Clinical observership: A desirable adjunct to preclinical training

Kumar, P. A.; Kumar, P. N.
June 2011
Australasian Medical Journal;Jun2011, Vol. 4 Issue 6, p294
Academic Journal
In the existing system of medical education in India, students are exposed to the hospital environment only after they start their clinical years of training. Hence, during the preclinical phase of their training most students are unaware of the relevance of basic sciences to clinical medicine. The preclinical student needs to be made aware of the relevance of basic sciences in clinical practice as early as possible during their training period. In an attempt to achieve the above-mentioned goals, the first year medical students in a private medical school in India were exposed to a 'clinical observership' programme. This observership, spread over a period of eight weeks took the students by rotation through eight clinical disciplines wherein they observed the activities in these clinics and interacted with the consultants, laboratory personnel and patients. The programme was designed to introduce them to hospital scenarios and to impress upon them the fact that the basic sciences form the foundation for their clinical training. It was highly appreciated by the students, who found it very useful, interesting and motivating in its contents and delivery. A project of this nature requires careful planning, and calls for co-operation of the teachers in basic sciences, clinical consultants and administrators to make a success of such an effort. In the light of this experience and taking into account the promising educational value of such a programme, it is suggested that similar innovations may be incorporated into the academic schedule to make the preclinical training interesting, motivating and meaningful to a student who is at the threshold of being moulded into a physician.


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