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Cover page of the Journal of Health Sciences


 
 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 152-155

Perception of teaching faculty about Medical Council of India-mandated Foundation Course


1 Department of Psychiatry, Pt. B.D. Sharma PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana, India
2 Department of Anesthesiology, Pt. B.D. Sharma PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana, India
3 Department of Pediatrics, Pt. B.D. Sharma PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana, India
4 Department of Pharmacology, Pt. B.D. Sharma PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana, India

Date of Submission04-Oct-2020
Date of Acceptance29-Jul-2021
Date of Web Publication24-May-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sujata Sethi
Department of Psychiatry, Medical Education Unit, Pt. B.D. Sharma PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/kleuhsj.kleuhsj_357_20

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  Abstract 


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Apropos of the initiative by the Medical Council of India (MCI), a month-long Foundation Course was implemented in our institute for the Phase 1 MBBS batch (2019). The index study was carried out to assess the perceptions of faculty members teaching Phase 1 MBBS students about the usefulness and effectiveness of this course, and their suggestions for further improvement.
METHODOLOGY: The study was conducted online using a predesigned, pretested questionnaire in the form of Google Forms. A total of 41 faculty members were invited to participate in the study.
RESULTS: Thirty-six faculty members responded, i.e. a response rate of 88%. Majority of the faculty (69.4%) considered the Foundation Course as a useful addition to MBBS course but felt that the duration is too long. Faculty members found almost all of the sessions to be very useful for the students. However, they also felt that some of the sessions such as spirituality, alternate health systems, disability competency, national health policies, and use of information technology were not relevant for the newly joined MBBS students.
INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: Foundation Course recommended by MCI for MBBS students at the entry level is a positive addition. Incorporating the suggestions from the faculty members can enhance its usefulness further.

Keywords: Faculty, feedback, Foundation Course


How to cite this article:
Sethi S, Verma P, Srivastava V, Kumar P, Mittal K, Mittal R. Perception of teaching faculty about Medical Council of India-mandated Foundation Course. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res 2022;15:152-5

How to cite this URL:
Sethi S, Verma P, Srivastava V, Kumar P, Mittal K, Mittal R. Perception of teaching faculty about Medical Council of India-mandated Foundation Course. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Jun 25];15:152-5. Available from: https://www.ijournalhs.org/text.asp?2022/15/2/152/345828




  Introduction Top


Students entering medical colleges come from diverse sociocultural backgrounds and have different expectations. Further, entering into an academic ambience that is so very different from the school can be a challenging task for them.

Therefore, it is desirable to create a period of acclimatization and familiarization to the new academic environment. This may include an introduction to the course structure, learning methods, technology usage, and peer interactions, which would facilitate their smooth transition from high school to medical college.

This need for orientation and induction training has been perceived by medical educationists worldwide.[1] In this context, the Medical Council of India (MCI) also planned a 1-month-long exclusive “Foundation Course” at the beginning of the MBBS course, to orient and sensitize the students to the various identified areas.[2] The year of 2019 saw the launch and implementation of Foundation Course for MBBS students nationwide.

Various studies done across the country have tapped the usefulness and importance of Foundation Course from students' perspective.[3],[4],[5] To the best of our efforts, we could find only two studies from the faculty's perspective.[6],[7] Further, these studies were done immediately after the completion of Foundation Course and involved the faculty who conducted the Foundation Course sessions. We deviated from this model by involving the teaching faculty of Phase I MBBS course and allowing a time gap in between the conduction of the Foundation Course and the index study. The need to do so arose from the fact that there were a lot of apprehensions on the part of faculty about the duration, utility, and effectiveness of this course. Hence, we hoped that with time these initial reactions would have settled down and perceptions would be more objective with this time gap. Further, the faculty of Phase I have been in direct and constant touch with the students over time so should be able to appreciate the effects, positive or negative.


  Methodology Top


Study was conducted in the months of June and July 2020. Faculty involved in teaching of 1st year M.B.B.S. constituted the study population. After obtaining approval from the Pt. B.D. Sharma, PGIMS/ UHS, Rohtak Institutional Research Committee vide BREC/20/129 dated 22.06.2020, the study was conducted online using a predesigned, pretested questionnaire (including the consent to participate) in the form of Google Forms. A link to the proforma was sent via e-mail to the participating faculty. The questionnaire covered basic demographic details of the participants and their perceptions about the duration, general usefulness, and advantage of the Foundation Course as well as relevance of various topics covered including skill modules, and their suggestions regarding topics and method of delivery. The data thus collected were analyzed using qualitative and quantitative statistical techniques.


  Results Top


Out of 41 contacted faculty members, 36 responded (i.e. response rate of 88%). Most of the faculty members were females, of age group 41–50 years and most of them (72%) had >10 years of teaching experience.

