Dr.T.V.Rao MD
Basic sciences, including Microbiology and Immunolo...
mortality and morbidity. A thorough understanding of medical microbiology
and immunology requires not only knowledge of di...
have a high level of competency to “demonstrate both knowledge of and
ability to use basic principles of statistics, chemi...
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  1. 1. IMPORTANCE OF TEACHING MICROBIOLOGY TO MEDICAL STUDENTS. Dr.T.V.Rao MD Basic sciences, including Microbiology and Immunology are foundations of Medical knowledge to make better Doctors. However it continues to expand with many chapters with arrivals of emerging and remembering microbes. These courses use illustrations from the bacterial and immunological diseases of humans that play an important role in understanding medicine and healthcare. Under the medical microbiology and immunology umbrella there are essential requirements for advanced knowledge in the many aspects of microbes, diseases, and host defences The Universities and Medical council of India too modified syllabus with great efforts, they made a Major question on Applied Microbiology which will help medical students to solve a clinical problem puzzled with some signs and symptoms The greatest achievements in Medical Sciences are attributed to developments in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of several diseases. Many students think the basic sciences are of no importance to their career development this has immensely compromised the quality of medical education in the country. The medical college curriculum should, in Flexner’s view, relate directly to several foundational subjects including anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, bacteriology and physical diagnosis. He felt that these subjects should occupy the first and second years of medical school and relate to the clinical work that occupied the third and fourth years of medical school. Without the scientific basis of medical education inherent in foundation courses, it would be difficult to educate the practitioner to any reasonable level of medicine. It has been universally accepted that understanding the normal is the starting point for a comprehension and mastery of the abnormal and that understanding the normal requires a strong background in foundational sciences. The underpinnings of medicine, therefore, depend on the fundamental sciences that furnish “the essential basis of medical education” and provide the student physician with an understanding of the practical importance of the scientific method. This information needs to be combined with a strong foundation in various non-science course work, behaviours, attitudes and skills. There continues to be considerable debate concerning the best way to restructure medical education in light of the exponential increase in scientific knowledge. Among several branches of Medicine, Microbiology with fundamentals on infectious diseases, contributed immensely to the prevention and management of many communicable diseases which in turn reduced the
  2. 2. mortality and morbidity. A thorough understanding of medical microbiology and immunology requires not only knowledge of disease and disease processes and the interaction of microbes and their hosts (human and zoonotic), but also an understanding of the structure, function, and physiology of organisms fundamentally different from humans. It is appropriate therefore that these areas of science be integrated into the ‘introductory’ years of medical school, providing a sound basis for clinical medicine. In the last century the mass of deaths are attributed to Infectious diseases take an example of Influenza millions perished in in 1918 – 1919, however it is a strange it may not happen today? The emergence of AIDS in 1981 made us to know that we are in trouble with emerging infections. After 30 years of AIDS pandemic, it continues to be a challenge with few solutions and a hope to live long in with anti-retroviral treatment. There are several other similar issues including the drug resistance with a question that drugs which saved several humans in the last half of the century will be thrown out of shelves. Many Medical colleges in the developing world teach Microbiology as a core subject in the middle of undergraduate curriculum and students will be successful with theoretical knowledge and few teachers take interest to transform the theoretic knowledge to practical use of evaluation to control and treat infectious diseases. In the present Indian context under educational regulations Microbiology taught as a Fairy Tale, where we show few things which are not at all relevant to the challenges the students are facing in 21st century. This in turn brought apathy among the students. This missing link has got great impact on understanding of several disease conditions and infections contributing to the missed Diagnosis. If we sincerely interact with Medical students, they say that they were losing interest as there is no enthusiasm created by the outdated teachers on the problems, they perceive in the clinical studies. It is time to review our present training methods of our undergraduates in Microbiology, need immense revival of methodology of teaching. We should make them clinical Microbiology practitioners rather than historians of Microbiology. Many topics are taught as a matter of duty and not for real application. We have to delete several unnecessary topics. There should be many topics on implication of antibiotics on health and disease. . The Medical education is going through commercialization and marketing of the results, which is going to affect the nation’s health, and future Medical care. With the ever increasing amount of knowledge and complexity of the concepts involved in medical microbiology and immunology, it is critical that students entering medical college should
  3. 3. have a high level of competency to “demonstrate both knowledge of and ability to use basic principles of statistics, chemistry, biochemistry, and biology needed for the application of the sciences to human health and disease.” In short, the educational strategies in medical microbiology and immunology in modern medical education should provide solid support for professional and personal learning goals that lead to life-long learning and support the “foundation” of clinical medicine. Medical education has been and continues to be complicated by turbulence in the healthcare as it becoming an industry. This instability has been linked to intense managed care pressures that force clinical faculty to bring in more income from patient care. To enhance the development of knowledge, values and skills in contemporary medical education, modernization practices have founded a new series of principles. These principles include concepts that match the way we teach with the way we learn. (Ref based on Abraham Flexner’s theory on Medical education) Dr.T.V.Rao MD Professor of Microbiology Freelance writer