrated Spiral Curriculum and in order to keep pace with the world, we have to initiate appropriate measures without much delay.  Integrated teaching of basic and clinical sciences is the norm these days wherein you teach clinical medicine from the first year while the final year class also learns about basic sciences like anatomy and physiology etc.  It means that the medical students are learning basic sciences as well as clinical medicine throughout the five years but its quantum is decided keeping in view their relevance and importance.

As regards MS, MD, M. Phil its curriculum has to be revised based on new curriculum changes. M. Phil curriculum has been revised while curriculum for MD and MS is being revised. In order to accomplish that, we collected the information through a structured questionnaire survey besides personal interviews with the faculty members. Their needs were identified and faculty development was based on this information. I designed the following eight workshops for this purpose and they were also given CME Credit Hours Awards:

  1. Planning Meaningful Learning duration 6.30 hours(Two CME  Credit Hours)
  2. Assessment for Learning and Certification duration six hours. (Two CME  Credit Hours)
  3. Curriculum Revision and Assessment of Learning. Duration ten hours thirty minutes. (Three CME  Credit Hours)
  4. Mentoring Duration three hours. (Three CME  Credit Hours)
  5. Assessment of Learning & Curriculum Revision. Duration eight hours thirty minutes.(Three CME Credit Hours)
  6. Scientific Writing and Research. Duration eight hours. (Three CME  Credit Hours)
  7. Self Regulated Learning. Duration four hours. (One CME  Credit Hours)
  8. Assessment of Learning and Curriculum Revision. Duration fifteen hours. (Five CME  Credit Hours)

In addition we also designed two additional workshops on Self Regulated Learning with four hours duration each which had one CME Credit Hours. Pakistan Medical and Dental Council came up with its CME Credit Hours scheme much later that is why when it announced, we were already ready and applied for it and UHS’s registration Number was one among the accredited institutions for this CME programme. Faculty training at UHS has been implemented.

Curriculum for Doctor of Physiotherapy has been revised. Similarly revision of curriculum for Haematology, Immunology and all other subjects are being revised and are in final stages. All this has been designed in such a way that it can be implemented through Modular System of Integrated Spiral Curriculum but it can also be implemented on annual assessment basis. Hence we are working on this till we eventually move fully to the new modular system. It is extremely important that after faculty development, all the faculty members should be able to do it as per latest trends. Now every thing is ready to be implemented. Frequent assessment of faculty provides reliable results and also ensures transparency. Now if the administration wishes, we can implement this Modular System of Integrated Spiral Curriculum within six months to a year.

When I asked her did you get any feedback, Dr. Amina Ahmad said that we had faculty development assessment by the faculty as well as students.  They are excited and stimulated to take part in this. Some policy decision as to the duration of MS and MD course whether it has to be for four years or five years has to be taken. We need assessment of these changes and why these changes are important to have a robust curriculum. MS and MD faculty development has started. How to design assessment which is valid and transparent and this is achieved in many cycles not once. MD and MS faculty is very much excited because they think that now UHS is taking interest and was more serious. They are keen to implement these changes and improve it further. Their commitment level has increased. They are now better equipped how to set papers and how to select contents. They say now we have a fair idea about all this.  If you have guidelines, valid assessment is possible.

I was told that students need to be given more attention. They are not motivated and many among them are not so keen to learn. They just pass time and wish to get degrees. I designed a workshop for the students on Self Regulated Learning for M.Phil students. It was very fascinating how it motivated the students. It has an inbuilt system which helps the students to identify their weaknesses and how to excel in academics, self monitor, regulate and assess if they are not up to the mark in certain area. They are encouraged to do their own critical analysis.  They have been informed that it was an ideal opportunity for them and try to avail it to the maximum. Students needs have also been identified. They wish to get good job after completing their postgraduate studies and training. We have fired them to learn and it has worked wonders, Dr. Amina Ahmad remarked.

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