East Meets West! Nat’l and Int’l Students Converge at ‘Phoenix’17

East Meets West! Nat’l and Int’l Students Converge at ‘Phoenix’17

East Meets West! National and International Students Converge at International Medical Students’ Conference-‘Phoenix’17 held at AJ Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre from 22- 26, 2017.

Mangaluru: The delegates totaling nearly 600, predominantly medical students of different colors and race from India and different other countries like Russia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Algeria, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Colombia, Iran, Italy, and many other converged at AJ Institute of Medical sciences and Research Centre on 22 March, for the International Medical Students’ Conference “Phoenix 2017” which will last till Sunday, 26 March 2017. This conference is the second edition, while the First conference “Phoenix” was held in the year 2104 here, where nearly 750 students took part.

This conference offers (Bio) medical students, worldwide, the opportunity to present their research, to participate in various unique and informative workshops, to be enlightened by Eminent guest speakers, who are the best and the brightest in their fields, and to Network with fellow international students. The research presented will include a massive variety of actual (bio) medical topics from all over the world.

The conference was inaugurated by chief guest-K.C. Venugopal, a Member of Parliament from Kerala, along with guests of honor-Dr Thimappa Hegde, the Director of the Narayana Institute of Neurosciences and M. Chandra Sekhar, the Police Commissioner of Mangaluru City; AJ Shetty- Chairman of AJ Institutions; Prashanth Shetty- Vice President of Laxmi Memorial Education Trust; eminent speakers of the conference namely Dr. Zhuo Hua Pan from Wayne State University, USA; Dr Roger Evans from Monash University, Australia; Dr. Anita Borges from Asian Institute of Oncology, Dr. Ranjan Kumar Pejavar from St.Martha’s Hospital, Dr. Anthony Pais from Narayana Hrudalaya- Mazumdar Shaw Institute of Oncology and Dr Cheng Hwee Ming from University of Malaya, Malaysia.

Addressing the audience KC Venugopal said, “Good doctors are essential to society. However, the quality of doctors’ training in India has been declining over the years for various reasons. Earlier, the strength of the medical profession rested on meritorious students who topped their batches joining the medical profession. They were trained by dedicated and talented professionals who acted as role models for students. It is important to take steps to revive this noble profession. Apart from attracting good students, there is an urgent need to look at the curriculum, which defines the objectives of medical education and provides appropriate teaching/ training experiences. This has not happened in the last many years despite advances in medicine and teaching methodology.”

“The recent statement of the Medical Council of India (MCI) that steps are being taken to revise the curriculum and training methodology is encouraging. At present, the graduate course is more oriented towards memorising textbooks or class notes. The evaluation process has also contributed to this problem. The curriculum in the cognitive domain is only a memory loader; it needs to facilitate the development of psychomotor skills. The curriculum has also failed to inculcate the right attitude in students. At the end of her training, a doctor should be competent enough to take a proper history and physical examination of a patient and then analyse the information for diagnosis. The teaching methodology must also stress on competency-based training. Such training focuses on what the medical graduate ought to know and enables her to properly analyse clinical problems. This approach needs more planning by teachers, group discussions and active clinical learning experience.” added Venugopal.

Venugopal further said, ” “Medical graduates should be made to comply with the training schedule during internships. At present, interns use this time to prepare for entrance examinations to postgraduate courses. Postgraduate qualifications are no doubt vital for career progress, but the internship period is crucial for a graduate to gain practical training and skills. The scheduling of postgraduate entrance examinations needs to be changed to ensure uninterrupted training during internships. A stint in rural India would expose our medical graduates to new conditions and help them gain additional skills. A medical student should be allowed to take postgraduate entrance examinations only after she completes her rural posting. There is also a need to familiarise teachers with competency and evidence-based training. These steps could help improve the quality of our medical graduates.”

Guest of honour M Chandra Sekhar said, ” I truly believe that medical profession is a noble profession than a law enforcement profession, like mine. The medical profession is also a divine profession, what I feel. Doctors need to be very determined, caring and committed to the patients, because these days we see lots of assaults on doctors for medical malpractices. In a country, which is highly democratic where freedom of speech is at its peak we should also think twice before we speak out. We should all work in unity for the betterment of the nation, keeping away hatred, violence, discrimination and so on. We are all equal in the eyes of God, like brothers and sisters. Keeping one’s personal fund of knowledge current is one of the most formidable challenges that physicians face. Physicians need to develop their own goals for staying current, systematically and periodically search the literature for high-quality material relevant to the topics on their agendas, become facile with a critical appraisal of the literature, and schedule time for reading. One of the responsibilities of any professional is to maintain expertise, and this responsibility is probably nowhere more critical, or more difficult, than in the profession of medicine. Wish all the medical students best of luck in your profession”.

Dr Thimappa Hegde also spoke so fluently and elaborately, his speech received a thunderous applaud from the whole audience. The Conference guide and also an abstract book was released during the occasion. A welcome address was delivered by Prof. Dr Ashok Hegde- Dean and Programme Director, AJIMS, while the vote of thanks was proposed by Dr Kalpana Ashfaque- Asst. Programme Director. The whole programme was professionally compered by Aafreen Rachel Vaz (model/beauty pageant titleholder, who was crowned Femina Miss India Supranational 2015, and also a student at AJIMS); and the conference has been well planned by Dr Gaurav Sharma, and Dr Akshay Nandavar- President and Vice President of the Conference respectively.

The formal programme followed by a few scintillating dance acts by the AJIMS students and ended with a sumptuous South Indian dinner. During the conference, nearly 35 workshops, several of which are hands-on will be conducted, which will give an opportunity for students to learn practical aspects of medical procedures and go beyond basic classroom teaching. To unwind at the end of the day, several social events like Beach Party etc are also being hosted which will also help the delegates build a great network with people from all over the globe.

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