Students are trained to be able to gain knowledge and understanding of the basic sciences, clinical medicine and community medicine. They should learn the skills to establish diagnosis and to perform the main clinical procedures. They should also learn the approach to manage patients and to prevent disease. These are achieved through a wide range of scientific methods such as lectures, tutorials, practical and clinical sessions (inpatient and outpatient, emergency rooms, surgical theatres), seminars, problem-solving exercises, discussions and interactive idea sharing in small group teaching; applied as appropriate. Daily assessment through home works, quizzes, log books, programmed clinical teaching and active participation will encourage students to enforce and apply knowledge and skills taught to them. Computer-assisted learning is limited to computer-based manikins in clinical skills lab and to the electronic library in the main library of the college and also at personal level through the internet. They may also involve videos on different medical diseases and examinations. Handouts of most theoretical lectures are available to the students through the college e-learning website
Emphasis is now put more on enhancing student-centered learning (rather than teacher-centered learning) which would encourage critical thinking and problem solving skills. The word teaching should be replaced by learning as a final aim through increasing the potential to convert teaching into a process of learning through methods such as immediate application of the taught materials in a real situation, teaching others, practice by doing, discussion groups, demonstration and others.
Medical students are encouraged to be scientists and scholars. Therefore, addressing research activities in the curriculum is necessary. The exposure of medical students at CMUB to research is based on two methods. One is optional in which no more than 5 students form a research group and under the supervision of a staff member, they submit a research project, execute the project, write the results and present the work in a special one day student research conference. Each group can have various combination of students of the same or different learning levels. Two to three marks are added to the student's annual mark before the final examination in the subject relevant to their research works if their research paper is accepted by a research review committee. A second compulsory option is available in the fourth year during assignment in Community Medicine. Students are subdivided into 10-student groups; each group is under the tutoring of a faculty staff member. They plan, execute and present a research work. This research task deserves 10% of the annual mark in Community Medicine for fourth year medical students. In many instances, these research projects are based on generating empirical data (health facility-based or population-based).
A proposal under consideration is to make student research work compulsory as a graduation project, starting from second year and each student or a group of students should handle one research work any time from 2nd to 5th year of study before their graduation.
Suggested corrective measures
1. The concept of evidence-based medicine (EBM) should be an integral part of clinical teaching program and should govern the information given to the students.
2. Enhancing student-centered learning to encourage student critical thinking and decision making skills.
3. Addressing research activities in the curriculum as the student is required to be a scientist and a scholar.
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