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The making of a “Citizen Doctor”: How effective are value-based classes?

Radhika Hegde, Manjulika Vaz

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2020.055


In 2018, the Division of Health and Humanities at St John’s Research Institute introduced the “Citizen Doctor” course for first year medical students at St. John’s Medical College. The focus was to expose future doctors to the wider framework of health and invoke a sense of citizenship, responsiveness, and critical thinking. Classes in Environmental sciences and the Constitution of India, advocated as beneficial for all undergraduate students in India, were used as the basis to design the Citizen Doctor Course. This paper is an evaluation of this innovative course. A structured feedback questionnaire was administered to students at the end of the course; an overwhelming majority found that these classes helped them identify and understand contemporary social and environmental issues. It evoked a sense of wider responsibility and responsiveness, thus laying the foundation for a “citizen doctor”. The evidence suggests that this course should continue and expand to other years and other medical colleges Keywords: citizen, humanities, environmental science, constitution of India, social determinants of health, medical education

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