Friday, December 3, 2010

Teaching the Medical Residents

I have given up on teaching the medical students. They told me that their main interest is to pass their examination. After passing the M.B.,B.S. (as MD is called in India), they become interns and then they have to study even harder to get good grades in their Pre-Entrance Examinations for post-graduate slots. All the examinations are based on your ability to memorize and regurgitate. There are no meaningful clinical examinations. So unless the method of entrance to post-graduate courses change, there is not going to be any interest to learn something that is not going to be on the exam. They are absolutely right. Until and unless medical ethics and law become part of the examination they are not going to show any interest in it.

So I have decided to go ahead and concentrate on the post-graduate doctors, as they are called here. In USA we call them interns and residents. I gave a ten minute talk on Monday and one on Thursday. The Monday talk was on the importance of getting patient consent and how to get it. The Thursday talk was about the need to keep proper medical records and I added a five minute lecture on the need to follow the rules and regulations, like wearing white coats and carrying medical diagnostic equipment with them. The second part did not go over very well with some of them. Next day I got an earful of how bad the working conditions are and here I was insisting on them wearing white coats!

I am thinking of giving a talk on communication next week! Kristina will say, “and what do you know about it?” The basic things that we take for granted in USA are missing here. So I do not have to be an expert. All I have to do is talk about some very basic needs of a hospital. We will see how it goes.


  1. well, they are right that a white coat might not be practical - informed consent yes, but is the white coat really important?

  2. Kristina the white coat really ties the ensemble together. Also if people like uncle forgot to wear a white coat then no one would believe he was a doctor. Then again I don't believe your dad is a doctor even when he is wearing one :-).