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Kerala - Kozhikode Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Innovative research programme draws acclaim

By Our Special Correspondent

KOZHIKODE, FEB. 12. Student-led research projects going on at Kozhikode Medical College have won all-round applause from senior doctors and educationists.

"These show students have realised medical education should address the health needs of society," remarked Dr. K Vijayakumar, Professor and Head of Community Medicine at Kozhikode Medical College.

Prof. Vijayakumar is the co-ordinator of the Problem Solving for Better Health (PSBH) programme, under which the research work is done.

"For the first time, undergraduate medical students are doing research. That too on issues of immediate concern to their neighbourhood," he said from Meerut, where a workshop on this project is now going on.

PSBH programmes are currently under way in 55 medical colleges in India. The participants are fourth year MBBS students.

Dr. P.V. Ramachandran, editor-in-chief of the online journal of Calicut Medical College Alumni Association, appreciated the innovative programme.

"This is novel and innovative," he said in an email from London. The details of the research works done in Kozhikode are featured in the latest issue of the online journal, which can be accessed at www.calicutmedicaljournal.org.

Remarked Dr. Johnson Francis, associate editor of the journal: "This is the first time undergraduates are involved in research work in such large numbers."

e-journal

The e-journal of Kozhikode medical college alumni association is also a major initiative. It seeks to provide space to local doctors to report their research findings to an international audience, a facility difficult to achieve because of prohibitive cost involved in getting articles published in open access medical journals.

The Problem Solving for Better Health (PSBH) programme is a movement launched with an objective of helping students in medical colleges to have a critical view of the problems and develop approaches towards the prevailing health issues around them.

In Kozhikode Medical College, more than 50 projects have been completed since it was launched two years ago. Dr. Vijayakumar said: "Hitherto un-attended areas of public health started getting addressed."

Explaining its relevance, he said, "with the impact of modern communication and science many of the local health issues threaten to become global. Consequently medical education, which addresses the local needs, cannot forget the global situation as well. It is in this context that many of the developed countries have taken initiatives in global health as an important focus of medical education".

New approach

"On the other hand medical education in many of the developing countries fails to respond to the prevailing local health issues and the products are not equipped enough to address these issues. Most of the health problems of the developing countries require approaches different from that of the developed. The traditional medical education system, which oriented towards the developed communities, often fails to address this situation. Obviously newer approaches and initiatives have to be bought in. It is in this context that imparting training to new professionals to address these issues becomes relevant."

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