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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 96-97

Teaching disability competencies to medical graduates: Need of the hour


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission29-Oct-2019
Date of Decision04-Mar-2020
Date of Acceptance07-Apr-2020
Date of Web Publication08-Apr-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu - 603 108
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/bjhs.bjhs_68_19

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  Abstract 


Disabled individuals are more often than not subjected to a wide range of barriers, including physical which significantly affects their access and utilization of quality-assured preventive and healthcare services. Acknowledging the problems encountered by the disabled individuals, it is of utmost importance to train the medical students to respond to the special needs of these people and to ensure the provision of optimal healthcare. With the introduction of new competency-based medical education for undergraduation, a set of disability competencies have been defined for medical students for the very first time in the foundation course document. A wide range of teaching–learning methods and assessment methods can be employed to assess the learning. In conclusion, considering the problems faced by the disabled individuals, the need of the hour is to address the disability competencies expected of a medical graduate; to accomplish the same, curriculum planning has to be done and the medical students have to be trained in a phase-wise manner.

Keywords: Competency, curriculum, disability, medical students


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Teaching disability competencies to medical graduates: Need of the hour. BLDE Univ J Health Sci 2021;6:96-7

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Teaching disability competencies to medical graduates: Need of the hour. BLDE Univ J Health Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Apr 14];6:96-7. Available from: https://www.bldeujournalhs.in/text.asp?2021/6/1/96/313373



Disabled individuals are more often than not subjected to a wide range of barriers, including physical which significantly affects their access and utilization of quality-assured preventive and healthcare services.[1] The findings of different epidemiological studies have already shown that the incidence of chronic diseases and other ailments is remarkably higher among the disabled individuals in contrast to the individuals without disabilities. The problem gets further amplified with the stigma attributed to the disability, which simultaneously influences the mental health and well-being of these vulnerable sections of the society. Furthermore, the concerns about lack of vocational opportunities and poor financial package also limit their utilization of the healthcare services.[1]


  Necessity to Train Medical Students on Disability Competencies Top


Acknowledging the problems encountered by the disabled individuals, it is of utmost importance to train the medical students to respond to the special needs of these people and to ensure the provision of optimal healthcare.[2] This becomes even more important as till date the curriculum for medical graduates in India has no formal component of training medical students, regarding their respectful interaction with disabled individuals, disability culture, and the unique needs of disabled individuals. In order to sensitize the medical students to disability competencies, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute and Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, constituent Units of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Pondicherry, has given specific emphasis by sensitizing the students during the period of the Foundation Course itself trough the adoption of a multi-disciplinary approach.


  Competency-Based Medical Education and Disability Competencies Top


With the introduction of new competency-based medical education for the undergraduation, a set of disability competencies have been defined for the medical students for the very first time in the foundation course document, and these competencies have to be taught in each professional year, including the period of internship.[2],[3] These competencies are framed with an aim to empower the medical students to offer appropriate treatment and services to the disabled individuals, keeping their interests and preferences in mind.[2]

The curriculum designed to meet the disabled competencies should essentially cover the definition, magnitude, and distribution of the problems and different types of disabilities, formulation of specific learning objectives to meet the five key roles expected of an Indian medical graduate, rights of the disabled individuals, existing legal provisions in the nation, disability models, myths and misconceptions linked with disability, ways to interact with disabled individuals, do's and don'ts in providing healthcare, creation of a disabled-friendly environment, need for a multisectoral approach, component of empathy/sympathy or community-based rehabilitation, offering respectful care, etc.[4],[5],[6]


  Factors Influencing the Successful Implementation Top


However, the successful implementation of the program essentially depends on the capacity building of the teachers, which in turn require conduction of the faculty development programs for them.[2] A wide range of teaching–learning methods can be employed to impart these competencies, including interactive lectures for rights/regulations, small group discussions, patients' narratives, video clippings, problem-based discussions, case-based discussions, focus group discussion, involvement of people with disability, observing function of a volunteering agency, role-plays, and reflective writing. The selection of teaching–learning method can be done based on the competency which is being covered.[2],[4],[5],[6] The evaluation of the learning can be done through feedbacks, a survey using a questionnaire, multisource feedback, or even through analyzing the reflections of the students.[2],[4],[5],[6]


  Conclusion Top


Considering the problems faced by the disabled individuals, the need of the hour is to address the disability competencies expected of a medical graduate; to accomplish the same, curriculum planning has to be done and medical students have to be trained in a phase-wise manner.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. A comprehensive approach to minimize the aftereffects of disability on health standards in low resource settings. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2016;9:211-2.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
2.
Medical Council of India. Foundation course for the undergraduate medical education program – 2019. New Delhi: MCI Press; 2019. p. 1-17.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Development of a module to successfully implement competency based medical education program in an institute. Muller J Med Sci Res 2018;9:27-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
  [Full text]  
4.
Robey KL, Minihan PM, Long-Bellil LM, Hahn JE, Reiss JG, Eddey GE, et al. Teaching health care students about disability within a cultural competency context. Disabil Health J 2013;6:271-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Nisker J. Social model of disability must be a core competency in medical education. CMAJ 2019;191:E454.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Ankam NS, Bosques G, Sauter C, Stiens S, Therattil M, Williams FH, et al. Competency-based curriculum development to meet the needs of people with disabilities: A call to action. Acad Med 2019;94:781-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
    




 

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