Mumbai:The Directorate of Medical Education and Research has decided to turn a hawk’s eye on the education being imparted at government medical institutions and rate them in accordance.
With the task of admissions ended, the Directorate’s Joint Director, Dr. Prakash Wakode has revealed that a circular has been issued to all government medical institutions about the DMER undertaking academic inspections in all state run institutions, next week onwards. The aim behind initiating this exercise is to bring back the focus of medical colleges to teaching, reports Indian Express.
According to Joint Director, Wakode, though most medical colleges are over burdened with patient care and therefore, unconsciously have education becoming second priority; the fact remains, that the first task at hand for any medical college is to provide quality medical education. A priority that cannot be to be compromised, he stressed .
“The idea is to measure teaching standards in colleges. We have defined the criteria to evaluate the colleges and based on how they do, they will be given star ratings,” said Wakode.
Expressing concern about medical education at the undergraduate level, the joint director emphasized, that while patient-care hours gave students a hands-on experience, classroom teaching was equally important for undergraduate medicos. He mentioned heads of departments and professors being preoccupied with their ward rounds at the cost of class room teaching.
In order to bring about a balance between wards and classroom learning, the DMER has identified three star rating officers who would carry out checks in the 52 medical institutions in the 16 government run colleges and grade them on performance for the academic year 2015-16. These star rating officers will be covering institutions in all the three zones of Marathwada, Vidharbha and Pune .
“The officers will check each college on how many classes were taken against the number of prescribed classes. They will also take the input of students on the kind of interaction and teachings in the classrooms,” added Wakode.
The inspecting officers are to submit their assessments to the DMER panel which will then rate performances.
“The panel members will be blindfolded to the name of the institute they are evaluating to ensure a fair evaluation,” said Wakode. The year long check exercise is meant to improve the quality of educational inputs in terms of teaching, informed the Joint Director. “We want to send the message that colleges are being looked at. We also hope that the star rating results in a healthy competition among colleges,” he said.
While initially the inspection exercise is to be limited to state run medical institutions, the DMER hopes to extend its radius by encompassing private medical colleges into its inspection ring. . “Looking at all medical colleges will need an independent system,” said Wakode.
The state government’s decision to keep a quality check on medical education being imparted at the undergraduate and graduate levels has been welcomed by the medical fraternity.
“An annual evaluation will help colleges improve academics,” said Dr Ashok Rathore, Dean of Shri Vasantrao Naik Government Medical College, Yavatmal informed Indian Express. According to the Dean, the annual evaluation would ensure record maintenance , attention being paid to classroom teaching, and improvement in passing percentages of students.
Dr Yashvardhan Kabra, President ,Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors and third-year PG student at KEM Hospital, Mumbai, said the DMER also needed to keep a check on student updates on latest technology at colleges, especially those outside Mumbai.
Dr. Kabra highlighted the fact that while PG students within Mumbai were being given latest technological input briefs through tie up classes, students of peripheral colleges had to attend Continuing Medical Education (CME) workshops to educate themselves on the latest technological advances.