Quality of medical education: Is our health in safe hands?

Tanuj Kanchan, Kewal Krishan, Neelam Dehal


The medical profession, once considered a “noble profession” has been under the scanner for deterioration in services. This decline is generally attributed to commercialisation of services, waning human values, and a lack of empathy and communication skills. At a time when discussions are focused on devising approaches to test medical students for attributes such as empathy, communication skills and concern for the less privileged, developing nations like India are suffering from the “problem of too many”. On the one hand, a skewed doctor-patient ratio in India (less than 1 doctor per 1000 people that is lower than that prescribed by the World Health Organisation) has left medical practitioners so overburdened, they have little time to empathise with their patients. Students inadvertently follow their teachers and the vicious cycle continues. On the other hand, there has been a mushrooming of commercially–run medical institutions to overcome this shortage of doctors. Medical education has become unaffordable to many and, very obviously, merit has taken a back seat.

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