Medical colleges should learn the use of virtuality which will be an important tool to be used in future-Prof. Ronald Harden


Future developments in Medical Education
Medical colleges should learn the use of
virtuality which will be an important tool to
be used in future-Prof. Ronald Harden
They need to look at individual needs of the students and
respect their wish for learning alone, in pair or in small
Always look for the X Factor in leadership and changes
should be according to the environment in which you
are working-Prof. Shahid Malik

ISLAMABAD: Prof. Ronald Harden an eminent educationist and Editor of Medical Teacher made his second presentation during the International Conference on Medical Education (ICME 2019) organized by Riphah International University through Video presentation. The topic of his presentation was Further Developments in Medical Education.

Prof. Harden opined that we are on an exciting journey. The issues which are going to become very important in medical education include curriculum development, assessment, and teaching. Outcome of an authentic curriculum is competency based education, process and a good product at the end of the training programme. A doctor has to be a professional with command on communication skills capable of working with information overload. Today we have more than sixty thousand diagnosis and more than six thousand interventions hence it is not possible for a teacher to teach everything. It is important that one asks the right questions, identify sources of learning and authentic assessment. At times the students may need practiced based learning.

Dr. Richard M. Harden

Speaking about the medical schools of the future Prof. Ronald Harden said that they have to adopt to learning as one size does not fit all. They need to look at individual needs of the students. It is the student’s choice whether they wish to learn alone or learn in pair. One should use self-assessment at the beginning and end of the programme. In future much more collaboration will be seen. We will see an extended curriculum, inter professional education, students will become partners and students will be teachers. He then discussed the eight different roles of the teachers in detail which included manager, scholar, leader, assessor, facilitator, curriculum developer and we have to think will it all be possible, he asked? He then hastened to add that it is not impossible. We can achieve this in the next five to ten years.

During the discussion the role of artificial intelligence in future medical schools also came under discussion. It was pointed out that use of technology will make the curriculum more adaptive. Medical colleges should learn the use of virtuality as it will be an important tool to be used in future.

Prof. Rehan Ahmad Khan was the next speaker who spoke on Curriculum Viability: Evaluating a sick curriculum. He pointed out that inhibitors and curriculum has no universal definition. He then talked about different areas of curriculum, presented a check list and highlighted the diseases of curriculum with extensive departmentalization. As regards good curriculum there are certain factors which will not let it achieve the objective. Curriculum Prof. Rehan Khan opined, is a dynamic entity. It can be happy and healthy like human being. If the involvement of staff and students is lacking, they will work as inhibitors. He also talked about low quality of integration, neglect of student’s demands, student’s resistance to change, lack of social interaction, and lack of communication barriers. The viability framework will be a failure if you are not looking at inhibitors. Talking about factors which promote curriculum, he mentioned motivation. Mere determination is not enough. Motivation should be included as a promoter. He emphasized the importance of involving the students, asking them what they need and want.

Dr. Mahwish Arooj

Dr. Mahwish Arooj was the next speaker who made a presentation on winning the Golden Ticket which are related to student’s selection in the medical colleges. She pointed out that the main objective is to improve the quality of medical education but the question arises are we selecting the right students? She was of the view that we must take the ground realities into account. At many places the teachers are not on board. There are multiple parameters to select the right candidates as students. It includes academic records, aptitude test, and preliminary test. We also use MDCAT, referral letters, scholastic achievements, written communication. Aptitude and test criteria are under used. Last year in the province of Punjab, she stated, out of 61,900 students who appeared in the entry test for 8,339 seats which is just 13.5% who eventually got admitted.

The remaining 86.5% were left out and this way we are losing some of the brilliant students. Central induction policy, she further stated, does have some benefits but it also has some disadvantages as well. Some of the students came and joined the classes after five months when the class had started. We had eight merit lists and four times it was upgraded. The faculty had to work hard and at times it also increased the financial burden on the students. We just look at academics alone though we should look at other things as well. Person being selected should have a holistic approach. Non-cognitive domain should also be included in student’s selection. Multiple Mini interviews are also considered useful. We need to use multiple tools, include cognitive and ability test, interview based on behavioral tasks, look at the decision making capabilities, presentation, group work. She suggested that medical colleges should have autonomy to select their own students using multiple tools. One admission criteria does not suit to all the medical colleges. We all need to sit together and make admission criteria more holistic as it is the quality of students which will eventually determine the quality of doctors. Responding to a question, she agreed that self-selection by the student s is also very important wherein they work for a few days in a hospital to acquaint themselves with the environment in which they will have to work.

Prof. Shahid Malik

This was followed by an excellent presentation by Prof. Shahid Malik on “Organizational change: How to lead your team”. Leadership, he said, is the capacity to translate vision into reality. There are many powerful ways that will lead your team to greatness. It is essential that Vision should be based on empathy, one should be passionate about what is possible, as a leader know when to push and support. A leader should be a learner himself, confident and not arrogant. The leader must work side by side with the team, must know how to follow. There are different styles of leadership. It is important to ask yourself a question are you ready to lead your team, he remarked. One has to work hard to be a leader. He then referred to delegation style, supporting and coaching directions. At times it may be essential to change the style of one’s leadership. People should be delegated responsibilities. He also referred to emotional intelligence and said that there are some smart barriers in organization and any changes should be for benefit of organization. Those with limited understanding has to change which is important. Lack of management support, inadequate funds, failure to involve the employees could be a disaster.

Continuing Dr. Shahid Malik opined that education level of your team is also important. Those with average IQ level will spend more time in social gossip, such people wish to become closer to the higher administration. Some times more retired people are employed. Their level of commitment is retarded and they cannot contribute much. It is essential to convince the people that change is necessary. Get support from key people. Learn leadership qualities. Fight the system to bring a change. At times one gets demoralized. You may face insulting criticism and flattery too. Look for the X Factor in leadership. Changes should be according to the environment in which you are working. Pick up students who have leadership qualities.

Prof. Olle ten Cate in his concluding remarks highlighted the importance of intellectual leadership and being good followers.

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