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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 448-449  

“Competency based Curriculum… Bed of Procrustes… Deck Chairs on the Titanic”. A phase II subject perspective


Department of Microbiology, Dr D Y Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr D Y Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission28-Aug-2020
Date of Decision15-Sep-2020
Date of Acceptance21-Sep-2020
Date of Web Publication11-Mar-2022

Correspondence Address:
Nikunja Kumar Das
Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, Dr D Y Patil Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Dr D Y Patil Vidyapeeth, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_479_20

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How to cite this article:
Das NK, Gandham NR, Angad KM, Misra R. “Competency based Curriculum… Bed of Procrustes… Deck Chairs on the Titanic”. A phase II subject perspective. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2022;15:448-9

How to cite this URL:
Das NK, Gandham NR, Angad KM, Misra R. “Competency based Curriculum… Bed of Procrustes… Deck Chairs on the Titanic”. A phase II subject perspective. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Jul 3];15:448-9. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypv.org/text.asp?2022/15/3/448/339397



Dear Sir,

I have gone through your article on competency-based curriculum titled “Coaching Classes… Competencybased Curriculum… Bed of Procrustes… Deck Chairs on the Titanic.”[1] You have mentioned about the menace of coaching classes and how it affects the psyche of medical students. Though I did not take a coaching for postgraduation preparation, I can definitely relate to this particular situation. I can remember the days, where you start doubting your own abilities, your friends go away to different colleges, and you are left behind. The family expectations and peer pressure start taking a toll on you. The coaching classes take hefty fees and instead of seeing a case of tuberculosis, you are solving multiple-choice questions (MCQ). With the possibility of exit test, they will become aggressive, and the students will start solving competitive questions from the 1st year onward. With the advancement of technology, it has become more easier for them actually to reach students. They now just have to develop an app. In mobile, suddenly a student receives an MCQ in his mobile in the middle of a class in the first-year MBBS. The coaching classes have kept themselves more than relevant today, by mutating themselves as the situation permits, like a Plasmodium does, to survive. I think they will survive irrespective of the changes in the medical curriculum.

The new competency-based curriculum was introduced by the Medical Council of India in 2019. The new curriculum is designed to make the students more clinically oriented and to face new and unique challenges. The curriculum is designed to be more dynamic according to situations. For example, the committee has issued fresh guidelines to incorporate “Pandemic management module for undergraduate students” to make students be ready for new challenges.[2]

We had the opportunity to plan and implement the new curriculum in microbiology from year 2020. The reduction in time to cover the syllabus means many topics, specially the practical ones, were reduced significantly. The students will of course be more clinically oriented, but some of the older and yet fundamental techniques may be lost. The whole dimensions about how the practicals are generally conducted are now changed. It now involves multiple sessions of a single topic so as to certify a student.[3] This has made the older version of the student journals redundant. We have now had to make wholesome changes in the journal to keep up with the new curriculum.

Sir, a lot of the classes have now been converted into Small group discussion. We have a batch of about 250 students in an MBBS class. Now, for each small Small group Discussions, we have to engage at least four teachers a day. In the long run, it is going to be a herculean task as apart from teaching, the department has a whole lot of other activities.

This curriculum has an aim to make the students able to do a certain task successfully and efficiently and to make the Indian medical graduates function as physicians of first contact in the community.[4],[5] This may make a student confident enough to handle a certain clinical case just after passing a medical college. But, how far is it going to make him/her a critical thinker, remains to be seen. As each case may vary, we sometimes may need a thinking doctor and not a robot. This curriculum is slightly inclined toward the clinical subjects. With less and less students nowadays opting for para-clinical and preclinical subjects, is this curriculum not be a last nail on the coffin for these subjects.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Banerjee A. Coaching classes. Competency-based Curriculum… Bed of Procrustes… Deck Chairs on the Titanic. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2020;13:1-2.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
2.
Medical Council of India. Module on Pandemic Management; August, 2020. p. 1-75.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Ananthakrishnan N. Competency based undergraduate curriculum for the Indian Medical Graduate, the new MCI curricular document: Positives and areas of concern. J Basic ClinAppl Health Sci 2018;1:34-42.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shah N, Desai C, Jorwekar G, Badyal D, Singh T. Competency-based medical education: An overview and application in pharmacology. Indian J Pharmacol 2016;48:S5-S9.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Jacob KS. Medical Council of India's New Competency-Based Curriculum for Medical Graduates: A Critical Appraisal. Indian J Psychol Med 2019;41:203-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
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