The University of Health Sciences (UHS) has decided to introduce a modular integrated curriculum in its affiliated medical colleges this year. First-year classes in medical and dental colleges of Punjab will commence from 1st March.

The Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Ahsan Waheed Rathore said that the initiative was being taken on the directions of the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) to meet the accreditation standards of the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). This will allow clinical exposure to the students right from their first year in the medical college, he said.

The framework of the modular integrated curriculum was approved by a steering committee in a meeting held on Wednesday.  The meeting headed by UHS Vice Chancellor was participated by all the lead Medical Educationists of the affiliated medical colleges of Punjab and Kashmir. The medical education department of the University presented the framework of the integrated curriculum along with the proposed Modules and assessment protocols were presented to the steering committee.

Addressing the meeting, Prof Rathore said that the university had decided to implement the new modular and curriculum in the coming session. The faculty in the affiliated medical colleges would be required to teach the new curriculum to the new MBBS classes that will commence in March this year, he added. As against the integrated curriculum, under the current system, the students start studying clinical subjects in the third year after studying basic medical sciences for the first two years.

The UHS VC said that the curriculum draft had entered the final phase of validation and theme identification and will be undertaken by taking on board the leadership of the affiliated institutes. Professor Ahsan Waheed Rathore further said that UHS will facilitate the medical education departments of the affiliated institutes for implementation of the integrated system. Learning techniques could improve academic success and help students cope with stressors and acquiring medical knowledge was the key competency for medical students and a lifelong requirement for physicians, he added. To support students’ learning process medical faculties should know about learning techniques, he further said. The committee also finalized the TORs for the implementation of the curriculum along with a methodology of faculty development.

UHS Director of Medical Education Dr Khalid Rahim highlighted the salient features of the new proposed modular integrated curriculum. He said that many elements were being introduced in the new curriculum like spiral integration, leadership skills, professionalism, clinical clerkships, family health and teaching of the Holy Quran.

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Arsalan Haider is a reporter at Academia Mag and has worked with leading national dailies and news channels. He tweets @arsalanhaider14

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