MUMBAI: Innovative methods of teaching and learning are to be introduced in medical colleges of the state to deal with the acute faculty shortages faced. This is expected to in the form of virtual learning platforms in 16 government medical colleges very soon. This facility may be extended to civic institutions soon.
Virtual learning is being promoted by the government to overcome faculty shortages and also make the best trainers available to students across the state. The Directorate of Medical Education(DME) is all set to launch a virtual education platform in all its medical colleges.
This new tool for imparting medical learning will help a medical student sitting in a Kolhapur Government College classroom witness a live surgery being performed by experts from Mumbai or elsewhere in the state. Lectures delivered by the best faculty across the state will be transmitted live in all the 16 government medical colleges.
Dr Pravin Shingare, Director, DMER, said, “The idea is to offer students the best of education available in government-run colleges. Our best anatomy teacher could be in a college in Akola, or the best orthopaedic surgeon could be from Nagpur. We are trying to bring them all on a single platform for all students in this process of knowledge-sharing.” Private surgeons could also, if willing, spare an hour, once in 15 days to deliver a special lecture.
Another positive aspect of virtual platform learning will be that students will be able to watch live surgeries carried out in private hospitals.
“Currently, medical students are allowed to see the surgeries from a room outside the operation theatre. In the new set-up, all major surgeries, including angioplasty, transplant and even cancer surgeries in any hospital can be relayed live to students from 16 colleges. We can request some private hospitals too to help us with their recordings,” said Shingare.
A common time table with the related topics for these additional lectures will be released for all the 16 colleges. 2% of the regular lectures at all these colleges will be done away with, in order to accommodate the virtual platform lessons, added Shingare.
The concept of virtual platform learning has been welcomed by many experts, however, some have expressed reservations about live surgical demonstrations.
Dean, KEM Hospital, Dr Avinash Supe, while welcoming the concept of virtual learning expressed the need for refraining from live surgical demonstrations. He said, “There are ethical issues involved in the live demonstration of surgeries. It is a critical issue and is widely debated. I would rather prefer recording the surgeries and telecasting them for students later.” KEM Hospital already uses several online platforms to impart education.
Shingare countering Supe’s stand said there will not be any scope for negligence in the process, as an assistant surgeon, who is not performing the surgery, will explain it to the students, reported the TOI.
Three dental colleges who share their campuses with medical institutions will also stand to benefit from the virtual infra structure being set up for these activities.
The Association of Medical Consultants, will be partially funding the infrastructural costs entailed in the setting up of the virtual learning program, in medical colleges.