Issues covered in 'My 2 innings': A discussion from my personal perspective

PR Shankar
2010 Journal of College of Medical Sciences-Nepal  
Nepalese academician and writer. The second edition of his autobiography has recently been published. Professor Dixit survived an attempt on his life on 4 th May 2006 and has titled his book 'My 2 innings'. Professor Dixit talks about rote learning during his early school days in Kathmandu. Students learnt things by heart and often did not know about the meaning of what they learned. Rote learning is especially prevalent in South Asia and recently has come in for intense scrutiny. Medical
more » ... ion has been criticized as encouraging memorization and repetition of facts. Problem-based learning (PBL) a 'recent' development at least in our part of the world encourages students to bring together their knowledge of various subjects to solve a clinical problem. PBL both alone or in combination with other learning strategies is increasingly common in developed nations and is also being used in the developing world. The second issue which echoes throughout the book is the dominance of the British Empire in world affairs. Britain ruled a large part of the world and Nepal though not a part of the empire was within its sphere of influence. The system of medical education in Nepal has been heavily influenced by the colonial one instituted by the British in South Asia. The language of instruction in medical schools and most other educational institutions continues to be English. Many Nepalese have served and continue to serve in the British and other armies. An unfortunate point is that the system of medical education in many former colonies continues to be the one prevalent when these countries obtained independence from the British. The British have substantially revised their system in the ensuing years but not much has been done in the erstwhile colonies. The medical education scenario in Nepal is relatively young and Institute of Medicine (IoM) the first medical school is less than 40 years old. This has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that Nepal did not inherit much of the baggage associated with medical education in other countries. IoM started with an innovative and daring curriculum which aimed to produce doctors for the community. At present, Patan Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS) is about to admit its first batch of undergraduate medical (MBBS) students and is stressing production of doctors for rural and underserved areas of Nepal. In Pharmacology one good thing which happened was students do not have to perform animal experiments in Nepal. In India and other parts of South Asia animal experiments were inherited as a part of the colonial baggage. In many developed countries animal experiments have been removed and only simulated experiments are shown to students. The minus point is that all infrastructures had to be built up from scratch. Another difference in Nepal is that majority of medical schools are in the private sector. Prof. Dixit talks about the 'monoculture' of humans in his book. Human beings have over the years become the dominant force on the planet. While the
doi:10.3126/jcmsn.v6i3.4081 fatcat:eab4fjiqbvfwlamsarmwpktvlq