The initial part of the questionnaire sought their opinion as to the duration and overall opinion about the usefulness of the Foundation Course. Majority of the faculty (69.4%) were of the opinion that Foundation Course was a useful addition to MBBS course, while most of them (63.8%) considered the Foundation Course to be too long and suggested that duration should be reduced to 1–2 weeks [Table 1].
Table 1: Overall reflections of faculty on the Foundation Course (n=36)

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The second part of the questionnaire sought their regarding relevance of the individual topics covered during the course. It is obvious from [Table 2] that the faculty members found almost all of the sessions, especially overview of MBBS course, medical ethics and professionalism, time management, stress management, cadaver as first teacher, and communication skills to be very useful for the students. However, they also felt that some of the sessions such as spirituality, alternate health systems, disability competency, national health policies, and use of information technology were not relevant for the newly joined MBBS students.
Table 2: Perception of faculty toward individual sessions of Foundation Course being useful for students (n=36)

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When asked to opine about the effectiveness of the various sessions, most of the faculty members (80.6%) felt that the communication skills session benefitted the students the most followed by sessions on self-directed learning and interpersonal relationships. Half of the respondents, however, felt that sessions on time management, information technology, and professionalism were least effective in imparting skills to students [Table 3].
Table 3: Skills gained by the students due to Foundation Course as perceived by the faculty members

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Responding to open-ended questions [Table 4], faculty members felt that the course is highly diverse, tightly packed, and rushed. There were suggestions to include topics on classroom etiquette and discipline, management skills, and personality development. Concerns raised by some included the course being too long and that the structure of the course somehow encouraged indiscipline and nonseriousness among the students.
Table 4: Faculty response to specific questions related to impact of the Foundation Course on students (n=36)

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  Discussion Top


Apropos of the initiative by MCI,[2] a month-long Foundation Course was implemented in our institute for the Phase 1 MBBS batch (2019). The index study was carried out to assess the perceptions of faculty members teaching Phase 1 MBBS students about the usefulness and effectiveness of this course, and their suggestions for further improvement.

In the index study, most of the faculty felt that the 1-month duration of the Foundation Course was too long and suggested duration of 1–2 weeks. Sobti et al.[7] expressed the same opinion in their study. In a study by Mahajan and Gupta,[6] faculty suggested to increase the duration from 1 day to a minimum of 3 days as the orientation program conducted in their college was of 1 day only and was felt to be of inadequate duration.

Majority of the faculty in our study were of the opinion that the Foundation Course was a useful addition to the MBBS course and it helped students to get acquainted to the new physical environment as well as sensitized them to academic skills required during the MBBS course. The same was reported by Sobti et al.[7] wherein 70% of the faculty members perceived orientation and professional development modules quite useful.

Further, as for the relevance of various topics covered during the Foundation Course, majority of the faculty members found almost all of the sessions, especially overview of MBBS course, medical ethics and professionalism, time management, stress management, cadaver as first teacher, cadaveric oath, and communication skills to be very useful for the students. Some of the topics such as spirituality, alternate health systems, disability competency, national health policies, and use of information technology were however not considered suitable for the new entrants. These findings are in keeping with other studies.[6],[7] In the current era of digitalization, it is not unusual for almost all the students to possess the required technical skills and this could be the reason that the faculty considered the session on information technology to be nonessential. Further, the faculty probably had sensed the inability of students to acknowledge the way spirituality can be involved with medicine and recommended to take up this topic at a later stage.

It is quite understandable from the perspective of both students and teachers that some of the topics are relevant to the later phases of MBBS course, but surprisingly, faculty members perceived disability competency also as not suitable. To overcome this attitudinal apathy and to sensitize Indian Medical Graduate about the human rights perspective of the disability, disability competency was included in the Foundation Course.[8] Hence, it is important that as teachers and role models for our students we need to bring an attitudinal shift in ourselves so as to redefine our outlook on disability and its social context.

Suggestions to include topics on classroom etiquette and discipline, management skills, and personality development were quite parallel to the one voiced in the study by Mahajan and Gupta.[6] One of the various concerns that this course is too long was also shared in a study by Sobti et al.[7]


  Conclusions Top


The Foundation Course has largely been perceived as a positive addition by the faculty, with some reservations regarding its long duration and relevance of certain topics and skills covered during the course. There are suggestions that some of the topics can be covered during the later phases of the MBBS course and topics such as classroom etiquettes and discipline can be added. Sensitization to disability competency needs further attention.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Taylor BE, Massy WF. Strategic Indicators for Higher Education, 1996. Vital Benchmarks and Information to Help You Evaluate and Improve Your Institution's Performance. Peterson's; Princeton, NJ; 1996.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Medical Council of India. Foundation Course for the Undergraduate Medical Education Program. New Delhi: Medical Council of India; 2019. p. 1-46.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Khilnani AK, Patel J, Khilnani G. Students' feedback on the foundation course in competency based medical education curriculum. Int J Res Med Sci 2019;7:4408-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Vyas S, Joshi U, Sheth J. Perception of first MBBS students from a medical college in Ahmedabad, Gujarat about one month's foundation course during the year 2019. Natl J Integr Res Med 2020;11:72-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Ruprai R, Ruprai BS. A study on reflection of entry-level foundation course by the first-year medical students. Natl J Physiol Pharm Pharmacol 2020;10:236-41.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Mahajan R, Gupta K. Evaluation of orientation program for fresh MBBS entrants: Faculty and students' perspectives. Int J Appl Basic Med Res 2015;5:S50-3.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Sobti S, Gupta M, Gupta V, Gupta A, Parihar S, Singh V. Assessment of newly introduced foundation course for medical undergraduates: Students' vs faculty's perspective. J Family Med Prim Care 2020;9:3042-7.  Back to cited text no. 7
  [Full text]  
8.
Singh S. Medical Council of India's new guidelines on admission of persons with specified disabilities: Unfair, discriminatory and unlawful. Indian J Med Ethics 2019;4:29-34.  Back to cited text no. 8
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

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