The curricular reforms at Shifa resulted in implementation of systems-based integrated curriculum being delivered in modular format two years ago. The stress has been on student-centeredness, integrated learning critical thinking and problem solving approaches. The curriculum is continuously refined in the light of feedback from faculty members, students and regulatory bodies. The college is currently planning to implement semester system for modular delivery and assessment.
The change is guided by the principle “learn like a physician and think like a physician”. The curricular philosophy revolves around principles of adult learning which encompasses self directedness, contextual learning and building knowledge on prior experiences. Learning strategies have been modified in accordance with these principles. The stress is on small group learning, working in teams and self-directed learning. Students are encouraged to reflect on their experiences to promote self-assessment and life-long learning.
During modular delivery clinical cases are used as triggers to learn at various levels of student maturity. In first two years objectives are built around basic sciences with relevant clinical exposure. In subsequent years students re-visit the modules with increasing complexity and more clinical relevance. The last two years in the curriculum students spend time in clinical clerkships. As clerks they are expected to take history, perform physical examination and follow daily progress of patients in both ambulatory and in patient setting.
A special stress has been put on community based learning where students are exposed to patients in community with special emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention. Community based program will strengthen further in the days to come.
There is a famous quote; “Assessment drives learning”. Integrated way of learning cannot succeed unless assessment strategies are congruent with learning strategies. We at Shifa have moved away from subject-based assessments. Students are constantly assessed during their day to day activities. At the end of each module a comprehensive assessment comprising of written and skills portion takes place. These modular assessments contribute 40% towards annual university examination. University examinations are modeled on modular assessments and comprise of Block examinations with 3 to 4 modules in each block.
Department of medical education oversees curricular delivery and evaluation. It constantly strives to improve quality of curricular delivery and assessments. Several faculty members are involved in medical education research and have published and presented several research papers in National and International conferences.