Learning medicine in the changing world through internet

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Learning medicine in the changing world through internet

Learning medicine in the changing world through internet

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  • 1. Learning/Practising Medicine in the ChangingWorld *Dr.T.V.Rao MDI still remember memories of my teachers in Medical College in1960”s. They were simple, humble, knowledged and committedto their profession. There were few books available to us andotherwise we were unable to afford orown many bookspersonally. The available books were reputed and writtenbymany authors who contributed few chapters who had arealexperience, even same concept continues with many westernpublications, and India too catching up. India has grown far andwide, we have many authors, plenty of guides, all are edited myone or two authors who have no first-hand experience on manytopics, but just good composers of books. I still remember onewho studied surgical methods by Dr Das still cannot forget whata flaw less book it is, hewho understands little of it can make nobasic mistakes. Today we are not able to grade the books withdemands in Medical, Nursing colleges.Regulatory authorities’specifies number of text book copies to a subject to beavailable for Inspection, so it has become a thriving place forevery inferior quality of books entering into every medicalestablishment and every library. Many teachers criticise thatinformation available on the WWW- Internet is not authentic butto find, it is far more superior to many available books in ourlibraries. Indian Medical education definitely growing throughmany crisesbecausemany become experts and specialistswithout practising the fundamentals of Science or Medicine, weare certain to turn out bad Doctors. Rapid increase in Medical
  • 2. and Nursing College’s, lack of teachers and lacking of interestto teach is creating havoc in the country. No regulatory bodycan control these colleges every day, so the students too left totheir own choices of learning, which is certainly dangeroustrend to future of India’s health sector. Many post graduatedegrees are awarded without basic knowledge of a good MBBSstudent. Many Universities are on their own regulationsawarding Degrees which are of doubtful use to the Society.People criticize the Internet that is spoiling the youngergeneration I wish to ask how many classes a senior teachers istaking and if it is the state, that students have no option thanaccept the path of least resistance i.e. Internet, and goodteachers become indifferent to the system with which they areliving. Internet is becoming a source of knowledge for learning andexecution of practice, and the Internet is widely used in medicaleducation. Educational courses for doctors and medicalstudents are increasingly offered via the Internet. Despite muchresearch, course developers remain unsure about what (ifanything) to offer online and how. Prospective learners lackevidence-based guidance on how to choose between theoptions on offer.The great questions remain “How can Internet-basedlearning, be effectively implemented?” and “When shouldInternet-Based learning is used? “Internet has proliferatedbeyond one’s imagination, as the future of Internet-basedmedicine is to tie together many different entities: clinicalservices such as reference laboratories, offices, and hospitals,as well as administrative services such as pharmacies andhealth plans. Unfortunately, it is not easy to implement thisconvergence, as the different health care elements are notalways well organized to begin with. Physicians and studentssimply log in with a modem from wherever they are. They usetheir browser to go to a certain Web site that the Institutionprovides. The institution has a firewall can block unwanted
  • 3. distracting websites and a certificate server to authenticateprecisely who the user is. In addition, it provides a securelocked session with everything encrypted, which is governed byInstitutional policy. The use of computers in most spheres of medicine hasrendered the use of Internet for medical teaching and researchvery easy. A survey on Internet use amongst health careprofessionals found that, many of the educated patients discussthe information found on the net with their health care provider.Several doctors found this to be helpful as it improvedcommunication, with more knowledge, made the patient abetter partner in health care, and saved time in explanations.However, few doctors felt that it was not helpful, as there was arisk of patient self-treatment. As we find in clinical practicewhenever you diagnose a clinical condition many are browsingthrough WWW- Internet, on next visit we are in wait formanyquestion from patients which may be unfamiliarto many of us, ifyou are not an Internet Savvy. However we Medical Teachers,Doctors and Medical Consultant cannot escape from Internet,as the information needs of the medical professionals includemedical research, publication of Academic work which can beaided by the use of Internet. Right from the selection of thetopic, to organizing review of literature, designing the research,finding the techniques to the discussion of the findings arefacilitated by the use of Internet. One of the most common usesof computers continues to be in medicine is for communicationby Email and searching for medical information. The otherpossibilities include e-Commerce that includes - sale &purchase of drugs, equipment, instruments, etc. The Internetoffers a vehicle of self-promotion or advertisement for doctorsand hospitals, though this may be a controversial ethical issue,which is taking many neo generation rich and ignorant patientsinto their hands. I sincerely feel all of us must adopt manymatters on Medicine and advances in our practice throughcomputers and Internet, as we have few teachers left todedicate their time to us. It is certain that we are losing human
  • 4. touch in teaching and practice of Medicine. The regulatoryauthorities should permit e-learning to be given priority inMedical, Nursing curriculum.Emaildoctortvrao@gmail.com