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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 10-13

Medical curriculum and pharmacology: An appraisal

Retired Professor of Pharmacology and Director of Medical Education, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
PSRK Haranath
Retired Professor of Pharmacology and Director of Medical Education, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.193328

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Pharmacology was introduced with Western Medical Education in India in 1900s. RN Chopra was the first Professor of Pharmacology along with patient care in School of Tropical Medicine Calcutta. Now Pharmacologists do not have clinical care nor give laboratory services to hospitals. Medical Education advanced in the West in 1960s with more emphasis on Integrated Teaching and Student Self-study and less on didactic lectures. System Based Learning and Problem Based Learning reduced importance of individual subjects. Medical Council of India (MCI) has mandatory regulations with no major changes in the last 5 decades. Universities and Medical institutions have no freedom in teaching programs. In Pharmacology didactic lectures dominate teaching. Practicals started with Dispensing Pharmacy were later replaced with Experimental Pharmacology. At present after restrictions on animals for study practicals are converted to Theoretical Exercises on Prescription writing and Incompatibilities. Students study mostly before examinations with little influence of yearlong teaching. Suggestions in line with Western Countries: Reduce the course of Pharmacology to 6 months. Examinations should be completely Internal with frequent tests by Internal Examiners. MD (Therapeutics) course may be introduced to teach Pharmacology in first semester. MCI rules to be only advisory and not mandatory. Teaching Institutions should form an independent Association and have freedom in teaching programs. A Nonofficial National Board of Medical Examination has to be formed to conduct an Entrance Test for admissions to Medical College and a National test for each graduate before registration.


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