How a competency-based learning system can help make medical professionals competent and future-ready.
Medical education has witnessed a significant transformation in recent years. The entire ecosystem is actively transitioning to a digital-first way of teaching and learning. Today, innovations in Ed-Tech, digitisation of learning resources and skill-enabling knowledge are critical in creating tomorrow’s physicians. They need to be equipped and trained to power the spread of collaborative healthcare delivery while also navigating unforeseen situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic led to a change in the medium of education to facilitate Continuing Medical Education (CME). Additionally, other innovative e-learning methods like online education sites, skill laboratories, and clinical decision support systems have come into their own. Today, medical learning resources and apps, podcasts and videos with flipped classrooms, simulations, AR, and VR lead resources are considered the future of medicine. These are now categorised as primary technological skills for tomorrow’s physicians to become global practitioners, aiding them to quickly adapt to working conditions where technology-enhanced procedures are the norm.
Medical education is heavily dependent on setting up robust digital mechanisms that are easy to use and provide a holistic mechanism for outcome-oriented learning. To strengthen these processes, institutions and students adopt advanced learning aids and platforms like syllabus mapped content, class schedules, presentations, AV lecture footage, course evaluations, dissection guides, quizzes, case makers, and other resources.
There has been a significant transformation in the healthcare industry with technological advancements. Several healthcare start-ups in India have developed a system for patients to avail easy e-consultation without being physically present, making it the new normal. Transformation is also seen through the IoMT (Internet of Medical Things), which is key to developing products that require minimal human interaction to deliver services. These include associated medical devices, equipment, and infrastructure processes like smart medical diagnosis, automatic disinfection, and remote patient administration. Additionally, Cognitive IoMT (CIoMT) integrates automated processing, sensory information, and interaction through real-time diagnosis, observation, and disease control systems.
Rising awareness around healthcare has put patient health and safety under the spotlight, and hence practical and case-based medical learning has taken on increased significance. The advent of the Competency-Based Medical Education (CBME) framework launched by the National Medical Council saw the introduction of new pedagogical processes and a shift in existing education delivery systems. The redefined skill sets under the CBME has created a proficiency-based curriculum that forms the foundation for technology-enabled learning.
These transformations point to the need for a more holistic and practical approach to medical education. However, to ensure proper and pervasive transformation, it is necessary to make technology-enabled resources widely accessible to all and easy to access at any time. This will, in turn, enable knowledge procurement across the board, cultivate hands-on skills, nurture quick decision-making, improve the quality of learning, and equip doctors of tomorrow to handle a plethora of problems that may come their way.
To help bridge the gap and train competent healthcare professionals, it is essential to teach them right from the beginning. A competency-based learning system (CBME) that trains in knowledge and practical experience will contribute to well-rounded learning, making tomorrow’s medical professionals competent and future-ready.
The writer is the Sr. VP and Chief Digital Officer, Manipal Global Education Services