All markets closed today

Indian stock markets, forex, money markets and all commodity futures markets are closed on Wednesday

All the wholesale commodity markets, including bullion and metal, are closed today on account of ‘Gandhi Jayanti’. The stock markets, forex, money markets and all commodity futures markets are also closed for the public holiday.

 

The Sensex closed Tuesday at 19,517 up 137 points or 0.71% while the Nifty closed at 5,780 up 45 points or 0.78%.

 

Gold prices dropped further at the domestic bullion market on Tuesday on continued profit selling by stockists and investors amid lack of local buying interest. Standard gold of 99.5% purity fell by Rs310 to conclude at Rs29,915 per 10 gm from Monday’s closing level of Rs30,225. Pure gold of 99.9% purity also dropped by a similar margin to end at Rs30,065 per 10 gm from Rs30,375. Silver ready (.999 fineness) declined Rs380 to finish at Rs49,910 per kg as compared to Rs50,290 Monday.

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What ails medical education today?

Rote learning and quality of education has killed the essence of medical education. Students must be told not to fear failure as a learning process


Rote learning has killed the essence of education. To get near-100% marks in entrance examinations, students are encouraged to memorise facts. The whole education process is constructed to check the recall capacity of students. Thus, trained and tutored students become memorising masters. Memorised facts, of course, slowly disappear from the association area of the brain within a couple of months, unless you keep memorising them daily.

This method of study could be detrimental in medical education where students should be able to understand and logically reconstruct the facts to get to the root of the real issue in disease management. The bad habits learnt in school persist through life. In medical education, students need to ask six important questions: who, why, where, what, when and how. Unless the student (especially if s/he becomes a teacher later) listens to these six questions and learns everything that way, it will be dangerous for patients.

The rote method of study also makes students subservient to what is being taught or written in the textbooks. They will never be given an opportunity to question any of the tenets being taught. Now, we also know that textbooks in medical college are mostly ghost-written by drug and instrumentation companies that want to brainwash young minds in medicine with their philosophy of do-it-fix-it strategy. Catch them young is their plan of action. What doctors do not get to study in medical school is much more profound than what they do get to study.

A simple example will illustrate this point. Physics teachers teach students that laminar flow of fluids cannot exert any lateral pressure on the flowing pipe. If they exerted any lateral pressure, the flow cannot go on! Students memorise this and get into the medical school only to find that blood pressure is the lateral pressure exerted on the vessel wall by the flowing blood. What is taught at school and at medical school are opposed to each other. However, students and teachers never ever get to realise this contradiction. They never think that everything in this universe flows by whirling and how the blood flow inside a closed blood vessel system flow is laminar. This blood flow eventually opens into a huge lake of capillary network of nearly 500,000 kilometres of capillaries where even a red blood cell cannot move freely as the capillary lumen is smaller than the diameter of a red cell! Nature has made the red cell into a dumbbell to facilitate movement through capillaries!

Since logical thinking is not what our educational system imparts, we do not realise that if the blood flows by whirling, how could our reductionist chemicals reduce the blood pressure for the good of the organism? An audit of 17 blood pressure lowering clinical trials reported in the six best medical journals of the world by Professor Uff Ravneskov and colleagues showed no significant difference between drug-treated hypertensives and those who followed lifestyle changes and dietary adjustment. This study did not audit the adverse drug reactions in patients who were on life-long treatment with chemical drugs. It could have been a prohibitively high incidence.

Medical students are made to believe that circulation of blood is solely due to muscle contractions of the heart. Of course, by the time they reach this stage of learning, students would have forgotten what they learnt in embryology—that we did not have any heart until the 20th week of gestation in the mother’s womb. Who pumped blood and circulated blood in the foetus until then? This is the ghost of memorising learning that was taught to our students in school. The earlier we change that, the better for mankind. The rot in the teaching-learning process is crying out for change.

The most dangerous omission in medical, nay, any education is the lack of ethical and moral content. We must teach students not to lie to their conscience. They must also be told that it is better to fail than to cheat. How else could one tolerate senior professors spreading white lies to make enormous amounts of money from drug companies, by creating new (non-existent) illnesses to facilitate drug companies to sell their drugs?

Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS.

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COMMENTS

Awadhesh Vaish

3 years ago

an eye-opener.. and explaine din such a simple and easy to understand way.

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