Dr Subha lakshmi
The new syllabus that which the students are following now, was modified and implemented from the year 2003. Ever since, students have been facing a lot of difficulties academically, which in foresight will affect their medical practice in future.
To begin with in the first year, the subjects dealt with are Anatomy including embryology and histology, Physiology and Biochemistry, Pharmacy, Materia Medica and Organon of medicine. In a basic subject as Anatomy, nothing specific is mentioned about the portions that needs to be prepared for paper 1 and paper 2. Students often go to attend the examination without having the slightest idea as to what is to be expected in paper 1 and 2. Practically in a very confused state of mind. Even after conducting 3 university examinations the proper division of portion remains an unsolved mystery.
The number of medicines allotted for study in first year is only 25 and the duration of the first year is 18 months. The number of medicines included from second year onwards is more than 50 with most of the Polycrest femedies being included in the final year. The 25 med included in first year has very few polycrest in them. Med like Bell, Pulsatilla, Sulphur, lycopodium are excluded from I year. This kind of syllabus incapacitates a student from prescribing a similimum even though he has reached the III year.
E.g.: during a case taking examination, the student is put in such a situation where he is forced to make a prescription within the limited num of med taught, when he is aware that the med sought out is not the exact similimum.
In the previous syllabus 70 med were included in I year and three-fourth of them being polycrests. Suggestion is to include more num of med in I year or to revise the list of 25 med including the major polycrests.
In II year the subjects dealt with are Pathology including microbiology and parasitology, Forensic med and toxicology, Organon of Med and Materia Medica. Pathology faces the same problem as Anatomy. What is to expected in paper 1 and 2 is not clearly defined. In Forensic med and toxicology, the syllabus mentions that students must be taken to view autopsy in a registered medical centre. But such a facility is not met with in many cases. This provision must be made available to all homoeopathic students for better understanding of the subject.
Organon of medicine in the II year, deals with the aphorisms 1-145. But the practical part of case taking demands knowledge of fundamental cause, maintaining cause, one sided diseases, diet and regimen. The latter portions are included aphorism 145 onwards. So to include all the aphorism in the II year would be a strong backbone to the students to master the art of case taking.
Kent’s philosophy is taught in the III year, but it is frequently witnessed that questions are asked about Kent’s philosophy in the II year examination. Kent explains the philosophical part of the aphorisms and gives a better and a broader view to the principles of Homoeopathy. Therefore the corresponding chapters in Kent with respect to the num of aphorisms taught in each year must be implemented.
Now moving on to the III year, a heading called “An introduction to Repertory” is included in the curriculum of Organon of med. But classes on repertorisation are not allowed for the III year students. But previously according to the old syllabus repertory was included in III year.
Repertory is an essential requisite of every Homoeopathic practitioner. Now that the new syllabus also mentions about Computer repertorisation like RADAR with other software, such necessary knowledge must be made available to the students and efficient staff must be appointed to train the students on such software. It is the better option to begin the repertory classes in the III year.
Then the number of classes for Organon of med.Must also be increased. At present the number of hours allotted for theory classes is only 3 hours a week in which 3 important texts (HA Roberts, Stuart close and Chronic diseases) have to be taught.
According to the new syllabus, III year student have to appear for a paper on therapeutics, for subjects like Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology. THIS IS A VERY WELCOME CHANGE and IS QUITE APPRECIABLE. But as mentioned above, due to the insufficiency in the Materia Medica syllabus, students face difficulty in attending the therapeutics paper.
All other subjects (as per new syllabus) like SPM, CTR, a major number of medicines in materia medica and PM are included in the final year. As clinical classes are to be given more importance in the final year, the number of theory classes available is not sufficient to cover the subjects in their proper aspect. Students face immense work load and are under the pressure to learn all these very important subjects, all in final year.
SPM must once be included in the second year like it was in the old syllabus. That will help to reduce the work load in the final year.
Now coming to another major, major problem faced by all Homoeopathic students. BHMS is a 4 ½ year course plus one year internship. Due to delay in the conduction of examination and further delay in publishing the result, lengthens the duration of the course. This is one problem that must be seriously looked into.
If these are the problem faced by student in their academic years, once they complete the course, more difficulties crop up.
We are aware of so many new and modern techniques that have developed within a span of 10 years. The methods for investigation and diagnosis have become much more sophisticated, expertised and accurate. But sadly, very sadly the knowledge of such matters is an unknown territory to the homoeopathic students.
All kinds of medical system need investigation. Therefore efforts must be taken to teach homoeopathic students all the methods of investigations. They must be trained efficiently to handle X-rays, ECG & EEG reports, MRI & CT scan reports. All forms of mechanical aid that a patient requires, as situation demands must be taught and students must be trained to skillfully carry out such procedures of basic management.
In light of it, a period of one month has been allotted for the III year student to go watch and learn the procedure of Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology in a registered medical centre.
But how much can be taught and learned by a batch of 50 students within short period of one month. Keeping this in mind more number of seminars and workshops must be conducted to enlighten the students on these subjects. Frequent visits to the registered medical centers must be allowed for homoeopathic students to be updated with all the modern methods and techniques. All these must be done with the help of persons who are efficient in these areas of work. Professionals must be brought in to teach the students, for the subjects that are common to all medical systems.
Finally, when a curriculum is being changed or altered, it is the students who are the ultimate sufferers (be it good or bad). So it would be very thoughtful if a survey is conducted among the students in order to get their views and opinion on the curriculum that is being followed or regarding any change associated with it. It would immensely benefit all homoeopathic students.
Hope that this little endeavor provides the necessary means for a better change in the future of homoeopathic students.
Dr Subha lakshmi
Internee. Dr.Padiyar Memorial Homeo College. Chottanikara. Ernakulam. Kerala
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
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