off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid


All about the Dead Wood
and the Dead meat?


Dr. Mowadat Rana, Consultant Psychiatrist was the facilitator at the Workshop on Postmodernism and Health Professionals Education during the First International Medical Education Conference organized by FMH College of Medicine and Dentistry in collaboration with NUR International University on November 30th 2018. It was fascinating to listen to him as he has mastered the art of communication skills and is an excellent story teller. During the workshop he took the participants on a journey and highlighted as to what happens to the medical students during this period of five years from the day they enter these institutions.

Dr. Mowadat Rana

When the young students enter the medical colleges, they have glittering faces, have good manners, and have charm but then what we do to them during the five years that they develop Fear. He recalled that when he looked back at a class of one hundred thirty students he had taught, three of them had died. One died due to lymphoma, other died due to some infections while the third committed suicide. He then wondered as to who had done all this to these students? Is it not we the teachers who are to be blamed and held responsible, he asked. We are doing something wrong, he went on to say and something has definitely gone wrong. Speaking about the Post Modern curriculum, he referred to the myth of the Procrustean bed. The story of this bed is that it had certain length and every guest who came to this hotel, Rest House was taken care, well fed and entertained. But at night the guest was asked to lie on the bed. If the guest fell short, he was expanded on both sides and if he was taller than the size of the bed, he was cut on both sides to fit in the bed. In both situations, the guest used to die which was termed as Dead Meat. In most of our medical institutions, we have over the yeas accumulated lot of Dead Wood in the faculty and they are trying to fit in the students in this postmodern curriculum which results in Dead Meat. We need to break this myth, he remarked.

Continuing Dr.. Mowadat Rana said that saying NO is very important in today’s world. Alas most of us cannot do this. This practice has to stop, he remarked. We reject a system and start experimenting with a new system. In the good old days we used to practice apprenticeship model which was changed by the modern world. He then referred to the objective, structured educational cycle. He emphasized the importance of Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes. These days, most of the patients, Dr. Mowadat Rana stated are not happy with the doctors all over the world and we the healthcare professionals are not reading writing on the wall. We need to ask the community what type of doctors they need. Health is linked with Happiness. Doctors need to master the art of communication skills. At present there is a gap. We need to teach the medical students empathy. We must make then good human beings, super human beings. They will excel.

What happens during the five years is that the students have to appear in exam after exam. Their motivation level goes down. We need to sustain their motivation. This intrinsic motivation will remain forever. A doctor has to be a lifelong learner. They have to struggle throughout their life. The problems which this postmodernism era has created needs to be looked into. What are our intentions he asked? We need to produce good human beings who are going to heal but in the modern word, human beings are going to become lonelier which has its own repercussions.

In order to have a feel of other concurrent workshops, I had to leave this workshop while it was still on but these words of wisdom deserve a serious thought by our medical educationists and health planners if we are serious to ensure that at the end of five years in a medical or dental college, the graduates we are producing will be the product which we, our Nation and the Society needs.

© Professional Medical Publications. All rights reserved.