“Unlike the last year, when medical classes were held in a hybrid mode with the theory being conducted online and practical and clinical teaching in offline mode in short batches, this year all the three phases are being held virtually. As per the direction of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences that regulates all the medical colleges in Karnataka, institutes cannot call MBBS students to colleges for offline classes. The hospital visit for these students is also restricted,” says Dr Somashekhar SP, chairman and HOD Surgical Oncology, Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt Ltd, Bengaluru, Karnataka.
The National Medical Commission (NMC) recently released a new module to help the medical colleges in exploring methods to conduct the theoretical, laboratory and clinical learning in virtual mode, he adds. Meanwhile, for postgraduate students, the theoretical and practical classes are suspended, and students are compelled to attend the Covid patients for their clinical learning.
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The major consequence of the Covid is borne by the postgraduate (PG) students, says Dr SK Jain, HoD, General Surgery, Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC). “Practical knowledge and laboratory learning along with real experience of patients is an important aspect of learning at the PG level. However, owing to the ongoing circumstances there are limited patients in the hospital. The situation is hampering the teaching for PG students,” he says.
At AIIMS Rishikesh, where the hospital is experiencing an outburst in the number of Covid patients due to the recently held Kumbh, Dr Amit Gupta, additional professor, Surgery, AIIMS, Rishikesh says, “The classes for medical students are being held online. The institute had earlier conducted online exams for PG students and offline exams for MBBS in the last semester, however, this year owing to the circumstances the institute is preparing for online exams for MBBS students as well.
“Since April 5, the MBBS classes have again shifted to virtual platforms from April 5. The theoretical lectures are being held on an online platform, in addition to which students are also shown presentations and demonstrations via virtual meetings to fill in for the absence of practical postings. The posting for senior students is also scheduled online where they are shown PowerPoint presentations,” says Amisha Maroo, final year student, MBBS, AIIMS, New Delhi.