Need for Changes in the Practical Physiology Curriculum of Medical Undergraduates CC06-CC08
Dr. Rajveer Garg,
Consultant, Department of Neurosurgery, Ivy Hospital, Panchkula-134112, Haryana, India.
Introduction: Physiology is one of the foundation sciences for the medical curriculum. It forms the basis of all life sciences. Physiology practical classes in India are divided into three sections: exercises in haematology, exercises on humans and experiments on amphibians. Faculty and students of medical schools in India are of the opinion that animal experiments should be discontinued, that the curriculum in experimental physiology and pharmacology needs to be updated, that the same understanding of topics could be obtained by using alternative methods and that there is an urgent need to introduce alternatives of animal experiments.
Aim: To assess the need for changes in the practical physiology curriculum of medical undergraduates.
Materials and Methods: The study was conducted among 300 MBBS, second and third professional students using a semi-structured questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of two sections: the first section was based on the current experimental physiology curriculum regarding the relevance of topics taught in haematology, amphibian and human practical classes. In the second section, the opinion was also sought regarding introduction of new topics related to recent advances in clinical physiology and basic clinical skills.
Results: More than 60% of the students marked most of the haematology experiments useful. All the amphibian practicals were considered irrelevant/not useful by more than 75% of the students. Regarding the human experiments, more than 70% of the students marked useful. More than 65% students were of the opinion that basic clinical skills should be introduced at undergraduate level. More than 50% students favoured introduction of topics from recent advances in physiology.
Conclusion: The present study concludes that there is an imperative need to implement radical changes in the experimental physiology curriculum which should be in consonance with patient care for the doctors of tomorrow to render better health service.