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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 112-119

Medical humanities in medical colleges in India: Travellators and speed breakers

IMU Centre for Education, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Pathiyil Ravi Shankar
IMU Centre for Education, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/amhs.amhs_70_20

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India has the largest number of allopathic medical colleges in the world. Recently, a competency-based undergraduate medical curriculum and an attitude, ethics, and communication skills module have been introduced. Medical humanities (MH) programs are becoming increasingly common globally. MH uses methods from the humanities and are interdisciplinary in nature. In this article, the author discusses different facilitating factors (travellators) and hindering factors (speed breakers) for the introduction of MH in medical colleges in India. Among the travellators are a large body of faculty members with interest and experience in medical education, a favorable attitude toward MH, strengthening of physical and information technology infrastructure in institutions, a diverse and talented student body, use of movies as a stepping stone to MH, many institutions obtaining deemed university status, a talented group of faculties, the positive effect of MH on student well-being, reduced stress and an atmosphere of spirituality, and a sense of purpose. Among the speed breakers are large student numbers, traditional architecture of medical colleges, lack of a separate department of medical education, being affiliated to external universities and challenges in modifying the assessment system, the language of MH sessions, and imbalance in medical education units. The article ends by providing the details for a MH module, a framework for student assessment during the module, and rubrics which can be used/adapted for student assessment and provides a scheme for assessment of the new module within the curriculum. This can be adapted by individual institutions to best suit their circumstances.

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